The Mystery of Presence: Advent 2

The Scripture ~ And Mary said, “My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior, for he has looked with favor on the lowliness of his servant. Surely, from now on all generations will call me blessed;

Spiritual Focus ~ “In Mary, humanity has said our eternal yes to God. A yes that cannot be undone. A corporate yes that overrides our many noes.” R. Rohr

The Breath Prayer ~ Inhale ~ receive, Exhale ~ believe

The Devotion ~ Today’s verse in Luke is a line from an ancient hymn known as the Magnificat, which in Latin means “My Soul Magnifies the Lord.” The hymn is also known as “The Song of Mary.” The Song of Mary is a “yes” to God. It is the continuation of the mystery of God’s presence in the incarnation of Jesus.

In the birth narrative of Jesus, Mary is certainly a central figure and her story is received and believed in many different ways. In some traditions she is called “Theotokos” or the Mother of God.  Some traditions consider her “yes” to God as the greatest example of faith and trust. In religious and non-religious communities alike, her story is repeated as a witness to the divine feminine. While all of the interpretations of Mary’s story are interesting and valuable in discourse, to look at her story only through an intellectual lens misses the mystery of how God became present to humanity as a human being, in a human body.

The story of Emmanuel—God with us— God entering into our human experience through a young woman’s body is an unbelievable mystery. It is a mystery that says the body is important. It says God is relational. The mystery of presence in this birth narrative tells us that God will be God in any way that assures us of God’s love and promised presence.

A faith integrated yoga practice that involves the body recognizes the symbiotic nature of knowing something in our minds and experiencing something in our bodies that is unexplainable. It is at this juncture that we must consider, like Mary, that though it is a mystery, when we receive God’s love and presence, we say, “yes!” We embrace the mystery, believe and are blessed.

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