A defense of Mary
I came across a Protestant board which was attacking the privileges of Mary as revealed by the Catholic Church, and got fed up becuse of my love for Our Lady.
One of their members sent a simple post which screamed (font 20):
WOMAN, WHAT HAVE i TO DO WITH YOU!
This was my response
In another thread, a member used this partial quote from Jn 2:4 to express the truth that Christ does not want anyone to worship his mother. However, taking these words out of context horribly detracts from the significance of this passage, so I thought I would expand my thoughts here.
The complete verse states: Jesus saith unto her, Woman, what have I to do with thee? mine hour is not yet come.
A little background: Jesus, his mother, and his first few disciples are present at a wedding feast in Cana. With the uncanny ability that women possess, Mary is sensitive to the needs of the new couple and is concerned when she realizes that the wine has run out in the middle of the feast. Knowing her son as she does, she approaches and informs Jesus that there is no wine. Ultimately, Christ works his first miracle recorded in John's Gospel, and saves the wedding party from a great embarrassment:
Jn 2:11 This beginning of miracles did Jesus in Cana of Galilee, and manifested forth his glory; and his disciples believed in him.
But this was only a glimpse of Jesus' glory, which takes us back to the gentle rebuke of verse 4. Again, Jesus said,
...Woman, what have I to do with thee? mine hour is not yet come.
You see, Mary wants her son to show a glimmer of his glory out of consideration for the couple, while Jesus wants to point to the hour of his glory. In Jn 12, a few days before his death on the Cross, Jesus states:
Jn 12: 23,27 ...the hour is come that the Son of man should be glorified...Now is my soul troubled; and what shall I say? Father save me from this hour: but for this cause came I unto this hour.
The hour of Christ's agony is the hour of Christ's glory, the fulfilment of the Father's will.
Back to the wedding; it's as if Jesus is reminding his mother and us to stay focused on what he would accomplish on Good Friday, his glory, the expiation of our sins!
Wow, that took longer than I thought! But here is another point. Mary appears only 2 times in John, and both times Jesus addresses her as Woman and both times his hour of glory is referenced (see Jn 19:26).
Why does he call his Mom, "Woman"? Because Mary is the fulfilment of Gen 3:15:
God speaks to the serpent, Satan, ...And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your seed and her seed.
Wait a minute! Aren't we in the Garden of Eden, and isn't the woman, Eve? No, not in this verse. Why not? Because this is the only time in the Bible that physical offspring is referred to as a woman's seed. Every other example of physical offspring is referred to as the man's seed. For instance, God says to Abraham in Gen 9:9, And I, behold, I establish my covenant with you, and with your seed after you.
Remember, Mary does not have relations with Joseph to conceive Jesus.
Mt 1:20 ...behold, the angel of the Lord appeared unto him in a dream, saying, Joseph, thou son of David, fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife: for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost.
and in Mt 1:16 And Jacob begat Joseph the husband of Mary, of whom was born Jesus...
Jesus is of Mary's seed, humanly speaking, because no man was involved!
So, you may ask?
This illustrates the significance of Jn 2:4. The most important moment in Jesus' life is his hour of glory when he could say, "It is finished!" And one of those to witness that was the Woman, his mother. She also witnessed the fulfilment of the other half of Gen 3:15:
...it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise it's heel.
or as Heb 2:14 states: Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death he might destroy him who had the power of death, that is, the devil.
And why did the devil only bruise the heel of the Woman's seed; because Jesus is risen and lives forever to make intercession!
Did I say, "Alleluia"? ALLELUIA!
I'll add a few thoughts on Mary and the Wedding at Cana.
Mary is the perfect disciple of Christ.
She is entirely obedient to God.
Therefore, Christ gives her whatever she asks.
Obedience between Christ and Mary is reciprocal and assymetrical.
She is obedient to him, and he is obedient to her: reciprocal.
But He is the head of the Church and she is the figure of the Church.
He is only obedient to her in the sense of granting her requests due to her subordinate obedience to Him: assymetrical.
Cana was the first Sacrament of Marriage.
Christ changed the old wine of the Old Testament marriage into the new wine of the Sacrament of Marriage (New Testament).
Mary was not so much concerned about a lack of wine. When she said, 'they have no wine,' she meant that they lacked a true and full Sacrament of Marriage.
When Christ replied that His time had not yet come, He meant that he had not yet suffered and died so as to provide the graces from which the Sacraments flow.
But she knew that as the Son of God, Christ could still grant her request. And so He did.
The Church exhausts itself praising Mary, so should we.
Mario I think we both know which board it is. Taking Pope Pius XI and John Paul II out of context because of the title "Queen of Heaven", etc, etc.
What they fail to see, is when we recite the sign of the Cross. It is only the 3 Divine persons of the Holy Trinity and does not include Mary. This is the same sign of the Cross that is a precursor and concludes the recitation of the "Hail Mary" and every other prayer.
When we state the Profession of Faith it's, "He was born of the virgin Mary and became man." Virgin Mary and Divine Mary would be 2 different statements.
There is a distinct difference between worshipping Mary and having an adoration towards her and giving her the due respect she deserves.
They just really irked me because they take everything of the Roman Catholic faith out of context. Not the first time the Vatican has been criticized. Sometimes I think people seek out potential flaws in statements by the Church and linguistics. Fundamentally they need to first look at one basic fact by answering a simple question...
From Whom does the Roman Catholic Church come from? Once answered accurately, one should proceed with great caution before questioning the tenants thereof. Most agree challenging a judge in their courtroom would be similar to walking a dangerous line. The same applies.
On a similar note, while I don't observe the Judaic faith, I have a high level of respect for a religion whose people are God's chosen. Slamming their belief system would accomplish nothing.
True that no one can come before the Father except through Christ alone, but we hail Mary because she is favored among women and had a close relationship with Our Lord.
Sorry for the ranting tangent.
It's amazing how offended we as humans can get when someone talks about our own mothers.
How offended do you think Christ is when our Protestant brothers and sisters (not literally of course :lol: ) degrade Our Lady so?
When will our non-Catholic brothers and sisters realize that their interpretation of what Jesus said in the Holy Scripture degrades not just Mary but Jesus also?
Pio, You ask "when",
I'll tell you when,
When they shed their spiritual pride.
I had a very interesting conversation with a very good Baptist in our Parish one time. Brian told me he had been a Catolic when he was young and had later become a Baptist. When I asked him why he told me that it was because the Church was theologically wrong. I asked him to explain and several of the things he said concerned Our Lady incuding the 'fact' that we 'adored' her. I pointed out that The Church didn't teach these things.
But, you know people believe what they want. However I wonder if Brian ever really was taught properly in the first place.
When Jesus used the title "woman" (gnyai), it served as a title of respect and dignity. Jesus would never have dismissed the fourth commandment by rebuking his mother in public and thereby dishonouring her. Jesus' question actually was intended to invite his mother to solicit him and intercede on behalf of the wedding guests. It is more a declaration of acknowledgement than a question: the hour has arrived at last for Jesus to begin his ministry under the shadow of the cross; his mother's concern does in fact affect him. Bishop Fulton J Sheen saw our Lord's question as his way of reminding his mother that from this point on their relationship will never be as it was; Mary must now let go of her Son and give him to us in marriage as bride and groom: the bride being the Church. Jesus reciprocated by giving his mother to us true believers and disciples from the cross.
I think you did a great job defending Our Lady and her role as our mother.
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