“Mary Did You Know”? I absolutely disdain this song. I know that many of us love it for it’s sentimentality, but that is the precise reason I dislike it so much. This song trivializes and brings much superficiality to our Blessed Mother’s role in the story of salvation.
First of all, of course Mary knew. Unlike most of us, she was faithful to her religion and knew her Jewish Tradition. She was very aware and learned in the Scriptures and would have been very familiar with all the prophesies of the Messiah found in the Old Testament books. That is why she is “troubled” when the angel appears, she knows exactly what kind of messages angels bring, and so she knew that this visit meant something extraordinary was going to happen, that is, if she said yes.
The one thing this song seems to miss, and why I find it such a poor and ill-fitting representation of our beautiful, blessed and holy Mother, is that Mary may not have known many of the specifics regarding her role as the Mother of God, but it certainly did not stop her from saying “Yes.” Mary loved and trusted God enough, that she said yes despite all the hardships and sorrows this role might bring to her. She said yes, even though this mission from God, didn’t fit into the plans that she had made with her betrothed – Joseph. Mary said yes, even though she knew that she could be stoned to death for turning up pregnant. Mary said yes, even though she knew that this kind of news would be difficult, and cause great pain and suffering to her family. Mary gave everything that she had and was to God and said yes.
It is interesting that so many people who say “no” to God when he asks them to carry their crosses, seem to love this song. Christians who have decided to say no to God and His Church, and have decided to choose their own paths and temporal priorities. They are missing the point of their lives as well, not just the point missed in a bad Christmas song
Those of us who seem to think this song has a wonderful message should focus on what really happened that day when the angel appeared, and Mary become the Mother of all who follow Christ. Her great fiat really says it all, and nullifies the concern regarding what she may or may not have known. That honestly doesn’t matter at all!
“I am the handmaid of the Lord, let it be done unto me according to your word.” Maybe instead of getting enthralled in a ponderings of a superficial Christmas song, we should ponder how we ourselves can submit so totally and completely to the will of God as Mary did.
And, if you truly want to enjoy and contemplate a truly glorious and meaningful song about Mary, try the “Ave Maria” or the “Hail Mary”.
Focusing on what truly matters this Christmas will catapult us into an adventure that will be like no other, a difficult journey for sure, but one filled with the true amazement and wonder of that first Christmas so many years ago. We will need to be like Mary though, and surrender to God all that we are and all that we have. We must trust him with our very lives and all those lives around us. Not an easy thing to do. None of us can ever imagine just where God wants to take us. So, let us all look up, say yes to God; we each have our own Christmas star waiting to be followed.