There’s Something About Mary – Synchroblog
I didn’t grow up saying “hail Mary”s. Most little Italian girls did, but I didn’t. (I grew up hailing Twila Paris and Amy Grant, you could say.) It took me a while to understand what those beaded necklacy-things were that my Catholic relatives had, too.
When I studied in Rome in 1999, my favorite place to church-gawk was at Santa Maria in Trastevere. It has been said that this church, dating back to the 4th century, was one of the first places where the eucharist was celebrated publically. The mosaics of Mary there always held my stares.
There is something about Mary that little Protestant girls tend to miss out on. (Maybe little Roman Catholic girls do, too.) I grew up reacting to Mary, and distancing myself from her, because I couldn’t understand why some honored her so.
As I grow up, I think I’m becoming (a little) less reactionary. Today, “redeeming the season” for me means reconsidering Mary’s role in ushering in the King.
There’s something about Mary that made her instinctively trust that the Father was good, even when Gabriel brought her such troubling news. I get such a kick out of all those old, beautiful icons of Mary at the annunciation. As it is announced that she will have this Kingly-baby, she is so often depicted with a hand out and a frightened look. A bit of artistic understatement, I’d say.
From what I gather, this supposed good-tidings-of-great-joy annoucement to Mary was plain awful news for her in the short-term. There were unspoken cultural implications to Gabe’s message, and we often skip over these for the happy ending.
“Surprise! In a few weeks, your whole village will presume you’re a whore! And your fiance will likely not marry you, either!”
There’s something about Mary that she trusted that God was good, even when he was asking her to suffer. And suffer she did as she watched her little baby hang on a cross, about thirty years later.
And even that suffering was prophesied to her. It was not a surprise. Yet, she protected and pondered all of these things in her heart as she helped raise her Jesus, the Christ.
Mary is an unlikely picture of outrageous trust. I wonder what her earthly dad was like, and if he surprised her with good things when she wasn’t looking. I wonder if that made it that much easier to trust God the Father in her greatest moment.
When I pray for my generation, I pray that the fatherless and the ones deeply wounded by their fathers would somehow be able to trust that God the Father is good. We need more unsuspecting characters, like teenage Mary, to point us back to these simple starting points. Particularly during a season of welcoming.
Read on below and check out what other folks are saying about “Redeeming the Season.”
(There’s Something About Mary photo by Eyetoeye)