Mary: Feast of the Assumption
Mary is a slightly terrifying concept, but at the same time, not really. Slightly terrifying like a Latina Madre. For those of us with good dads and tough moms, she makes sense. She doesn’t get enough credit in evangelical churches. And she is kind of a big deal in the Catholic Church (along with other liturgically minded groups including but not limited to Lutheran, Anglican, Episcopal, and Orthodox). Perhaps, I’ve just been doing the Catholic thing too long. Perhaps a Catholic, might be like, “Why don’t we pay more attention to Jesus?!?!?!” Or whoever.
Think about it, there are hundreds of Bible characters. There are thousands of legendary/influential people over the course of the history of Christianity. How do you fit it all into church? Well, you have a liturgy. For those of you unfamiliar with the liturgy, it is a daily, organized reading of Scripture along with traditional prayers that makes the daily Mass. So, if you go to Mass everyday, you hear most, if not all of the Bible read out loud over the years.
In addition to the heavy reading, many of the days are dedicated to saints and feasts and such. So, each day you can also celebrate different influential people in the church. So organized!
“Oh, but Paige, what about the Holy Spirit, the current needs of the church. That liturgy thing is so rigid!”
No it’s not. Whoever is giving the homily can preach on whatever they want, like any church.
And stop putting the Spirit in a box. The liturgy is Spirit led. Instead of whatever leader choosing whatever they feel like is the need/scripture/influencer to be preached about every Sunday, there is something to guide/follow, that everyone (in the world who follows the liturgy) is also reading. This is incredible! Think of how freeing this is for local church leadership. It is with great intentionality that the readings and liturgy exist, not lackadaisical independent church leadership. You can see my bias… for now.
As the evangelical’s trust in the Spirit leading the leaders, and in the power of the message/worship every Sunday that is somehow meant just for them in that moment, Catholic’s trust the same way and they have for a much longer time.
All that being said: Mary. Theotokos (not tacos). Mother of God.
Did you hear that? MOTHER OF GOD!
Now, for Catholics, this is one of their usual no big deals big deals. Until Catholic theology school I hadn’t given much thought to Mary. Just another Bible character, a woman of no consequence, used by a man. But seriously—MOTHER OF GOD. If you think about Mary this way, as an evangelical, you can kind of understand why Catholics would make such a big deal about her, assume that she remained a virgin, and never died (the Assumption is like a double entendre).
Not only is she a symbol of obedience and humility at Christmas, but also THE MOTHER OF GOD. I feel like I need to add some expletives in there.