Today’s Gospel passage focuses on the announcement of Jesus’s conception in Mary’s womb. However, today’s solemnity memorializes the church’s teaching that Mary herself was conceived in her mother, Anne’s womb, without original sin, the “happy fault” we inherited from Adam and Eve. Despite the confusion this pairing causes, what light does Luke’s Gospel passage coupled with the first reading from Genesis shine upon Mary’s singular role in human history? Perhaps it is the idea of “being seen.”
In the first reading, Adam hides from God, not wanting to be seen in his nakedness. How often do we hide from God and from one another, not wanting to reveal our true selves, the selves we know to fall short of others’ expectations and our own? Yet in Mary—one of us!—our true human selves are seen, really seen.In Mary, God reveals that in our truest human nature, we are not destined to be fallen. Click To Tweet
We might say “I feel seen” when someone says something that connects with our truest selves. Maybe Gabriel’s message did this for Mary so that she could see and conceive what God could do through her. Imagine if we would do that for one another.
In Mary, God reveals that in our truest human nature, we are not destined to be fallen. With Mary’s example and through Jesus, her son, we are destined to be chosen to manifest God’s glory for all the world to see.
This post was first published in “GIA Quarterly: A Liturgical Music Journal.”
Image credit: Photo by Bartolome Esteban Murillo (Spanish, 1617-1682) from Cleveland Museum of Art CCO Images.
Read more reflections on the Sunday readings here:
- The heart of the Eucharist
- Come and fill our hearts
- The slow work of the Spirit
- Listen for the Spirit
- Let’s be recognized