Wednesday, September 18, 2013

WALKING WITH MARY: A Biblical Journey from Nazareth to the Cross - by Edward Sri


Edward Sri's WALKING WITH MARY: A Biblical Journey from Nazareth to the Cross is an incredible biblical meditation upon the life and role of the Blessed Mother in the life of Christ and the Church.

I would love for all my Christian friends to read this biblical meditation, especially those who have relegated Mary to the basement except for her annual pilgrimage upstairs only to be dusted off and placed in the Christmas Creche. Likewise I would recommend it to all my Catholic brothers and sisters who have distanced themselves from both Scripture and Mary and the Sacraments.

Sri takes us through the gospels of Luke and John in a tour de force of the fruits of lectio divina whereby he allows the texts themselves to speak to us, revealing that Mary is indeed Full of Grace, the Queen Mother of the Great King, and the great obedient maidservant who is the first disciple of the Lord Jesus, even while She carried him in the womb with joy beyond all telling.

Arguably, one could meditate upon the Joyful Mysteries of the Rosary while reading the chapters that correspond to the Annunciation, Visitation, Nativity, Presentation, and the Finding of the Child Jesus in the Temple.

Particularly astounding is the revelation that Mary is called by a new name: Full of Grace. She is singled out for a specific mission in Salvation History that no other human person had.

The text also assists us in applying the mysteries of Mary and Christ into our own lives. the resounding message: Be not afraid!

One of my favorite sections of the book covers Mary's Visitation and Mary's Magnificat. Mary praises God for her lowliness and for what He is doing in her life, but then she praises God for what He is doing and will do for all the people of Israel. 

Her Magnificat "prophetically foreshadows her Son's public ministry" and she pre-announces the Gospel of her Son in dramatic fashion. The hungry will be filled, the lowly will be exalted, the proud be cast down and the rich walk away empty. For Jesus will "gather all the suffering and oppressed into the Kingdom...while the proud, the mighty, and the rich who oppose God's people will be cast down." 

For all the religious and Ordained, Oblates and Tertiaries, and all who regularly pray Vespers of the Divine Office or the Liturgy of the Hours, (or anyone who read or prays the Magnificat from Luke's gospel), we are reminded that, we, like Mary and Jesus, are called to feed the hungry, heal and care for the sick, forgive sinners... "extending fellowship to those ostracized in society" so that the downtrodden might be called and raised up as heirs of the kingdom.

Happily, the author does not engage in a polemical debate about Mary - he doesn't have to - but rather he focuses on the Scripture itself and Tradition, with plentiful quotes from Popes John Paul II and Benedict XVI, as well as other sources through Church history.

I read the book while flying from Indianapolis to Spokane, Washington, and back, and couldn't help but sense Mary's presence. As we soared above the earth, and I peered into the wispy clouds, it gave me an inkling of what Mary must see and feel as she looks upon us who are often out of the wine of mercy and compassion, lacking in the wine of faith or hope, and how she longs to bring our needs to the attention of her Beloved Son: "They have no wine." 

Mary's words to the servants at the Wedding at Cana are her words to us today: "Do Whatever He Tells You."

Well researched and prayerfully prepared, this book is a gift just in time for Advent and Christmas. For those who have read Pope Benedict's book Jesus of Nazareth: The Infancy Narratives, I would place Walking With Mary alongside the pope's work.

DR. EDWARD SRI is a nationally known Catholic speaker who appears regularly on EWTN and is the author of several well-loved Catholic books. He is a founding leader, with Curtis Martin, of FOCUS (Fellowship of Catholic University Students), and he currently serves as vice president of mission and outreach and professor of theology and scripture at the Augustine Institute master's program in Denver, Colorado. Sri holds a doctorate from the Pontifical University of St. Thomas Aquinas in Rome. He resides with his wife, Elizabeth, and their six children in Littleton, Colorado. 

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received the above book for free in the hope that I would mention it on my blog. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

1 comment:

  1. I just wanted to commend you on this review/reflection as it beautifully embodies the amazing aspects of the book and expresses perfectly how many places in Scripture we're shown how Mary is the perfect disciple.