Daily Reflection
December 8th, 2004
Michael Lawler
Theology and the Center for Marriage & Family
Click here for a photo of and information on this writer.

It is easy to be fooled by the readings for today’s feast.  It is easy to assume they are all about the woman, but they are not, at least not primarily.  They are, as biblical readings always are, primarily about God and the marvelous deeds God is doing in our world.  The responsorial psalm proclaims that and invites us to “sing to the Lord a new song, for the Lord has done marvelous deeds.”  The Lord God has, indeed, done marvelous deeds for the woman, and the same God continues to do marvelous deeds for us.

“The serpent tricked me, so I ate” was the woman-Eve’s excuse for knowing evil.  “My brother made me do it” was most often mine’s, sometimes alternated, à la Flip Wilson, with the more expansive “the devil made me do it.”  Always the effort to shift responsibility for evildoing to someone other than myself.  Not so with the woman-Mary.  She does not claim the devil made her do it, or that someone tricked her and so she did evil.  No.  She questions the angel,  “How can this be since I have no relations with a man?”  The answer is the standard biblical one, God has done marvelous deeds yet again, and explanation given Mary’s response is acquiescence in God’s deed.  “Oh, I see, God’s at work here.  Then be it done to me according to your word.”  Would that I could see and acquiesce to God’s deeds with such graciousness.

Today’s feast, however, is not about God’s great deed in Mary’s pregnancy; it is about God’s even greater deed in Mary’s salvation.  Mary, daughter of ‘ad’am, humankind, ought to suffer the frailties that afflict all humankind.  She ought to suffer the consequences of sin that all humans suffer.  Today we celebrate that Mary never suffered those consequences, that she never suffered them because of God’s marvelous deed that saved her from them from her first moment in her mother’s womb, and that God, steadfast and unchanging, yesterday, today, and the same forever, saves us today as God saved Mary all those years ago.  The song we are called to sing today about God’s marvelous deeds of salvation, therefore, is the very same song Mary sang.  It is a new song, however, not because the song is new but because we the singers are new.  It is vital to the salvation of ‘ad’am, all humankind, that we who confess God sing that song to the marvelous deeds of God and remember that this song is to be sung primarily in deeds and not in words.  For “Not everyone who says to me ‘Lord, Lord’ will enter the kingdom of heaven but he [and she] who does the will of my Father.” (Matt, 7:21)  I invite us all to join today in singing and in doing that song in unison.

Click on the link below to send an e-mail response
to the writer of this reflection.

Let Your Friends Know About This Reflection By Sending Them An E-mail


Collaborative Ministry Office Guestbook