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Monday, December 01, 2008
Entering into Advent. Maranatha!

I first saw the above image several years ago and I never forgot it. It is called Our Lady of Advent and pictures Mary with the Incarnate Word in her womb, preaching to us in the posture of master and teacher, and yet humble and fragile, as an unborn child.

I had it in mind when I wrote the advent scene in the movie Mary, Mother of the Christ which is currently in pre-production and slated to start principal photography in March.

I thought to share the scene with you as an Advent reflection. The idea of the scene is that all of humanity is waiting to be saved, and that the One who has the answers to every human grief and need is always right there hidden in plain sight, within the reach of our prayers.

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(The scene takes place in the town square of Bethlehem. Mary takes Joseph's place in line to be registered for the census.)


Joseph takes the donkey and leaves Mary standing at the end of a long line of people.

SOME YOUNG MEN jostle into place and over-looking Mary, shove into her place in line.

An OLD WOMAN, horrified, grabs Mary’s arm to steady her.

OLD WOMAN: Barbarians!

Mary smiles at her, then, sees a SMALL BOY staring up at her.

LITTLE BOY: I’m hungry.

Mary nods. She finds a clump of grapes in her bag and gives it to him. He takes an eager, happy bite.

PULL BACK TO REVEAL

The LINE OF TRAVELERS weaves through the square, around the synagogue and along the side of the town walls.

MONTAGE - ADVENT

1) Mary, heavy with child and weary, lays a hand on her swollen womb and closes her eyes in prayer.

2) A LARGE, WEALTHY MAN drums his fingers on his arm in impatience. Then, he pulls out a luscious dripping cake which he crams into his mouth. He licks the syrup off his lips. He is bored. Annoyed. Dead in his self-satisfaction.

3) The line of travelers stretches the length of the square.

4) Mary waits.

5) SEVERAL YOUNG MEN, throw dice to pass the time. One of them loses and shoves another in anger. He is insecure, threatened, frustrated.

6) A LITTLE GIRL, clings to her MOTHER’S cloak, but is jostled and frightened by the crowd. She cries.

7) Mary waits.

8) An OLD MAN, frail and neglected stares ahead bitterly.

9) A PROSTITUTE, is the only one not jostled by the crowd which avoids her as unclean. She stares ahead unseeing. Dissipated. Embittered. Longing.

10) Mary waits.

11) A PULSE OF FACES...OLD, YOUNG, WEATHERED, BEAUTIFUL, DISFIGURED, BLACK, ARAB, JEW, RICH, POOR. Hungry. Afraid. Fearful. Hoping. ALL WAITING.

12) The pregnant Mary, holds her belly, praying and waiting.