(I am reading Cross Shattered Christ by Stanley Hauerwas for the next seven days of lent. One chapter a day, one blog post a day.)
Woman, behold thy son! …Behold thy mother! John 19:26-27
… it must be admitted that none of the Gospels portray Jesus as family-friendly. p50
Todays word directly concerns mary. And Hauerwas takes it on headlong. He asks the question, does the third word actually show Jesus concern for Marys well being? He points out that Jesus didn’t seem family centric. He questions why Jesus wasn’t the new abraham, introducing us to the thought of Mary as the new abraham. He establishes Mary’s position as a member of the church, not greater than the church, yet concludes that Mary does have a first among the church position, due to her giving permission to God for to be used for the birth of the son of God, and further her having to watch for this Son of hers, be crucified.
To be honest I have never really thought about the role of Mary. I guess this is due to my upringing, within an evangelical Protestant context where the catholic understanding of mary is at best ignored. I like the idea of Mary being the first of this new community. That christianity is the fruit of a courageous girl who said, “yip I will take a chance on you, random angel dude”. Not sure i am ready to start on a course of hail mary’s but liking this though as Hauerwas explains it.
augustine observed that God who created us without us refuses to save us without us. Mary is the first great representative of that “us”