Mary's Way of Love

We enter the fourth week of Advent, this time with the theme of love. And on this Sunday, we also traditionally focus on Mary.

I wonder what we think of Mary. Over the centuries she has been Mary mother of God; Mary the fourth member of the Trinity (that one didn’t fly so well); Mary the eternal and blessed virgin; Mary the Theotokos (God bearer); Mary the humble, meek and obedient servant of God; or just Mary who happened to be Jesus’ mother but otherwise is not so important.

The writer of Luke’s gospel thought Mary was pretty important. The others are more low key in their presentation. Luke exalts Mary not as a mother, nor as the ideal women, but as the ideal disciple. Luke presents Mary as the one we should emulate if we too wish to follow her son. Like her son, Mary responds to God’s outrageous request/command (does she really have a choice in this) with a combination of humble trust and obedient service – just like her son in Gethsemane. This young girl from a poor family in a poor village in the outback of Galilee has become the vehicle for God’s work of salvation.

This trust changes Mary. For our Psalm we will be joining others repeating the words of Marys radical protest song – the Magnificat. In a world where it was understood that the poor were poor and the rich and powerful were rich and powerful because that is how God made things, we have this potent and prophetic song that speaks of the importance and priority of the poor in the eyes of God. God counters all the myths that hold the poor in their place of poverty and restores them as the people of God.

As we enter the fourth week of Advent in this Covid shaped year take a moment to think about what this song might say about our world and our own society this Christmas. How does Mary help us embrace the way of love this Christmas? How does she invite us to join with her son in the Way of Love?



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