Posted February 4, 2013
Book: The Divine Call of Mary: Scriptural Perspectives
Author: Shirley Sullivan
St. Pauls. Staten Island. NY. 2012. Pp. 89
An Except from the Jacket:
Mary as she is presented in Scripture is the subject of this book. The evidence, admittedly, is slim but a careful analysis, as the reader will quickly see, yields an enormous wealth of information. What Scripture shows us is that the stories about Mary have a two-fold aspect. On one level we can see what God was teaching Mary. On a second level we can apply these lessons to ourselves.
It is not the case, of course, that God approached Mary with the explicit purpose of being a teacher. It is rather that all that happened to her became a form of lesson.
If we have eyes tosee, we are able to discern what this lesson was. It was Mary's experience to receive God into her very being and to bring forth for the world the Messiah. She becomes a model for all her children, who, like her, are called to find God within themselves and to radiate divine love to other people.
This book, then, will examine in detail each reference in Scripture to Mary in both the Old and the New Testaments, and suggest the lessons for her and for us that such references may contain.
An Excerpt from the Book:
Ministry of Jesus
In the Gospels we encounter Mary mentioned three times during Jesus' years of ministry. In the first, the wedding at Cana, she has a prominent role. In the other two episodes she is referred to only obliquely. What lessons for Mary and also for us can we discern in these three episodes of Jesus' ministry?
First, Cana. John gives us a description of the first miracle of Jesus in which Mary has a major role. Invited with his disciples, Jesus attends the wedding f a young couple. When Mary learns that they have a problem, she comes to Jesus.
When the wine gave out, the mother of Jesus said to him, "They have no wine." And Jesus said to her, "Woman, what concern is that to you and to me? My hour has not yet come." His mother said to the servants, "Do whatever he tells you."
Once again, as in Jerusalem, Jesus shows himself very open to events as they occur. In Jerusalem he responded to Mary's perplexity about his actions by acting in obedience to his parents in Nazareth. So at Cana he makes clear that in his own view it is not the "hour" to begin his miracles. And yet Mary knew that Jesus would act. She thus, with confidence, tells the servants to obey the instructions of Jesus.
Jesus performs his wonderful miracle of changing the water to wine. As John tells us, Jesus thus "revealed his glory." and won the faith of his disciples. His ministry was now well under way. In all his other miracles Mary would not be involved but in this, his first, her role was central.
. . .in the story of Cana, we can surmise that Jesus addresses his mother as "Woman" since she represents the whole human race. Like Mary, we come to Jesus to make requests but he makes clear that it is only when his "hour" has come that he can act. He must in all things obey the Father's will.
Table of Contents:
1. The heart as the center of Mary's soul
3. Visitation and canticle of Mary (Magnificat)
4. The birth and childhood of Jesus
5. The ministry of Jesus
6. At the cross and Pentecost.
Conclusion: A picture of Mary