“family is more than blood” (“There’s something about Mary”, Part 4)

At laluchamapulpito, definwaldmar concludes his Marian series, “There’s something about Mary”.

Here is my fourth reflection for “There’s something about Mary” looking at the theme of family in the Gospels of Matthew and John.  As the family of the church has recently experienced a change with the election of Pope Francis, understanding ourselves through family I believe takes on special significance–may the Pope and all of us embrace our identities by remembering that in the kingdom family is more than blood. 

Jesus Praying w Mary

In reflecting over the writings on Mary in the Gospels of Matthew and John, a theme that jumps out is familia (family).  Both writers deal with the idea of family by expanding the notion of how one belongs to a family and family as a place where one encounters their identity and mission.

Matthew continues the theme of family based on faith seen in Luke and Mark’s Gospels through the narrative of Mary and Joseph’s yes to GOD’s yet to be fully defined plan.  Joseph’s obedience to GOD’s will places him among the disciples based on the later description of family and discipleship given by Jesus—people belong to Jesus’ family based on their active faith to building the kindom.  It is this unknown carpenter’s entrega to GOD’s will that creates the tie that will connect him to Jesus as a father, for it is not blood but faith that matters.  Like Mary, Joseph committed himself to a silent, subtle prophetic life without any point of reference or a burning bush or a promise of descendents—just a dream that GOD was behind what was happening, period.  Mary’s entrega is the forerunner that opens the door for Joseph to say yes; he follows her lead breaking the traditional role of the wife following the husband’s lead.

For Jews the family and community are central to the formation of one’s identity.  Who one is as an individual stems from the community through the retelling of stories in cultic practice and in the home.  Matthew’s genealogy is a reminder of the importance of knowing where one comes from and of connecting with one’s roots.  As Latin@s it is important for us to understand who we are today by tracing back our family’s many apellidos (last names) to learn one’s family history and to embrace where we’ve come from (Delfin Waldemar Bautista Hernandez Rodriguez Varona Monterrosa). Though scholars use the genealogy to demonstrate how Jesus is connected to the patriarchs of the people if Israel reflecting him as the new Adam; the genealogy also serves Jesus on a personal level by reminding Him of His connection with the history of His people.  He comes from the stalk of brave women like His mother who lived out their lives regardless of personal risk.  These memories and stories of his Mother as well as others in the genealogy help in the development of His identity.  It is not necessarily a bloodline as it is a line of faith that a mother uses to tell a story to her Son about the examples of entrega y valor of those who came before Him.

– continue reading at la lucha, mi pulpito.

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“There’s Something About Mary” – Part One

For queer Catholics and for feminists, Mary can be an enigmatic, contradictory figure. At ma lucha, ma pulpito, DELFINWALDEMAR has a series exploring the enigma, introducing the subject with:

The next few reflections and sermonettes will be part of a series I am calling “there’s something about Mary” and will queery Marian Devotion and Theology.  The image, person, and theologies of Mary, mother of Jesus, have been important in my journey of faith as a queer Latin@ with Catholic roots.  I hope this series introduces, or reintroduces , Mary not as a person or deity who so holy she is un-relatable; rather, my hope is to share her as a woman of la lucha who shares in our journey of making sense of G-d’s presence within us and among us, as a person who truly preached from a pulpit grounded in solidarity with others. 

Flag carried by Miguel Hidalgo and his insurge...

Flag carried by Miguel Hidalgo and his insurgent army. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

Here’s the opening of the first instalment:

 

who do you say that i am?

Being raised Roman Catholic, I grew up with an idealized image of La Virgen.  She was the pure, untouched, holy Virgin who was an example of faithful entrega to God—the immaculate vessel through which GOD came near.  Sister Elizabeth Johnson’s historical-critical portrayal of Mary in “Truly Our Sister” enriched my understanding of Miriam of Galilee by presenting a real woman who lived a real life.  Her description humanizes Mary in a way that does not diminish her value but makes her more accessible and easier to relate to.  She does not give a hyper-fanatic or idealized account of Our Lady’s life but gives historical anecdotes that provide glimpses into the mind, life, and faith of a woman whose decision radically changed the life of her family, her community, and of history.

I have often asked myself what are the origins of Marian devotion and theology?  Did she have an honored place for among Jews and the early Christian Tribe?  Throughout the discussions and debates on polity, policy, doctrine, rites of initiation, who-is-in-and-who-is-out, and liturgical practice in the early formation of the Roman Church, where did Marian theology fall—did her example, witness, or life inform any of the discussions that took place?

via la lucha, mi pulpito.

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