Mary and the Incarnation

Pencil Preaching for Monday, August 15, 2022

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“How does this happen to me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me?” (Luke 1:41).

Solemnity of the Assumption of Mary

Rev 11:19A; 12:1-6A, 10AB; 1 Cor 15:20-27; Luke 1:39-56

If Jesus Christ is the cosmic bridge between God and Man, then Mary, as mother of the Incarnation, provides the bridge between divinity and humanity. A divine Person enters history though a human mother. His flesh and blood are her flesh and blood. As Mary makes Jesus human, so Jesus sanctifies her. The Assumption of Mary is the culmination of her role in the Incarnation. The mysterious transformation of all those who are embodied into Christ by baptism is celebrated today in the Assumption of Mary, the first human being to have claimed the destiny that awaits us all — eternal life in God.

All of this theology tries to tell the much more tangible mystery of all the mothers giving birth in the great genealogy of salvation history. From Sarah, Rebecca, Leah and Rachel, down through the tortuous twists and turns of the blood line that includes Tamar, Ruth and Bathsheba, comes Mary of Nazareth. Her Yes to the Angel Gabriel, opens time to eternity, history to a divine destiny. The Spirit of the promise already present in the story that began with Eve becomes flesh in Jesus, son of Adam, son of David, son of Joseph and Mary, Son of God.

Even the cosmic scene in the Book of Revelation affirms that the New Creation is inaugurated by a woman giving birth. The woman surrounded by stars is pregnant with the future of the universe, and no evil or resistance can prevent God’s ultimate design from being born.

We rejoice to be part of this immense and enduring story of hope. Our birth, then rebirth by grace, initiates in us the same journey from "Yes" to our share in the paschal mystery of Jesus. Each time we die to self we consent to the challenges of love; but we rise to new life in the same surrender, until we complete our own baptismal journey. Mary knows the way because she has led the way through her son Jesus to the glory in God that awaits us all. Her Assumption reassures us that we, too, will be born to glory in the passages we make each day by faith.

How many births have been prepared for by saying the humble "Hail Mary," repeating her consent, asking for her help as we go forward in Christ? This is the joy of the Gospel.

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