It so happens that once a woman becomes a mother her identity usually goes for a toss. Everything suddenly becomes riveted around her child. The case of Mary is no different. As the infancy narrative of Jesus unfolds in the Gospel of Luke, a sword pierces Mary’s soul (2:35); her name ebbs from the narrative after 2:34; and finally once her Son speaks (2:48-49) Mary is altogether rendered voiceless. Luke doesn’t even include her among the women at the crucifixion of Jesus (24:10).
In such a milieu, Jesus’ frequent addressing of Mary as “Woman” seems to reaffirm her personal identity. It’s a means of reassuring Mary that she is more than a mother. Even when the contemporaries of Jesus, reduced Mary to breasts and womb (Lk. 11: 27) Jesus instantly protested this biological reduction by accrediting Mary for her indomitable decision to enflesh the Word of God (Lk. 11:28) dismissing all the social mores, personal safety and relational obligations. Hence Dorothy L. Sayers remarked of Jesus;
“𝘗𝘦𝘳𝘩𝘢𝘱𝘴 𝘪𝘵 𝘪𝘴 𝘯𝘰 𝘸𝘰𝘯𝘥𝘦𝘳 𝘵𝘩𝘢𝘵 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘸𝘰𝘮𝘦𝘯 𝘸𝘦𝘳𝘦 𝘧𝘪𝘳𝘴𝘵 𝘢𝘵 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘊𝘳𝘢𝘥𝘭𝘦 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘭𝘢𝘴𝘵 𝘢𝘵 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘊𝘳𝘰𝘴𝘴. 𝘛𝘩𝘦𝘺 𝘩𝘢𝘥 𝘯𝘦𝘷𝘦𝘳 𝘬𝘯𝘰𝘸𝘯 𝘢 𝘮𝘢𝘯 𝘭𝘪𝘬𝘦 𝘵𝘩𝘪𝘴 𝘔𝘢𝘯, 𝘵𝘩𝘦𝘳𝘦 𝘯𝘦𝘷𝘦𝘳 𝘩𝘢𝘴 𝘣𝘦𝘦𝘯 𝘴𝘶𝘤𝘩 𝘢𝘯𝘰𝘵𝘩𝘦𝘳. 𝘈 𝘱𝘳𝘰𝘱𝘩𝘦𝘵 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘵𝘦𝘢𝘤𝘩𝘦𝘳 𝘸𝘩𝘰 𝘯𝘦𝘷𝘦𝘳 𝘯𝘢𝘨𝘨𝘦𝘥 𝘢𝘵 𝘵𝘩𝘦𝘮, 𝘯𝘦𝘷𝘦𝘳 𝘧𝘭𝘢𝘵𝘵𝘦𝘳𝘦𝘥 𝘰𝘳 𝘤𝘰𝘢𝘹𝘦𝘥 𝘰𝘳 𝘱𝘢𝘵𝘳𝘰𝘯𝘪𝘴𝘦𝘥; 𝘸𝘩𝘰 𝘯𝘦𝘷𝘦𝘳 𝘮𝘢𝘥𝘦 𝘢𝘳𝘤𝘩 𝘫𝘰𝘬𝘦𝘴 𝘢𝘣𝘰𝘶𝘵 𝘵𝘩𝘦𝘮, 𝘯𝘦𝘷𝘦𝘳 𝘵𝘳𝘦𝘢𝘵𝘦𝘥 𝘵𝘩𝘦𝘮 𝘦𝘪𝘵𝘩𝘦𝘳 𝘢𝘴 ‘𝘛𝘩𝘦 𝘸𝘰𝘮𝘦𝘯, 𝘎𝘰𝘥 𝘩𝘦𝘭𝘱 𝘶𝘴!’ 𝘰𝘳 ‘𝘛𝘩𝘦 𝘭𝘢𝘥𝘪𝘦𝘴, 𝘎𝘰𝘥 𝘣𝘭𝘦𝘴𝘴 𝘵𝘩𝘦𝘮!'”
May we acknowledge and appreciate the personal identity of women in our lives and stand at odds with the skewed gender politics that reduces and refers to women on the ground of relationships. May Mary brace us for this task as her very name in Hebrew means ‘rebel’.
𝘍𝘦𝘴𝘵𝘢𝘭 𝘎𝘳𝘦𝘦𝘵𝘪𝘯𝘨𝘴 !
~ 𝐃𝐚𝐲𝐫𝐨𝐲𝐨 𝐅𝐫. 𝐁𝐚𝐬𝐢𝐥