Mary, Did You Know


Jesse Manibusan

Okay, so my granny is the driving force of this one's faith and especially appreciation for Mary of Nazareth; child of God, servant of the Lord, and all-around disturbing voice for the reign of God. To be able to sing a song of Mary is a blessing and a disturbing honor.

In my early days, Mary was just another mystery that I had to go along with, because that's what you did. As I grew older, and more open, the importance of Mary grew along with my openness, and paying attention to one of Mary and Jesus' best friends ever, my Granny—and that has made all the difference.

Mary is not the feminine image of God. Sorry, we have feminine images of the holy and beloved God beyond all names. Among them, God as the householder who searches for a lost coin (Lk. 15:8-10). Isaiah speaks of God as a loving mother in labor, while the Book of Numbers speaks of God as one who gives birth, breastfeeds, and carries the child in her bosom (Num. 11:12, Ex. 34:6, Dt. 32:18, Is. 49:15, 63:15, 66:13, and Ps. 131:2). Check out Good Goats: Healing Our Image of God, by Dennis Linn, Sheila Fabricant Linn, and Matthew Linn, SJ.

Who is Mary? Servant. Child of God. Mother of God. Friend of God. Absolutely human and wonderfully created for the sake of Love. Mary cannot be seen only as demure, timid, gentle, and quiet. Indeed she is all of whatever human character unfolds. But her power is as servant and knowing whom she serves. Check out the Magnificat. The first part of the prayer is prayer and worship. The last part is pure boldness and admonition to those who only serve themselves. Mary uses the strongest of language in this burst of prayer! She actually defends God's reign! Yikes. And this is who my Granny befriended and in turn, befriended me to Mary.

So, "Mary Did You Know", and singing it with Nellie Cruz??!! Hello Guam? We have a blessing! Pedro Rubalcava chimed in on some seriously amazing spoken and sung parts that really makes the song go places. And Ted Perlman, super producer, arranger, engineer, music-maker, along with the stunning vocalizations of sweet Peggy Blu, makes the song what it is, a sweet and serious call for us to give Mary credit for being the bold friend and advocate of God.

There are lots of beliefs and theologies about Mary. There's a great deal said of who she is and isn't in the world. Lot's of questions about different things. I don't know the answers to those questions. Heck, I don't know if Mary had the answer to the question, "Mary, Did You Know?" It would seem that she was more passionate about the question, "What do you want of me God? What do you want from the handmaiden and servant of the Lord?"

Mary, did she know? Maybe. Maybe not. Doesn't matter. God knows and she always seemed to be okay with following God's lead. How about us?

Following Mary's lead... towards Love.
- Jesse Manibusan

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