When I was 6 years old, I played Mary in the parish Christmas pageant.
This was not by choice. I did not want to be Mary.
I wanted to be the little drummer boy. He got to play the drum. Mary didn’t do anything; she just stood there, holding the dumb doll.
For most of my life, this is how I’ve thought about Mary. She was for me one acted upon, not one who acts. She was the one who gave up her power too quickly, was too eager to obey. Mary was special because she was a Good Girl. I could be special, too, if I was gentle and kind and pure. That didn’t work for me so well. I was very good at being Good, but it didn’t feed my soul. Pageant Mary was not someone I wanted to be like.
Thankfully, there is more to Mary than was in that childhood pageant.
Mary was a co-creator with God. She was fully involved in the process. (If you want to know how involved, ask your mother.) Mary bore the Holy, nurtured the Holy, pushed the Holy into the world. She was not passive in her pregnancy or her giving birth.
Today, Mary calls me into action. Like her, I am called to be pregnant with the Holy. That which God would bring into the world through me, I have a responsibility to nurture, to bear, to birth. Thank God I have more to do than just stand there.
Maybe I’ll even play the drum.