Friday, March 25, 2011

The Solemnity of the Annunciation - Mary, Did You Know?

Weyden18_1Mary did you know, that your baby boy
Is Lord of all creation?

Mary did you know, that your baby boy
Will one day rule the nations? 

Did you know, that your baby boy
Was Heaven's perfect Lamb?

And this sleeping Child you're holding
Is the Great I AM

From the song Mary, Did You Know?  lyrics by Mark Lowry

Jimmy Akin writes,
"I know a lot of people like this song . . . and I am NOT trying to get anyone all twisted up about it, but I have to get something off my chest . . . .
Every time I hear this song, I want to stand up and holler "YES, Mary knew! If ANYONE knew, she did!!"

Jimmy Akin also says this,
"In my mind, the song conjures up an image of Mary as a nonplussed and naive young girl, caught up in events she can't comprehend or control. This is not surprising, since the song was written by a Protestant Evangelical and this is the prevailing view of Mary among Protestants."

I guess I am pretty good at weaving the truth into my interpretation of songs. (Case in point: "I Come to the Garden Alone."  I rationalize that we all "come to Jesus alone" -- the fact that we are one body in Christ is perfectly understood and simpatico with my interpretation of the song LOL). But back to the topic at hand . . .  I love Jimmy Akin's 2005 post about this!

As Jimmy Aikin suggests - look at the first chapter of Luke's gospel:

And Mary said:
   "My soul glorifies the Lord
    and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior,
for he has been mindful
      of the humble state of his servant.
   From now on all generations will call me blessed,
    for the Mighty One has done great things for me—
      holy is his name.
His mercy extends to those who fear him,
      from generation to generation.
He has performed mighty deeds with his arm;
      he has scattered those who are proud in their inmost thoughts.
He has brought down rulers from their thrones
      but has lifted up the humble.
He has filled the hungry with good things
      but has sent the rich away empty.
He has helped his servant Israel,
      remembering to be merciful
to Abraham and his descendants forever,
      even as he said to our fathers."

I interpret the song lyrics to be my awe in Mary's decision. I picture myself humbly asking her,  "Did you know," and in the same breath (although this is not in the lyrics) I continue and answer. 
"Of course you knew. Thank you for saying, 'Yes,' sweet Mother of God. Thank you."

The song really does express what my thoughts have often been -- granted, I was raised with a Methodist and Catholic upbringing (but that's another story).

Why do I picture myself asking her that - as the song is leading me to do?  
I believe it is because the song reflects my great reverance -- my very honest inquiry -- because I do know that I sin and in those many sins I am NOT saying yes to God.
It makes me question my own actions as I identify with Our Holy Mother. I remember that we are so incredibly blessed to have her as Our Mother.

I like how Jimmy Akin continues in his 2005 post:
He says, "Now, even if I didn't believe that Mary was born without sin, after reading her Magnificat, I would begin to suspect that this was no ordinary little Jewish girl. She was perhaps 16 (give or take a year or two) at the time.
How many sixteen-year-olds do you know who would put together a psalm of praise like that?
Mary's Magnificat demonstrates that she not only knew who Jesus was, but what he meant to the nation of Israel and to the world. 

Consider what the angel told her, also from Luke 1:
'He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever; his kingdom will never end.'

But Mary had not just been told who Jesus was, she had direct experience of who he was, having been overshadowed by the Holy Spirit at his conception. She knew! Boy, did she know!

Now, I am not saying this is a bad song, or that Catholics shouldn't listen to it. I do, however, want to invite those who hear it to consider that Mary DID know precisely who Jesus was. The next time you hear, Mary, Did You Know?, go and read the first chapter of Luke, and give thanks for all that God has done for us through our Blessed Mother.

Oh, and pray a Rosary!"


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