Another week in Advent, another annunciation. This time the woman is not named, her son will be, Samson the strong. Like Yocheved (Jochebed) the mother of Moses, she will be the mother of Israel’s deliver. Yet this woman named many times over by the rabbis is more than a womb pressed into service. She is a conversation partner of the Divine, the preferential partner, her husband having been passed over. She is more than her womb and more than her motherhood, an important reminder in these stories that focus so much on the promise of children and one Holy Child. The psalm places the blessing of God on those who trust and revere her. It doesn’t matter what kind of bodies they have and what functions they perform or are incapable of performing. In the epistle we all become the longed for children, we are the beloved children of God. In the gospel, two extraordinary women celebrate and surely commiserate over two even more extraordinary pregnancies. Mary, drawing on the spirit of the prophet for whom she was named sings as Miriam sang, the hymn of Hannah recontextualized for her context, a lesson in exegesis.
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