Mary

What's all this fuss about Mary?

ANSWER: She's the Mother of God.*

Prefigured in the OLD TESTAMENT

Fulfilled in the NEW TESTAMENT

THE ARK OF THE COVENANT

IS THE BLESSED VIRGIN MARY

The Ark was gold inside and out. No stain of alloy, pure. Ex 25:11

Mary was conceived without sin. Mary was spotless and pure, virginal. Lk 1:28

The Ark was set at the front of Israel's military manoeuvres Num 10:33, Josh 3:3

'Who is she that comes as terrible as an army' Song of Songs 6:10

The Word of God (written on tablets of stone) was placed in the Ark Ex 25:16

Jesus is the Word of God. The Word made Flesh was placed in Mary's Womb. Jn 1:1

The purpose of the Ark was to sanctify the Holy of Holies + the Temple of Jerusalem + the world by its presence among them

The purpose of Mary as our Mother is to be a fitting vessel for unborn God + to be the model of the Church + sanctify the world by her presence and intercession

God 'overshadowed' the Ark. In the OT this only means God descended upon it.

Lev 16:2; Num 9: 15-23; Ex 40: 34-38

The only time in the NT when 'overshadowed' is mentioned is when the Holy Spirit 'overshadows' Mary. Lk 1:35

Uzzah is slain by touching the Ark in

2 Sam 6:6-7, 1 Chron 13:10 Only priests are allowed near the Ark Josh 3:4

Mary "knows not man". Mary is virgin, untouched, preserved by God for a most special purpose. Lk 1:34

Hearing news of Uzzah's death, David has the Ark remain in the house of Obed Edom IN THE HILL COUNTRY OF JUDEA FOR 3 MONTHS 2 Sam 6:11

The Blessed Virgin Mary visited her cousin Elizabeth IN THE HILL COUNTRY OF JUDEA FOR 3 MONTHS Luke 1:56

Later, news of blessings comes from Obed Edom's house. 'Blessing' in this context means babies are being born where the Ark is

After Our Lady's Visitation to Elizabeth, both Mary and her cousin are blessed with babies

Then David calls the Ark back to Jerusalem and 'leaps for joy' at its arrival because God's presence is with him again 1 Chronicles 15: 29; David says: 'How can the Ark of the Lord come to me?' 2 Sam 6:9

The child in Elizabeth's womb 'leaps for joy' upon the arrival of pregnant Mary. Elizabeth says: 'Why should the mother of MY LORD* come to visit me?'

Lk 1: 41-44

David sang a psalm of praise to God

1 Chronicles 16

Mary sang a psalm of praise to God

Luke 1: 46

In Rev 11:19 the Ark of the Covenant is seen in God's temple. The immediately following sentence (Rev 12:1) describes a pregnant woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars (referring not only to the Church but also indirectly to Mary the mother of Jesus). The Bible was not originally written in divided verses as it is today, it should be read as a continuum and, as such, the Ark symbolises Mary. In Genesis 3:15 Mary shares in Our Lord's complete victory over Satan and death: "I will put enmity between you and the woman, between your seed and her seed; she shall crush your head, and you shall lie in wait for his heel." Jesus is divine. He created His own mother. It is illogical to suppose that Jesus would not have made His mother perfect in every way: sinless.

"WHAT ABOUT THE ASSUMPTION?"

An explicit mention of the bodily assumption of Mary is not in the Bible. But neither are the words Incarnation, Trinity or Bible, yet all Christians accept them, why not the assumption of Mary? The Church has the authority to make explicit what is implicit in the Bible because it is the pillar of the truth (1Tim 3:15). Yet the Bible can be used to help prove the assumption.

In Saint Paul's letter to the Romans 5:12 we see that the consequence of sin is death (bodily corruption). Therefore, just as Jesus was victorious over Satan, and consequently sin and death, so Mary also shares in this victory over sin, death and corruption. Death is the separation of body and soul. When a person dies his body becomes separated from his soul, to be re-united in the general judgement at the end of time. In Luke 1:28, Mary is declared "full of grace" and so bodily assumption is a natural effect of being immaculate because a sinless body does not corrupt. In Revelation 12:1, Mary is crowned in heaven which would suggest that she is bodily in heaven. In 2Kings 2:11-12 Elijah is assumed into the limbo of the just " the bosom of Abraham, and in Hebrews 11:5 Enoch is also assumed, both proving bodily assumption to be scriptural. It is also important to note that the word assumption has a passive dimension to it. Whereas Jesus ascended into heaven by his own power, Mary was assumed by God's power. The Ark in the Old Testament contained the Ten Commandments, as well as the Manna from the Desert. Mary is understood as the Ark of the New Covenant for she held in her womb the Son, who is the Word of God, the Manna from Heaven. With this understanding, that Mary is the Ark of the Covenant, we can see that Psalm 132:8 refers to the bodily assumption of Mary, "Arise, O Lord, into your resting place: you and the ark which you have sanctified". The "ark" which Our Lord has sanctified is clearly Mary, and the word "arise" perfectly summarises Jesus' assumption of the new Ark (Mary).

