Monday, 29 April 2013

Mary, Mother of God - Year A

Numbers 6:22-27; Galatians 4:4-7; Luke 2:16-21

One of the things I love about the Catholic Church is her courage when it comes to speaking of Mary. Protestantism is timid in speaking of her but Catholicism never baulks. The Church will confidently give to Mary all her titles and will speak of all her prerogatives as she deserves.

I'll never forget the raised eyebrows of a pastor friend of mine when he read in one of the books on my shelf that Mary was 'the mother of our salvation'. Well, Jesus is our salvation and she is his mother, so she deserves to be called: Mother of our Salvation!

Every serious-minded Catholic has a love for Mary. We readily speak of her as the Mother of God, the mother of Jesus, and our mother too.

Firstly, we know that she is the Mother of Jesus. We have just finished celebrating Christmas which is not only the feast of the birth of our Saviour but also of his birth from Mary.

Secondly, we know that she became our Mother at the foot of the Cross when seeing her and John standing at the foot of the Cross Jesus said to her: Woman, this is your son.

The Church has always believed that, at that moment, Jesus confided all humanity into the care of his Mother.

Protestant Christians maintain the we Catholics are misreading Sacred Scripture when we claim Jesus gave us all to Mary. They say he was just making sure she was going to be looked after.

Well, there are two things about this:
  • Why, then, did he give John to Mary first? He said Woman, this is your son - only then did he say: This is your mother.
  • And then, why would he want to make sure she would be looked after if, as Protestants say, she had all these other children, the 'brothers and sisters' of Jesus?
Thirdly, we have the greatest of all Mary’s titles, given to her officially at the Council of Ephesus in 431 AD – Mother of God.

To put it simply - Mary is the Mother of God because Jesus is God and she is his mother.

Mary did not just give birth to the human nature of Jesus but to the entire Jesus. Mother’s don’t give birth to 'bits' of their children but to the whole person of their child – body and soul.

Mary is not the ‘author’ or ‘creator’ of Jesus’ divinity, but she is the mother of a child who was human and divine in one single person.

So Mary can rightfully be called Mother of God and so she was, from earliest Christian times. It is a title given to her by God’s generosity towards her and towards the human race to which she belongs.

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