From a human-interest point of view, there’s very little about Mary in Luke’s Gospel—but there is some such information. She’s close to her family and she’s a worrying, even scolding, mother to her adolescent son. Other details than these hold the Evangelist’s interest, while of dogmatic issues, like the Immaculate Conception, he displays no knowledge.
In today’s Gospel, as in Mary’s Magnificat, ancestry is important, one evoking King David and the other, Abraham our father. Mary blossoms from a network of relationships connected by God’s promises, her forebears fulfilled in their descendants. They are all vibrantly connected, and they are vibrantly present to her, not pale memories or mere information.
We could trace that network all the way to Adam and Eve and a broader context: God’s investment of trust in us. In creation, God risked in angels and human beings, the potential of free will to fulfill the divine plan. If in the infancy of humanity we are not quite up to the challenge, God patiently sticks with us, encouraging, teaching, correcting, ever challenging and supporting us.
Through her ancestry, through the traditions and hopes of her people, Mary perpetuates this endeavor, learning from their experience, capable of the free response, co-operation and collaboration for which God has created us.
Oddly enough, neither Mary nor God alone could actualize the crucial outcome, the Incarnation, without such a partnership; this is why the human race was created. From this perspective, Mary as the Immaculate Conception cannot be celebrated as the exception to the rule of human experience but as the archetype of what we are created to be.
We are, in fact, celebrating what we can still become, not just what our ancestors fumbled or what we miserably perpetuate. And just like Mary, we only arrive at that blessed state by redemption through this same Incarnation, through her son, the Son of God, the Son of Man.