Friday, August 15, 2008
The Assumption of Mary
I have a dear friend from "da Bronx" who claims he was born a 'lapsed Catholic'.
He once said, "Ya know, I gotta hand one thing to the Catlick's. Dey don't know for sure if Mary was the Muddah of God. They ASSUME it. An den, dey make a BIG FEAST to celebrate their assumption. Now," he explains as he finishes his favorite religious soliloquy, "dat's real class!"
Today is the "Feast of St. Mary" as it is known in The Anglican Church. The Roman Catholics call it "The Feast of the Assumption of Mary."
Lots of things are 'assumed' about Mary that make her bodily assumption into heaven an opportunity to shrug your shoulders and say, "Yeah, well, whatever."
That she was a young, unwed maiden, betrothed to a much older man, when an Angel told her that she was going to have God's baby.
And . . . not only did she accept this as truth and her fate, she actually sang "The Magnificat" as her response.
And . . . she was an actual virgin when she gave birth to Jesus.
And . . . she had no further pregnancies but this one Anointed Child, but that Jesus had sisters and brothers.
And . . .much is made of her "obedience" and "submission to the Will of God."
Holy Rome has presented for acceptance these 'scriptural facts' as matters of faith.
Of course, the Assumption of Mary can't be found anywhere in scripture.
I'm more concerned with these and other assumptions of Mary because, like it or not, believe it or not, they say something about all women.
The Status of Women. Something impossible. Something assumed.
To believe or have faith that Mary was carried off to heaven in her body after her death, like to believe or have faith in the culturally-based, religiously enforced gender stereotypes of women . . .
Well . . .
. . . you know what happens when you ass / u / me.
That is decidedly NOT, as my Bronx friend would say, a 'class act'.