"Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord" (Luke 2:38).
“God has looked with favor on his lowly servant” (Luke 1:48).
Just as there are many Christologies, high and low, there are also different Mariologies. In John's Gospel, Jesus is divine Lord, self-aware and supernatural. In Mark, he is the “Son of Man” (human being), limited and learning, unable to work miracles without faith. Likewise, Mary is prescient and directive at the wedding feast at Cana (John 2:1), but anxious and checked at the door when she and family come to claim Jesus, fearing that he is “out of his mind” (Mark 3:21).
"In the beginning was the Word" (John 1:1).
Snow is falling across the city, a blanket that is both shroud for the dying year and pristine cloak for year about to be born. The world is defined in its seasons and obeys the deeper cycles of planetary motion unmindful of us and our need for meaning. Everything depends on how we interpret the silence. We need stories to tell us where we came from, who we are and where we are going.
“The strength of God’s arm” (Luke 1:49).
“Hail, Mary, full of grace (Luke 1:27).
The dogma of the Immaculate Conception has confounded many Cathoolics, most Protestants and even some theologians since it was promulgated in 1854 by Pope Pius IX, who, by the way, also gave us papal infallibility and the Syllabus of Errors. Ordinary Catholics get it mixed up with Mary’s conception of Jesus. Protestants strenuously object to Catholic teachings not in the Bible. Theologians have had to work through the implications of Mary’s privileged state vis-a-vis Original Sin, Grace and Christ’s exclusive role as Savior.