Mary, Men, and Women

Poor Mary.

It’s not like being the Christ bearer wasn’t hard enough.  She has to tolerate our deeply mixed motives for loving her.

For men, among others, it’s the need of a mother.  For women she’s a rallying point for women’s rights and empowerment.

There are arguments to be made for both points of view, but she was and is so much more.

There’s not a lot to go on in the Gospels and it’s hard to know how much another version of projected needs were already at work in the first telling of the story, but what a poignant mix of faith, courage, love, confusion, fear, sorrow, despair, and unflinching devotion.  And what a very different starting point if we take that picture seriously: the work and Kingdom of God.

Makes you think that as an intercessor she probably has more in mind for us than a mommy and equal rights — proving yet again that what we want and what we need is never quite the same thing.

The good news is: what a woman.  A Jesuit friend of mine observes: “When a door closes, Mary kicks out a window.”


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