The focus of our gathering this 4th Sunday of Advent is Mary, mother of Jesus. Seems like a good idea given that without Mary there would be no Christmas!
In the 1st Century, as one part of the early church began to develop, assert and impose its own brand of Orthodoxy – ‘the correct way’ of interpreting the birth, life and death of Jesus, the roles and lives of women were suppressed and diminished. As were the differing perspectives of many individuals and groups of that time.
Mary is one such person. Except for a few glimpses her humanity is reduced to being a purified vessel for delivering the child of heaven to earth. Thereafter she disappears and re-appears in just a few cameo moments. Sadly, we hear very little from her or about her. But clearly, she was very close to him to the point of becoming one of his inner circle of followers. I say sadly, because most mothers I know have been very influential in the development of their children.
It’s a real shame that she didn’t get to ‘record’ a gospel version of her own. A mother’s perspective would have been very insightful. But then again, perhaps she went one step better – perhaps she was the fundamental inspiration of the gospel itself: perhaps it was from Mary that Jesus learned about the prophets, and things like justice, compassion and kindness and endurance.
Sometimes even a flight of fancy contains some truth.