Mary, Discipleship and Justice
Rev. Walter Brennan, OSM

1. JUSTICE in Scripture. In Scripture Justice means the Will of the Creator. It is not the same as Greek Justice, which is a quid pro quo, to give each their due. It goes deeper. How do we give each person their due? The way God made them. To be in conformity with the Will of God, to hear God' s word, is to give each person their due according to the Will of the Creator Who knows them and Who made them. This is the basis of rights: to life, to sustenance, to a living wage, etc. It is not the justice which is above the law; it is spelled out more clearly in Scripture. It is not justice which is subject to philosophic schools. It is to hear all the Creator's words: in the stories of creation, in the history of the People of God, in the prophets, etc. The claims of justice are not higher than the claims of charity, here. Justice is charity--the will of the God Who revealed Divine love in the actions of Jesus.

2. To be a Servant. To hear the Word of the Creator--justice--is obedience. Obedience means "to hear," and not to hear without intelligence as in military obedience. It means to hear and to do. This is what makes a "servant"--one who hears and does the Word of God, no matter how difficult it is because of faith, which is intelligent.

3. To be a Disciple. A disciple hears the word of God and does it. This is to "follow" Jesus. There are many "words." To be a disciple means to have an attitude of "hearing," i.e. of obedience.

4. Jesus, the Servant of God, does the Will of the Creator. So Jesus, as Paul says, is our "justice." Jesus came into the world to do God the Creator's Will. For this he took on a human body--to suffer and die and rise. Jesus sweated blood, doing not His will, but the Will of the Creator. As Paul says in Phillippians 2, Jesus was incarnated as a servant. Jesus reveals that God loves us to the point of washing our feet, being our "servant" in a sense. This love of the Creator is the basis of justice, the Creator's will. To be a disciple means to love God above all, to love others because God loves them, and to do it constantly.

5. Mary is God's Servant, the first and foremost disciple of Jesus. Mary tells us this in the Annunciation and in the Magnificat, as Luke describes her. She persists in this attitude to Pentecost (Acts). She is given as mother to all true disciples (John 19). She models for us the hearing of the word of God, of Christ, in our daily lives, not to receive a halo or walk on water, but to be good parents, teachers, people, in our daily actions of driving, etc. She is the woman of the new creation, being gentle and kind and compassionate as God is towards all her sons and daughters. She does the Will of the Father and Son, in the Spirit. She models justice for all disciples. This justice is how to bring about the new creation.


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