Thursday, September 8, 2011

Mary : Born This Day

Today, 8 September, is the Feast of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary and the source of the story for her birth cannot be found in the Bible but in the Protoevangelium of James, an apocryphal gospel written about A.D. 150. From it, we learn the names of Mary's parents, Joachim and Anna, as well as the tradition that the couple was childless until an angel appeared to Anna and told her that she would conceive.

Based on what we have read from various authors, Mary was a daughter of middle-class family who is unimportant social status-wise, in this equally unimportant town of Nazareth as the elite of Jerusalem would call it. She’s quite unknown outside this little town though she was completely familiar to her neighbors in their district. While Mary had the advantages of staying in the Temple, her education had been like that of any other Jewish girl of her time. In the Temple, though her main task had been to keep the sanctuary tidy, she had a great, happy chance of being exposed to the truth of the Scriptures. And, lo and behold, she practiced her faith wholeheartedly!

Since we have a very little or limited accounts of her birth, we can only speculate little Mary was an exquisite child who bring joy and cheers to her aging parents, not unlike Sophia, my youngest child. As it was in the beginning, Mary’s “only” goal in life was to be a child that God wanted her to be: to be a perfect person. And again, lo and behold, she achieved it with flying colors!

She was with her Son when he came into this world and built the entire economic system on the existence and inferior position of the poor and the downtrodden of their time. Since the wedding at Cana, Mary brought Jesus to the concerns and issues of society and not only to the world. Just like Mary, we are duty bound to bring Jesus in our every struggle, say against abusive power-wielders here and now. If we bring the incarnate Word in the unjust situation that we are currently in, we are assured of victory simply because we let Him in.

In our struggle against the dark forces (who are the main culprits why we are experiencing the power shortage that we are currently in Occidental Mindoro), God is with us. I am sure for it is obvious that Jesus’ agenda for us people who are facing the hardships of life and powerlessness (both electrical and political!) be redeemed from the claws of greedy bureaucrats-capitalist in our midst, especially those in the energy sector (others prefer to be called mere “talkers” than to be in the company of those people). And the most powerful expression of this Gospel truth is the Magnificat, that startling song of Mary: “He has put down the mighty from their thrones and has exalted the lowly and has filled the hungry with good things and set the rich way empty” (Lk 2:46-55).

Mary as a mother, I just presume, fully realized that the gracious power of Christ cannot be limited to the personal and interpersonal realms alone, but include the body politic, the socio-economic system that we are in, which we create and which in turn form us …

(Photo from Catholic Resources)

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