Mary: Blessed or Burdened?
Luke 1: 26-56
The angel’s announcement to Mary that she is favoured by God and will give birth to Jesus, and her response to this announcement, are familiar events in the Christmas story (though only featured in the Gospel of Luke). On one level, Mary’s acceptance of the immense task set before her can be seen as an example of faithful obedience. Yet, this key event can also raise questions about faith and our response to it, free will, responsibility, being chosen, being blessed etc. Is this the story of a faithful servant of God, who willingly makes the choice to be the mother of Jesus and feels honoured to do so? Is this about a frightened young girl who says yes because she doesn’t think she has the choice to say no? Or does her acceptance stem from unquestioning obedience and devoutness? Was Mary given a wonderful gift or unfairly burdened?