Mary, Mother of The People
This is a beautiful South American Liberation Theological discussion of Mary, mother of Jesus that is from Truly Our Sister
by ElizabethJohnson in ARCWP Bishop Bridget Mary’s Blog.
Wednesday, February 26, 2014-Brazilian Theologians Ivone Gebara and Maria Clara Bingemer
Offer Liberating View of Mary of Nazareth
Who Stands on the Margins
with the Oppressed
Elizabeth Johnson cites Brazilian Theologians
Ivone Gebara and Maria Clara Bingemer
whose interpretation of the Marian doctrines of
the Immaculate Conception and
the Assumption provide a
“liberating impulse and can be made to work as allies in
the struggle for life.
For the Immaculata venerated on our altars is the poor Mary of
insignificant in the social structure of her time.
This Mother of the People bears within herself the confirmation
preference for the humblest, the littlest, the most oppressed.
The so-called Marian privilege is really the privilege of the poor.
Similarly, believing in Mary’s Assumption means proclaiming
that the woman who gave birth in a stable among animals,
who shared a life of poverty, who stood at the foot of the cross
as the mother of the condemned has been exalted.
The Assumption is the glorious culmination of the
mystery of God’s preference for what is poor, small,
and unprotected in this world.
It sparks hope in the poor and those who stand in solidarity with them
‘that they will share in the final victory of the incarnate God.’
To understand these doctrines aright, we cannot forget that
they talk of God exalting a woman who lived in poverty and anonymity.
As Mary sang in the Magnificat, they reveal the ways of God
whose light shines on what is regarded as insignificant and marginal.”
Ivone Gebera and Maria Clara Bingemer,
Mary Mother of God, Mother of the Poor, 113,120-1
cited in Elizabeth Johnson, Truly Our Sister, p. 149
As we address issues of women’s empowerment in the church
and world including women priests, we can take heart that
Mary of Nazareth is our beloved sister and companion on the
journey toward justice rising up from the margins.
Yes, women are the face of God.
Our bodies are holy and we are called to stand around the altar
with our brothers and sisters and celebrate God’s extravagant
love for all at the Banquet Table.
The hierarchy cannot continue to discriminate against women
and blame God for it because God is on the side of the
marginalized and oppressed in our world and church.
Bridget Mary Meehan, ARCWP, www.arcwp.org