At the Annunciation Mary's "yes"--"May
it be done to me according to your word"--was given both for life and death,
receiving and offering, victimhood and victory, joy and sorrow, for "nightfall
when weeping enters in" and for "the dawn" when there is "rejoicing" (see Psalm
30:6)! Mary's soul proclaims both "the greatness of the Lord" (see Luke 1:46),
and "the death of the Lord" (see 1 Cr. 11:26). These are all aspects of her
perpetual fiat that she desires to unite intercessors to. A "Marian-formed
heart" is a heart that accepts God's saving will in the world--sometimes
through suffering, sorrow and tears--but, oh, the unsurpassed joy as well!!
When the angel, Gabriel, said to Mary,
"For nothing will be impossible for God", we are reminded that it was through
her that God enfleshed himself in the world making it possible for Him to die
in a human nature. Through Mary He made the impossible possible: Godwould die on a cross. When Mary says, "I am
the servant of the Lord", she is uniting herself forever to the One who is the
"suffering servant" (see Is. 52:13-53:12) . Her words, "According to your word"
will ultimately refer to "according to your crucified-resurrected Word",
himself. At the Annunciation Mary conceived the Word of life who would enter
the world in order to offer himself for the life of the world!
Mary forms an intercessor to embrace
wholeheartedly the saving will of God in the world. In Luke 1:38 Mary speaks
forth the complete surrender of her will and her entire life into God's
hands--not unlike her Son's surrender: "Not what I will but what you will"
(Mark 14:36). This total handing over of oneself is reminiscent of Jesus' last
words on the cross, "Father into your hands I commend my spirit" (Luke 23:46). Living
out Luke 1:38 will lead each of us to "the palm of living martyrdom" as the
Holy Spirit and Mary draw us into the "paschal partnership" that she shares
with Jesus. For, more and more, it will be the King of martyrs, the Lamb himself,
who now lives within us. His great desire is to continue to live the mysteries
of his life--especially his dying and rising--within us.
Our call as intercessors is to
offer ourselves as holy victims pleasing in God's eyes (see Rom. 12:1-2). Mary
knows how to form us for true victimhood. This is a sharing in the
victimhood of "the Lamb and the woman". Keep in mind that the more one shares
in the victimhood of Jesus and Mary, the more one shares in their victory. There
is tremendous power in spiritual victimhood. We are speaking here of "a
lifestyle" of living out Luke 1:38.
Living Luke 1:38 as the "personal
paradigm" of one's life will always lead one to live out Col. 1:24 as well.
Col. 1:24 states, "In my flesh I am filling up what is lacking in the afflictions
of Christ on behalf of his body which is the church." One may be inclined
to ask "what is lacking in the afflictions of Christ?" The answer is that in
Jesus himself nothing is lacking. The mystery of his suffering is already
fulfilled in him--already complete. Yet, God created each of us with intellect
and free will. Each of us is invited to now exercise our intellect and free
will by accepting the truth of the Saving Love of Jesus, allowing the Lamb,
through Mary, to continue the mystery of his suffering and death in us, and
tochoose willfully to unite our
sorrows, sufferings and tears to those of the Lamb.
Mary was the first to live Col. 1:24 by
willfully uniting her suffering and sorrow to that of her Son, the "man of
sorrows". Col. 1:24 refers to the mystery of Jesus' passion being mysteriously
filled out in the present sufferings of the members of his Body, the Church.
Now through Mary, Jesus desires to give each of us a share in the mystery of
his paschal suffering--to extend it to us--to continue it in us. Mary knows how
to form an intercessor to willfully unite one's whole life to that of the Lamb
who was slain.
(to be continued)
I at peace, or am I anxious, of this call to victimhood?
I aware of any interior changes that might indicate that my heart is becoming
more a "Marian-formed" heart?
Any scripture from the text; 2 Cr. 4:10-12; 2 Cr. 5:15.
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