Many misdeeds against women have come to light in recent months. And in this light, I hear Mary’s song, the ‘Magnificat’, with entirely different ears.
We find this fight song in the gospel according to Luke (1:46b-55)
“My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior, for he has looked with favor on the lowliness of his servant. Surely, from now on all generations will call me blessed; for the Mighty One has done great things for me, and holy is his name. His mercy is for those who fear him from generation to generation. He has shown strength with his arm; he has scattered the proud in the thoughts of their hearts. He has brought down the powerful from their thrones, and lifted up the lowly; he has filled the hungry with good things, and sent the rich away empty. He has helped his servant Israel, in remembrance of his mercy, according to the promise he made to our ancestors, to Abraham and to his descendants forever.”
According to different sources, the word or term of the year 2017 is either feminism, or silence breakers, or ‘me too’, or complicit. I think most of us, and especially the women, know all too well why that is. I personally had my share of ‘me too’ moments, and I bet many out there (and not only women) had theirs.
Mary back in the day let her voice ring out. She broke the silence about injustice and a world in which peace, love, and goodwill are often overshadowed by greed, raw power and violence – and, as a woman, she probably knew a thing or two about a society which is rigged against women.
Now the vision Mary expresses in her song is yet to be fulfilled. But this is the vision she shares with the one she bears – it is God’s vision, and we are to live into that hope.
And part of this may just be to break the silence ourselves. For us women and those who have been harassed or sexually assaulted, it may be uncomfortable, it may bring up hurtful memories, and we may think that we better let the past be the past, what can we change now anyway? Doesn’t it say ‘forgive and forget’? But we owe it to our daughters and granddaughters and those girls and women we mentor, to those who are harassed because of their gender identity or sexuality, to lift up our voices – lest the injustice committed against them repeats itself in perpetuity. We owe it to Mary, mother of all of us who have been touched by the love and grace of her son. Let us live into the vision, God’s vision, of a world, where truly peace and goodwill toward all human beings reign.
Let us pray:
God, in this Advent season, a time when we express our hopes for a world turned around, we come before you with our stories and our hurts. We entrust it all to you, confident, that you have the power to heal and to change. We look with hope at the child in the manger, a God who promises to make peace and goodwill among all humankind a reality. Amen
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