"BUT WHY SUCH GREAT HONOUR, IF MARY IS NOT GOD?"

On the Cross of Calvary Jesus gives His Mother to the human race to be our mother (John 19:27). At the crucifixion John the beloved represents the human race and takes Mary into his home; we too are invited to do the same. The Queen Mother in the Old Testament was given great honour. For example in 1 Kings 2:19 Solomon bowed to his Queen Mother (Bathsheba), had her sit in the place of honour at his right hand, and did not refuse the request she asked on behalf of another. In ancient Israel the queen-mother had far more honour than the king's wives. God invites us also to give great honour to His Queen Mother. Mary is God's idea. Mary is not a man-made invention. Anyone who denies that Mary [the mother of Jesus] is the mother of God is denying the fact that Jesus is God. A mother is a mother of a person. Mary is unique because her Son is the 2nd Person of the Trinity. Mary is not the mother of the Trinity [she is the daughter of the Father and the spouse of the Holy Spirit] but she is the mother of the Son of God who has 2 natures [human and divine]. This means that Mary can rightly be referred to as the mother of the Second Person of the Trinity [in His human nature], and as the 2nd Person of the Trinity is God, Mary is therefore properly called the Mother of God. At the wedding feast of Cana, Jesus, who is God, obeyed His mother's request and changed water into wine even though the time of His public ministry had not yet come (John 2:1 " 11). Some say that they don't need Mary; she is not essential; we can get to heaven without her. Such a statement is tantamount to saying that you don't regard the love of your own loving biological mother to be neither needed nor essential. It is an ungrateful statement borne out of a lack of understanding as to who the Blessed Virgin Mary really is*.

"PLEASE EXPLAIN STATUES OF OUR LADY CRUSHING A SERPENT'S HEAD."

Saint Jerome (d. 420 AD) translated the Bible into Latin using Greek and Hebrew texts. His translation is called the Vulgate. He was a lot closer to the early copies of the Bible than any Scripture scholar today. St Jerome translated Genesis 3:15 in the following way: 'I will put enmity between your seed [Satan] and the seed of the woman [Eve]. She will crush your head [Mary] and you will strike her heel.' The Latin Vulgate says 'SHE will crush your head', yet many modern Bibles replace 'she' with 'he' or 'it'. Of course, the crushing of Satan's head is ultimately brought about by the power of Jesus but this is done through Mary. In a sense, God is saying to Satan, "You thought you triumphed over a woman [Eve], it is through a woman [Mary " the New Eve] that I will defeat you." This is the reason we see statues of Our Lady standing on the Earth crushing the head of a serpent. Jesus defeats Satan through Mary. The Old Testament includes stories of women who deal a typological [foreshadowing] head-crushing blow to someone who represents Satan. In all of these examples can be seen Old Testament types of Mary crushing the head of the serpent. The inclusion of these stories in the Bible is meaningless unless they are seen as partial fulfilments of the prophecy of Genesis 3:15 'she will crush your head'.

In Judith 13:4-9 we read of Judith cutting off Holofernes's head.

In Judges 4:21 Jael kills Sisera by driving a tent peg through his temple.

In Judges 9: 50 " 55 Abimelech is killed when a woman drops a millstone on his head.

A Christian is a person who imitates Christ. Anyone who has a devotion to the Blessed (Lk 1:48) Virgin (Lk 1:34) Mary is simply imitating Christ who was a devoted Son to His mother (Lk 2:51). There could be no Man Jesus without Mary; she is an integral part of God's plan.

References:
Hahn Hail Holy Queen; Matatics My Soul Magnifies the Lord audio tape; De Souza Mother of God Assumed into Heaven audio tape; Human Life International Rosary Scripture audio tape

* Please note that this text should be read in the context of the whole work and in recognition of the appropriate paragraphs of the Catechism of the Catholic Church highlighted in the index.