This coming Sunday belongs to Mary, the mother of Jesus, the peasant girl, the God-bearer. Mary’s partnership with God is what makes Advent possible. In this, she is a model for all of us. The angel comes, at some unexpected time, and gives an invitation into risk, the unknown, sacrifice, the holy burden of bringing forth life.
I have a friend, an American I met in Egypt, who has traveled all over the world. He takes pictures and writes stories, and he’s good enough to make a living at it. I remember him saying at some point: Whenever I feel despair I remember that I am carrying a story within me that needs to be born into the world.
Another friend, a pastor, has repeatedly claimed Mary’s magnificat throughout the horror show that has been Trump’s Presidency. “God has brought down the powerful from their thrones, and lifted up the lowly, God has filled the hungry with good things, and sent the rich away empty” (Luke 1:52-53).
Eco-feminist theologian Mary Gray has written that Mary “calls us to energize and bring to birth our powers; she calls us to rediscover our affinity and connectedness with nature and createdness as women.” I would also add “and as men.”
Giving birth to stories, being midwives of justice, partnering with God, lending our bodies to be filled by the Spirit, re-energizing our birth powers, being awake in the dark. For these holy acts, Mary is our model.
Thanks be to God.