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Mary, Mother of God and the Mother He Gave Us While on the Cross

In 07 Observations on 2014/04/11 at 12:00 AM

Detailed notes taken by Aida Tamayo on Fr. Robert Barron’s Catholicism Series

Mary, the Mother of God and Our Mother; her role in the plan of salvation was written in Genesis way before her birth.  When Adam and Eve sinned they were banished from the Garden as their disobedience introduced disorder and a breach between humanity and God. Barely had man transgressed, when God warns the serpent: “I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers; He will strike at your head, while you strike at his heel.” (Genesis 3:15)  And thus Mary is given a role in salvation history.  Marian doctrine includes: The Annunciation, Immaculate Conception, and Assumption. She is the Mother of God, and of the Church.  She is our Mother.

THE ANNUNCIATION – Mary was invited, even courted by God’s messenger, the angel Gabriel, and when she questioned this visit, even her curiosity was encouraged.  When convinced this is from God, she accepted without hesitation God’s Will, totally trusting in the Lord not knowing the full implications of it all.  With full humility she gave her consent (FIAT) in a most beautifully trusting way “Be it done unto me according to Thy word”.  Contrasting Mary to Eve we see Eve doing the opposite, giving in to the temptation to cease godliness.  Eve was totally submerged in the Garden and the goodness of God when the devil came to her.  Mary was totally submerged in the world and its evil when the angel of God came to her.  Adam and Eve had been given full reign in the Garden, everything submitted under them, so why the prohibition?  God wanted them to fall in love with Him not with themselves and the Garden where they reigned.  That is also true for us.  Mary and Eve were both conceived without sin.  When tested Eve fell but Mary’s obedience reversed the disobedience of Eve.  In Spanish Hail Mary is Ave Maria and Eve is Eva.  Since medieval times, the Ave (Hail) Maria was a symbol of the reversing of the actions of our First Mother Eva.

AVE Maria, the new Eve, the one that will bring us back to God, the advocate of the human race.

EVA the mother of all living whose action separated us from God.

Mary’s role in salvation couldn’t have happen without God’s intervention.  Mary represents Zion; who God had been preparing for centuries to receive the Word of God.  She is the fulfillment of the Ark of the Covenant in the temple since she became in the most realistic way possible the bearer of the Divine Word.  She is Israel at its best, faithful, quick to respond to God’s promptings.  Everything she does point to her Son.  The Gospels record few of her words and her last words written in the Gospels were at the wedding feast of Cana: DO WHATEVER HE TELLS YOU.

Mary is not a sentimental figure, she is an cunning young woman, questioning the angel, hasting to her cousin Elizabeth, and moving thru the history of salvation with courage and simplicity.  She is not sentimental but strong always following the Divine Word, the first disciple of her Son. This world cannot regain what was lost, Christ, preparing to go to his death on the cross, makes it clear that the full restoration of man lies in heaven that his Kingdom is not of this world.   But for his followers, his Kingdom starts here and Mary is the model for all of us.

THE IMMACULATE CONCEPTION – Mary needed to be saved like the rest of humanity but by a singular special grace of God, she was preserved from original sin from the moment of her conception by the merits of her Son’s sacrifice (remembering that eternity is outside time) and was filled with God’s grace thus the greeting of the angel, Mary full of grace.  God wanted to prepare a fitting vessel for the reception of His Word.  She would be tightly joined to the mission of her Son therefore it would be fitting that she too would be without sin.

THE ASSUMPTION OF MARY.  Mary is present in body and soul in the Kingdom of Heaven.  Salvation is a transfiguration of the body and soul into Heaven.  In the case of Mary being in perfect union with God, she was elevated body and soul to heaven at the time of her earthly death, an elevation of the entire person into the dimension of God.  It is a definitive salvation, the resurrection of the body.  The one promised to all of us at the second coming.  What would it be like to face death sinless?  As a rule we approach death as something horrible, with fear because we are alienated from God.  But a sinless person, utterly responsive to God’s will, at the end of this life would fall asleep in the Lord (her death is also known as the dormition of Mary).  Her salvation is complete.

THE MOTHER OF GOD – Jesus dying on the cross gave Mary to John.  John took Mary to Ephesus and they both ended their earthly days there.  Throughout different councils it was finally decided in the council of Ephesus in 431 that Mary was indeed the Mother of God.

MOTHER OF THE CHURCH – She is the Queen of all the saints and her mission is to draw people into fellowship with Her Son.  In the year 1531, Juan Diego, a Mexican indigenous and a recent convert to the faith saw Mary appear to him as the Mother of God.  Known as Our Lady of Guadalupe, she left her image imprinted in the amazing tilma (that would be another story in another e-mail).  Her apparition in Mexico caused the conversion of an entire nation to Catholicism.  Guadalupe is a Spanish deformation of Quatlasupe – She who crushes the head of the serpent, the message predicted in the book of Genesis.  Mary’s willingness to magnify the greatness of the Lord made of her a matrix of life.

OUR MOTHER – Adam and Eve were the only humans in the history of humanity without a mother, and that didn’t go well.  As a result of Adam and Eve’s sin, God would save humankind, and salvation would have a mother.  St. Paul expresses his supreme fascination with the fact that the Son of God had a mother: “But when the time had fully come, God sent forth his Son, born of woman…so that we might receive adoption as sons” (Gal 4:4-5).  Our Blessed Mother gave Our Lord consolation by being at the foot of the Cross and He in turn gave her to us.   St. Teresa of Avila writes: “I remember that when my mother died I was 12 years old or a little less. When I began to understand what I had lost, I went, afflicted, before an image of our Lady and besought her with many tears to be my mother. It seems to me that although I did this in simplicity it helped me. For I have found favor with this sovereign Virgin in everything I have asked of her, and in the end she has drawn me to herself” (Collected Works).

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