Saturday, December 4, 2010

Silent Night: God Comes to the Margins of a Brutal Empire to a Poor, Unwed Jewish Woman

Jesuit John Dear writes, in his book Mary of Nazareth, Prophet of Peace,

"Mary was a poor, young, unwed, Jewish woman living in the small village of Nazareth on the outskirts of the brutal Roman empire. She would have been familiar with poverty, oppression, humiliation, violence, hunger, militarism terrorism and war.

Historians tell us that the Romans executed thousands of revolutionaries throughout Palestine during her lifetime. Mary might have even witnessed crucifixion firsthand, long before Jesus went to Jerusalem...

In this world of violence, Mary retreated to her inner room and surrendered herself to the God of nonviolence. She practiced contemplative non-violence. She was a woman of solitude, a woman of prayer, a woman of nonviolence. In the image of the Annunciation, Mary sits waiting for God and God's direction for her...

When the Angel Gabriel appeared with extraordinary news, Mary responded naturally, calmly, peacefully, "Behold, I am the maidservant of the LORD, let it be done to me according to your word"

So, Mary teaches us that the first step on the road to peace is to become people of contemplative nonviolence. That means like Mary we need to sit in solitude and listen for God. It means giving up our violence..."

Isaiah 53: "Who has believed our message and to whom has the arm of the LORD been revealed? He grew up before him like a tender shoot, and like a root out of dry ground...More

In the anarchic pagan world in which came the call to Abraham, Moses and the judges, the LORD, we are taught, first needed to teach the world the norm of Justice, i.e., no more than "an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth." But with the prophets we see a progressive trajectory of revelation beyond mere justice in the direction of forgiveness, mercy, compassion, even towards the stranger; beyond all self-confident reliance on ritual sacrifice... In the fullness of the time, in Jesus of Nazareth, the Lamb of God, Israel's Messiah, we see finally and forever the revelation of God as Love incarnate, come to His people, come to atone for sin, to save sinners, to set the poor and captive free.

The One Who [alone] "Is". That the Creator of all things should speak His Word to His own creation, should hardly be surprising, especially to any who see that nothingness has no potency to 'create' any-thing, precisely because it is not... After the creation of the universe, all genuine miracles are mere footnotes. To this day all mankind ponders Who He is...

--->A Pill to Die For. New Morning-After Pill With Longer Timeline Arrives on Pharmacy Shelves...Please note the euphemisms and sophistry used in this piece...

--->Confessions of Someone Who Truly Does Not Know It All-Yet... "While Jesus was having dinner at Levi’s house, many tax collectors and sinners were eating with him and his disciples, for there were many who followed him. When the teachers of the law who were Pharisees saw him eating with the sinners and tax collectors, they asked his disciples: "Why does he eat with tax collectors and sinners?"---Mark 2:15-16

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