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Theotokos

August 15, 2020

“He has brought down the powerful from their thrones, and lifted up the lowly; he has filled the hungry with good things, and sent the rich away empty.” Luke 1:52-53

Today is the Feast of Mary, Mother of Our Lord. We celebrate Mary because when God chose to enter the world, God chose to do so through Mary. God took on flesh in Mary, and Mary gave birth to God as loving mothers have long given birth to beloved children. She is theotokos, the “God-bearer,” and from her womb comes our salvation.

As we ponder Mary today, I think the point is not that she was sinless. God didn’t choose her because of her perfection. Nor is the point to focus on how not special she was, to make a point of how God can work through the lowest and most base among us. The point is that God chose her and she said yes. For this we give thanks to God; for this we say with Elizabeth, “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb!” God chose her because God chose her, and that is reason enough.

God comes to each of us through the incarnate Christ. As Jesus comes among us, the great reversal of which Mary sings begins. The mighty will be brought low while the oppressed lift up their heads with hope. The hungry will finally feast while those who hoarded the abundance of the earth will be left empty-handed. God comes to each of us, overshadowing us with love and inviting us to say yes. To say with Mary, “Here am I, the servant of the Lord; let it be with me according to your word.”

May we learn from this most blessed of women. She teaches us how to love the God to whom she gave birth. And she teaches us to sing: “My soul magnifies the Lord!”

Be well, friends. You are loved.

God, the world revolts against your will and people suffer because of it. In similar circumstances, Mary had faith that you could change the world through her child. May we place our faith in this same child, Jesus Christ, who comes to upside-down our world. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Image: The Ghent Altarpiece, detail of the Virgin Mary. Jan van Eyck, between 1426 and 1429 (public domain).

From → COVID-19

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