The basic ingredients are so simple, but with results that are so heavenly, so sublime, so close to perfection you could almost levitate. I’m drooling for that quintessential sugar-lover’s concoction: fudge. You just take several cups of brown sugar, a huge dollop of butter, a major splash of heavy cream, apply heat, and presto! Deliciousness beyond all defining, scrumptiousness to make the most prosaic wax lyrical, ambrosial-ness to cause one to defy gravity, or almost. And that’s just ground zero for this brilliantly conceived masterpiece. Myriad additions have been tried with great success, of course, but there could never ever in a million years be a dreamed-up iteration shuffling the original off as a thing of the past (BTW, my deepest, heartbrokenest sympathies to the sweet tooth deprived). I’m convinced that the world would be a much nicer place if everyone could gain access to Mum’s primo homemade fudge on a regular basis. Who knows? It might cure pandemics! Our politicians, even globally, might come to really and truly love one another (and agree together!) if each of their work sessions could begin with prayer and a piece of fudge. Just sayin.’ 

This elation was, in a spiritual sense, what Joseph and Mary were experiencing on the last leg of their wearisome trodding southward to Bethlehem. Not just their feet, but their whole bodies were aching from the dayslong effort, sometimes walking, sometimes stumbling over rugged and rocky terrain. But their spirits were being suffused with the sweetness of the Sweetest Presence, sweeter than the honey they knew in Nazareth, sweeter than any gift they’d ever received, sweeter even than the love they carried in their hearts for one another. This was a kind of nourishment, not from food or drink, but a soul feeding, a soul refreshing, a soul expansion making room for the receiving of the richest gift from Yahweh, Eternal God; his very person about to be revealed, Jehovah, God of the Angel Armies Himself, Love in person, Love in infant-lowliness, Love carried by Mary for nine months, Love delivered in pain instantly forgotten, Love so mysteriously fragile-powerful, Love more whole than whole ever was, Love divine, all other loves excelling! And now Love, that love, has made Himself known to us today in many ways, just as Isaiah prophesied that He would – ‘Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Dear Father Everlasting, ever-present never-failing, Master of Wholeness, Prince of Peace.’ We, in symbol form, make space again in our hearts for welcoming Him, Love, in the lighting of the fourth candle, the pink one of the Advent wreath, tomorrow at 10 AM, 3 PM, 4 PM. And so, together we say: Maranatha!*  PD

Share This