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St. Mary Magdalen's
Catholic Church
Willesden Green
London NW10
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Friday, December 08, 2006

This weekend sees the performance of “The Promise”, a specially written musical, by St. Mary Magdalen's Drama Club. The cast is made up primarily of young people of the Parish. The musical dramatises the traditional nativity story as well as fictionalising some parts of the tale not told in the Gospels.

The title “The Promise” refers to God's covenant with His people which is fulfilled by the coming of Christ.. Throughout the Old Testament Israel longs for a saviour, a Messiah, and during Advent we join in this anticipation as we prepare for Christ's coming among us at Christmas. We know that the Messiah has already come 2000 years ago. But He still has to enter fully into our minds and hearts. During this time we seek to become especially open to the Christ who arrives not as a delivering warrior, but as a tiny baby in the arms of the Blessed Virgin Mary. This is what many prophets and kings longed to see (cf. Luke 10:24) and we are privileged to see Him anew this Christmas, hopefully with eyes which are more pure than last Christmas.

'Rorate coeli desuper' – 'Drop down dew, ye heavens, from above' (Is 45:8) beautifully expresses this sense of longing felt by the Patriarchs and Prophets. Symbolically, it also expresses the longing of the Church – Christ is the Saviour, the dew which rains down from heaven. 'Rorate coeli desuper' is used as the chorus in the opening song of “The Promise” where the townspeople of Nazareth similarly express this longing as they go about their daily business in a bustling market.

This sense of anticipation is not just limited to the time of Advent. In fact, Christ comes to us daily through the Mass. Indeed, this is the pre-eminent way He touches us in our everyday lives, where He is present again, body and blood, soul and divinity under the outward appearance of bread and wine. As we prepare for communion at Mass where we truly receive Christ, we feel especially united in this longing for His presence.

posted by Sinead Reekie at 1:41 pm