Readings: Revelation 11:19; 12:1-6, 10; 1 Corinthians 15:20-26; Luke 1:39-56
If Saint Luke’s narrative of the Annunciation can leave an impression that Mary is a sedentary, passive agent of God’s will, today’s readings do not support that. They inform us that Mary was never merely acquiescent but attentively receptive. That’s not passive!
That is a concrete, conscious and engaged response, not only overflowing into human life, not only overflowing as a new human life, but characteristic of the best of being human.
The mysterious woman in the Book of Revelation gives birth and moves. Mary does not gaze in wonder at herself but goes to assist her cousin Elizabeth. Mary must at least co-operate and enflesh, literally, the will of God as only she can. It is her DNA that realizes the Word of God as her child; it is Mary who realizes that the Word of God is the will of God.
Mary did not emerge from a vacuum. She is descended from a long line of very fragile, fallible, battered people whom we know not just as names but as protagonists in very human stories. Mary is our human ascent to God’s involvement in our fragility.
It works both ways, doesn’t it? Don’t we, too, need to respond, be as engaged, as conscious, as concrete when God gets involved in our human mess?
But there is more: this engagement doesn’t just echo in eternity. Mary’s Assumption indicates that, even now, we must engage and move into eternity.