Monday, October 24, 2005

Mary, a Woman of Jubilee

On Saturday I went to the meeting of the Mariological Society of New England, held at Providence College. The main talk was very good, given by one of the Dominicans, a Fr. Wagner from Cincinnati. His topic was "Mary, Mirror of Justice." He related it to the new compendium of social teaching that was released recently. He talked about the idea of the covenant and connected with that, the jubilee year. Then he went through each of the joyful mysteries and tied those topics together. He said the Jubilee was designed to assure the salvific event of the Exodus. In Jesus' life there is a constant jubilee, lived through his whole life. Jesus continually lived on the Father's Providence. And Mary's whole life, too, was lived in jubilee.

In the Annunciation Mary inaugurated the new covenant. Her fiat was not simply a surrender but a full, human, free act. This reveals the covenant relationship God always sought with us. Mary responds to this by immediately going to help Elizabeth, thus sharing God's love.

In the Nativity we see the census, Rome numbering its subjects with an idea to exploit them. Instead, God takes note of Mary and her family in a loving way. Everyone involved is keeping Jubilee--the shepherds leave their flock to see what God has brought about. The Magi represent the jubilee of the Gentiles.

In the Presentation Jesus reveals the futility of human power before God. Mary gives her Son in the pattern of the Church who must present Jesus' teaching. Finally, in the Finding in the Temple, we see Mary pondering all this in her heart.

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