Sat | Nov 27, 2021

Mary Mother of God

Published:Sunday | December 20, 2020 | 12:07 AM

The Scripture testifies that Jesus is Divine, the Son of God, the Word of God becomes flesh to dwell among us. The Scripture also testifies that Mary gave birth to Jesus. Thus, the Council of Ephesus in 431 declares the Holy Virgin Mary, is the “MOTHER OF GOD”, THEOTOKOS.

This designation of Mary is informed by revelation in Scripture. In Luke 1:30-32, 35, the Archangel Gabriel, proclaimed, “Mary ... You are to conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you must name him Jesus. He will be great and will be called Son of the Most High ... The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will cover you with its shadow ... the child will be holy and will be called Son of God.” Additionally, in Luke 1:42-43, Elizabeth, filled with the Holy Spirit, declared, “Of all women, you are the most blessed, and blessed is the fruit of your womb. Why should I be honoured with a visit from the mother of my Lord?”

The prominence of Mary in relation to Jesus, the Son of God is not accidental or inconsequential. God the Creator reveals in Genesis 3:15, “I shall put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers; it will bruise your head, and you will strike its heel.” This verse is called the “protoevangelium”, the first announcing of the good news revealing God’s Redemptive Plan to save humankind from sin. The woman referred to could only be Mary, because her Son, our Saviour, defeated the Evil One.

Cardinal Newman, a convert to Catholicism, discovered that the Early Church spoke of The Blessed Virgin Mary as the second Eve, establishing a parallel between the main figures of fallen creation and the main figures in the restored creation. The fallen state of humankind is attributed to Adam, with Eve having an integral role because she listened and cooperated with the Evil Angel. Jesus is the Saviour of fallen creation, with Mary having an integral role because she listened to the Angel Gabriel and cooperated with God’s providential plan.

The comparisons are more than extrapolations. Three parties are involved in humankind’s falling from grace, the man (Adam), the woman (Eve), and the serpent. The protoevangelium, Genesis 3:15, established a link with the parties of the restoration. The Creator declared: “I will put enmity between thee (the serpent) and the woman (Mary), and between thy seed and her seed (Jesus).

Additionally, Irenaeus, a Father of the Early Church, explains that Eve, while a virgin, was disobedient and became the cause of death both to herself and to the whole human race, whereas Mary the Virgin is found obedient to accept giving birth to The Saviour, for Mary said: “Behold the Handmaid of The Lord; be it to me according to Thy word”. So, Mary became both to herself and the whole human race the cause of salvation. Thus the knot of Eve’s disobedience received its unloosing through the obedience of Mary; for what Eve, a virgin, bound by disbelief, Mary, a virgin, unloosed by faith”.

Thus, in God’s salvation plan, Mary had the privilege to bear Jesus, the Son of God in her womb, and so rightly, is the bearer of God, Theotokos, Mother of God!

­– Most Rev. Kenneth D. Richards