“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,
just as he promised our ancestors.”

Luke 1:46-55 NIV

Most of us don’t think of Mary as a political figure. She’s the humble, meek and mild mother of Jesus. And yet, in her song, the Magnificat, she prophetically lays out the character of the God she serves as one who turns the status quo upside down. She is pregnant with her son, conceived of the Holy Spirit, who shall be called Jesus and who will fulfil these words, upturning the tables in the Temple, spending his time with the poor and lowly. 

If people challenge us to say that Christians cannot be political, or that faith has nothing to do with politics, or that the socio-economic realities of our time cannot be challenged by spiritual people, or indeed that we cannot make any difference in the world, we can hold fast to the words of the Blessed Virgin Mary, who voices a powerful theme of both the Old and New Testaments, even as she bridges them both: that our God is not only willing to come alongside those who suffer, who are poor and have no influence, he is willing to act powerfully on their behalf.

This is not a call to arms, or an affirmation of our power, but a reminder that it is God’s will and God’s tender mercy that will save us all. As we seek to use our vote and our voice peacefully to change things for the better, we can rest in the knowing that God listens to everyone, however small and weak we may be. That God will always uphold his own merciful character, and we don’t need to be forceful, but only forthrightly obedient in seeking to come alongside him. Like Mary, we can praise him and give our “yes” to whatever he seeks to bring about.

As St. Augustine said, “The truth is like a lion; you don’t have to defend it. Let it loose; it will defend itself.”

***

Keren’s new book, Recital of Love, has just been released.

Recital of Love is a collection of treasures gathered up in prayer. Each one focuses on something precious to God, hopefully giving us an insight into his heart and the grace to look at life with a different, more eternal perspective. Written as nuggets of wisdom and encouragement in poetic prose, these pieces are garnered from silent contemplation, and presented to be savored by all God’s beloved children.

“I love reading Keren’s work and her new book Recital of Love encourages us to experience the mystical beauty of Divine Love, something we all need to feel more connected to each other.” —Richard Rohr