In a gloomy little corner at St. Meinrad’s, there is a painting of the Annunciation. It is very hard to see – there is little natural light and I couldn’t find a light switch for artificial light. It is the the only painting in that corner. It is more of a passage way to get to another room. It is an afterthought.
Yet notice that they have a holy candle mounted on the wall next to it. A white candle, especially in a red sconce, indicates that the presence of Jesus is there. Yet someone has let the candle go out. These candles are normally placed next to the tabernacle or aumbry that has consecrated hosts (Communion wafers). I’ve never seen one next to a painting – but this painting indicates the moment that Jesus became a physical part of the world by entering into Mary’s womb.
Because the only light was right in front of it, I had to stand at an angle to take the picture otherwise my shadow would have gotten in the way.
Notice the dove, a sign of the Holy Spirit. There are lilies too – symbols of the purity of Mary.
This is the archangel Gabriel, come to ask Mary if she is willing to be the bearer of Christ.
Everything is immaculate in this painting – so why is there a breach in this wall? Does it refer to when Jesus died on the cross and the division between the Holy of Holies was rendered in two? That signified that God and humans are reconciled – there is no longer a division between us. We no longer need an intermediary of a priest to speak with God – we can do it directly.
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