Blog Template Theology of the Body: Living in Advent Hope: ... with Mary, Pledge of Christ's Victory

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Living in Advent Hope: ... with Mary, Pledge of Christ's Victory

Because Christians live in the hope of that which is possessed already... because Mary is therefore called the heart of the Church, in as much as she uniquely knows and reveals the victory of her Son. Here is a triumphant and beautiful retrospect by Fr. Will Brown.

"Mary is a pledge of the victory that Christ has won for us on the cross. Having already fully reaped the benefits of Christ’s passion, having had her redemption sealed in the resurrection of her body, she shows to us the grace, the beauty, and the power of an intimate union with Jesus. She shows us our own destiny as children of God and as heirs with Christ of the promises of the Father: Mary shows us what it looks like to be a finite creature wrapped, by grace and faith and love, in God’s very own infinity.

Rather, Mary is presently an icon of what we are called to be be, by the grace of God. In the future, at the end of time, our perfection will be completed, even as hers has already been completed, when our deliverance from sin and death will be eternally sealed by the resurrection of our bodies, the loosing of the bonds of physical corruption and decay, to which we and everything in the material universe is presently subjected. As St. Paul says: the last enemy to be destroyed by Christ, is death itself (1 Corinthians 15.26). And when our Lord’s victory over death is sealed by the resurrection of our bodies, at Christ’s second coming, then – but not till then – we too will come into our inheritance – the inheritance of his glory, of divinity, of incorruptibility, and of life everlasting. Then we too will be crowned with glory and immortality, even as Mary has already been crowned (2 Timothy 4.8 & Rev. 12.1).

Mary’s greatness is her exaltation is a reflection of Christ’s greater exaltation. And Mary’s exaltation makes a difference because she is an icon of ourselves. In looking at her, in contemplating her, we see something about ourselves, something about our own relationship with God, about who we are and about who we are called to be in relationship to Christ. Understanding Mary to be the Immaculate Virgin-Mother of God who even now participates intimately in Christ’s own redeeming work – this understanding is an affirmation of what is possible for us through him when we assent with Mary to God’s call to us, when we open our hearts to the overflow of his grace in our lives. When we venerate Mary for her assent to the call of God in her life, we are in some measure assenting to the call of God in our own lives, and we are affirming the gracious possibilities of our own vocations as children of God, as his servants and handmaidens; When we venerate Mary for her openness to the Holy Spirit of God, we are affirming the possibility of the power of the Holy Spirit working in and through us, enabling us to minister Christ to this broken world, through our assent to God’s call.

When we say to God, with Mary, “Be it done to me according to thy Word,” then we become, with Mary, “full of grace” – filled with his grace – then the Light of Christ that is the Life of the world and the glory of God, begins to shine inside of us - then we become bearers of God in the person of Jesus Christ. His grace and his power begin to flow through us, his light begins to shine in us; He suffers Himself to be brought by us to others in need of Him, to be born of us, to a world groaning for salvation."