Thursday, January 3, 2008

Getting this off my chest

Before the Christmas season is over, I just have to say this.

You know the song "Mary, Did You Know"? Well, I do not like that song. I just don't. It has a pretty melody and all, but I find the words unendurably grating. It seems to imply that Mary was so dense, she couldn't figure out that something unusual was happening.

Mary was:

~visited by an angel and told that she was going to conceive and that her baby would be called the Son of the Most High

Mary knew:

~that she hadn't had sexual intercourse with a man; her words to the angel Gabriel confirm that she not only hadn't had sex, but that she wasn't ever going to have sex. "How can this be?" she asked the angel. "Since I have no knowledge of man?" Not only did she not have any knowledge, she knew she was never going to have knowledge. Otherwise, what would the big deal have been, in finding out she was going to have a baby? Wouldn't most Hebrew brides expect to have babies? In that case, wouldn't the her response to the angel's announcement been, "Oh, that's sweet. Thanks for telling me." The news of an impending pregnancy would only give you pause if you hadn't had sex and knew you were never going to have it, as in, "How in the world is THAT going to happen?" Which is kind of what she said.

Mary went:

~ to go see her relative Elizabeth and heard Elizabeth cry out, "Who am I, that the mother of my Lord should come to me?"

Mary traveled:

~to Bethlehem with Joseph and gave birth

Mary entertained:

~some shepherds, who showed up unannounced in the stable with a story of hearing angels singing "Glory to God in the highest!" and being told that the Savior had just been born in Bethlehem, and

~three wise men (perhaps astonomers or astrologers) from afar, who followed the star of a king, bringing with them rich gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh.

And all of this happened when Jesus was a baby.

In a recent homily, Father said, "Mary did ponder things in her heart, but that's because she didn't know how God's plans for Jesus would unfold. She didn't ponder all these happenings in her heart because she didn't understand what was going on with her baby. Of course she knew who he was."

She knew. God picked her from before time began to be the mother of His son. She was the new ark of the new covenant. She knew.

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