Magnificat: Meditation on The Annunciation (Luke 1:26-55)
This month we will be sharing a collection of short readings by Northeastern Seminary alumni as they reflect on and rejoice in the gifts of God's grace and the signs of Christ present during this Advent Season. Today's guest post was written by Suzanne Pearson.
For God so loved us that he humbled himself, emptied himself, and took the form of an embryo, fetus, and infant, becoming dependent on a woman’s “Yes” to be conceived, carried, and birthed, and humanity with him, into new life.
This woman risked everything she had to bear this child, including her comfort, her security, her relationship, and even her life. Reason told her she’d be abandoned by her betrothed, stoned, and left to die for her choice, yet her faith, greater than her fear, in her God’s promise, encouraged her and she rejoiced.
God knew her better than she knew herself. Troubled at first, he’d surprised her by entrusting her with this gift of new life and she was as close as his own heart. In a moment of profound vulnerability and intimacy she responded, “Let it happen to me as you have said.” First born in her heart, her consent to conceive, bear, and mother the child who would grow to bear the world became flesh.
Worldly curse gave way to divine blessing and she rejoiced that God had “looked upon her humiliation” and yes, all generations since have called her “Blessed.” It was her faith that opened the way to make us whole.
Mary, our mother in faith, first shared her good news with her aging cousin, Elizabeth and found her also blessed, as had been promised. Elizabeth’s child leapt for joy within her in recognition of the One who was to come and his mother affirmed for Mary the song in her heart, “Blessed is she who believed the promise made by her Lord would be fulfilled.” And Mary sang her song out loud. The Church, throughout the ages, rejoices as Elizabeth did, in the coming of Mary, the Mother of our Lord and Mary’s song has become our canticle.
Faithful women, centuries later, still called and entrusted with the birthing of God’s kingdom in adverse circumstances, continue to rejoice in the faithful love of the Almighty for us and in the power of His mighty arm which has routed the arrogant of heart, pulled down princes from their thrones, and raised high the lowly.
Woman knows and trusts her God’s promise because of one woman’s yes to bear a Child. Continuing to believe, she waits for history to catch up. A joyful yes still echos in the hearts and bodies of women everywhere, blessed forever with divine inheritance.
Suzanne Pearson, M.A. ‘09 serves as a prayer guide for the 19th Annotation Retreat of the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius at the Mercy Prayer Center, as a faith sharing group facilitator at Northeastern Seminary, and in liturgical ministry and adult faith formation at The Cathedral Community.