Advent is the Time of Mary:
The time for us to take notice
of one whom this world deliberately ignores –
a woman of color, a poor woman, a teen mom, a refugee.
Was Mary meek and mild?
Not if those words are about
unquestioning submission, fearful passivity.
Only if those words are about inner power,
restrained for the sake of the vulnerable –
not the power of violence
but the power of compassion.
Not the trust of one foolish and without questions
but of one thoughtful and bold
and unafraid to ask an angel, “What does this mean?”
Mary the Mighty, Mother of the Meek,
you who guided the first clumsy steps
of the God of the Universe,
You said yes
to social ostracization, yes
to the heavy metamorphosis of pregnancy,
yes to God’s inrushing revolution
in which the lowly are pulled up from their ashes
and tyrants pulled down from their thrones.
And so all generations call you blessed –
you whom the world would see stoned.
You who let go of your omnipotence
in favor of interdependence,
it is a wonder to behold
a woman’s body shelter you, feed you,
knit your cells together –
just as You once knit her.
You depend on her, and she will not fail You.
May I be able say the same.
I first shared this reflection on my Instagram during Advent 2019, and included the following text as a caption:
Mary’s yes to God (see Luke 1:26-55), freely and triumphantly given, was no passive yes: she said yes to interdependence with her God.
God’s request was not to overpower her or control her, but to enter into a relationship of mutual need:
Just as God kept every cell in her body spinning, so she would nurture God’s new physicality within herself – and then, after birth, feed God and keep God safe, teach God to walk and talk and read.
God desires a relationship of mutual yes, mutual care and need – a relationship of interdependence with each of us.
How do you say yes to this simultaneous empowerment and vulnerability, yes to living into a fullness of yourself that simultaneously serves others?
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