Solemnity of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of God
January 1, 2020
Numbers 6:22-27; Galatians 4:4-7; Luke 2:16-21

“And Mary kept all these things, reflecting on them in her heart.” Luke 2:19

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I love Mary. One of the reasons for this is that she has preserved femininity and mysticism in a Church that has not always been friendly to either and often outright hostile. I also love how she questions and ponders. Yes, she famously says “Yes” to God’s plan of salvation, but not before she asks “How can this be?” When unexpected things happen as this plan unfurls, she frequently reflects on them in her heart. Mary is a model for all of us, reminding us that faith is not about certainty and irrefutable laws and doctrines, but a journey of questioning, pondering, and delving into the mystery as we make room in our hearts for an ever-bigger God who is more inclusive, nonviolent, just, peaceful, and loving than we could have ever imagined before.

How do you imagine God? Is the Father just a man in the sky, or can God be feminine, mysterious, and universal too? Are all your images of Jesus white and male, or can He be middle-eastern as He was or even Nigerian, Indian, Korean, Mexican, or female like the disciples He dwells in? Is the Holy Spirit just a meek dove, or can She be a raging fire that transforms our hearts and the world or a small whisper in our ears as well? Mary trusted God, but never claimed to fully understand Her — that was part of the wonderful journey of her faith.

As you begin this new year, consider how you have put God in a box and let Mary be your guide for taking God out of the box.

Reflection by Brian Ashmankas


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