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August 11th, 2012

If Jesus is God, Mary is Mother of God

Mary Mother of God

If Jesus is God, Mary is Mother of God – that is the simple logic of reason.

Quite some time ago I was asked this question. How can Mary be the Mother of God? She did not exist before God, then how can she be the Mother of God? It is not in this way of human thought process that we understand Mary as the Mother of God. The words ‘Mother of God’ is not found in scripture. However we need to prayerfully see if  “the concept of Mary, Mother of God” is taught in scripture?

Scriptural Reference of Mary as Mother of God

1) From Luke 1:39 onwards we read about Mary’s visit to Elizabeth. Verse 41 states how Elizabeth being filled with the Holy Spirit addresses Mary as blessed, in verse 42 and in verse 43 asks ‘And why has this happened to me that the Mother of my Lord comes to me?” The word ‘Lord’ in the New Testament refers to God. Here we see Elizabeth being filled with the Holy Spirit not addressing Mary by her name but addressing her as ‘Mother of my Lord’.

2) In Galatians 4:4 we read, “But when the fullness of time had come, God sent His Son, born of a woman… All Christians (Catholic and Protestant) believe that Jesus was both God and Man when He walked this earth (i.e., He had two natures but one divine person). This one divine person was born of Mary, hence addressing Mary as ‘Mother of God’ is appropriate.

The title “Mother of God” (in Greek “Theotokos”, or “God-bearer”) was used at the Council of Ephesus in 431 to protect Jesus’ divinity against the heresy of Nestorius, who claimed that Mary gave birth only to Jesus’ human nature. This meant that Christ’s human nature was split from His divine nature and that created two separate persons, a major heresy that was rejected by the Council. The protestant reformers Martin Luther and John Calvin accepted Mary’s divine maternity and believed that she was the ‘Mother of God.’

3) A further question may be asked in regard to Mathew 12:46-50.
While he was still speaking to the crowds, his mother and his brothers were standing outside, wanting to speak to him. Someone told him, ‘Look, your mother and your brothers are standing outside, wanting to speak to you.’ But to the one who had told him this, Jesus replied, ‘Who is my mother, and who are my brothers?’ And pointing to his disciples, he said, ‘Here are my mother and my brothers! For whoever does the will of my Father in heaven is my brother and sister and mother.’

This verse is quoted by fundamentalists stating that Jesus did not give importance to His mother, Mary. But let us look prayerfully and carefully in scripture. As a true Son to His parents Jesus would have obeyed the commandment to honour His parents by being obedient (Luke 2:51). Referring to Luke 1:38, we see Mary giving herself freely by stating ‘let it be with me according to Your word’. This means she said YES to the will of God, she said YES to the word that the angel brought to her. Hence by saying Yes and doing God’s will she in this aspect is truly the Mother of God.

Notice in John 2:6, how Mary says to the servants “Do whatever He tells You.” Mary was guiding the servants to do whatever Jesus commanded them to do, which was to do the will of God in that particular situation.

Goto Mary The Mother of Jesus , Mother Mary Video

Another verse quoted stating that Jesus did not give importance to His mother is Luke 11:27-28. “While he was saying this, a woman in the crowd raised her voice and said to him, ‘Blessed is the womb that bore you and the breasts that nursed you!’ But he said, ‘Blessed rather are those who hear the word of God and obey it.’”

St. Augustine states, “while the Lord was passing by, performing divine miracles, with the crowds following him, a woman said: Fortunate is the womb that bore you. And how did the Lord answer, to show that good fortune is not really to be sought in mere family ties? Rather blessed are those who hear the word of God and keep it (Lk 11:27-28). So that is why Mary, too, is blessed, because she heard the word of God and kept it.” Ref: Luke 2:19, 51b.

Mary as our Mother

Youcat [85]: Mary is our mother because Christ the Lord gave her to us as a mother. “Woman, behold your son! …Behold, your mother!” (Jn 19:26-27). The second command which Jesus spoke from the cross to John, has always been understood by the church as an act of entrusting the whole church to Mary. Thus Mary is our mother too.

Notice in Jn 19:25-27 the name of the disciple is not mentioned. Tradition has it as John the apostle. We are also Disciples of Christ. If we substitute our name for the word ‘disciple’ mentioned, we will notice that from the cross in verse 27 Jesus said to the disciple “Here is your mother” and from that hour the disciple took her into his own home. Jesus is also saying to us “Here is your mother”.

The church Fathers agreed to the teaching of Mary as the Mother of God.

St. Gregory the wonder-worker. “For Luke, in the inspired Gospel narratives, delivers a testimony not to Joseph only, but also to Mary, the Mother of God, and gives this account with reference to the very family and house of David” [A.D. 262]. Ephraim the Syrian: “Though still a virgin she carried a child in her womb, and the handmaid and work of his wisdom became the Mother of God” [A.D. 351].

The above mentioned points may clarify doubts about Mary as Mother of God but it takes a move of the Holy Spirit to be convinced about it.

Prayer: O Holy Spirit, in Jn 16:13 we read that You are the ‘Spirit of Truth’. Please lead us and guide us in Truth, especially in the teachings of the church. Give us the grace to read and study with discipline the Word of God, the catechism and all necessary catholic information that we require to build and stay strong in our mother church. There are many who have left and they question and criticise us regarding our faith. Help us not to harbour anger towards them but to be patient with them. Reveal the Truth to them for only the Truth can set them free. Heavenly Father, I make this prayer through Jesus Christ our Lord and Saviour. Amen.

For wallpapers, goto Mother Mary WallpapersJesus and Mary Pictures

– – – written by Patrick Horne

August 4th, 2012

Our Lady Of Perpetual Help Image Explained

Our Lady of perpetual help image

Our Lady of Perpetual Help, also known as Our Lady of Perpetual Succour, is a title given to the Blessed Virgin Mary by Pope Pius IX, associated with a celebrated Byzantine icon of the same name dating from the 15th century.

This icon has been in Rome since 1499, and is currently in the church of Sant’Alfonso di Liguori all’Esquilino. The image has become very popular among Roman Catholics in particular, and has been very much copied and reproduced.

Meaning of Our Lady of Perpetual Help Icon

1) Greek initial for Mother of God.

2) Greek initial for St. Michael, the archangel.

3) Greek initial for St. Gabriel, the archangel.

4) Mary’s mouth is small for silent recollection. She speaks little.

5) Mary’s eyes are larger, for in all our troubles, they are turned towards us always.

6) Star on our Lady’s veil means she is the star of the sea who brought the light Jesus into this world.

7) Red tunic is the color worn by virgins at the time of Christ (AD33).

8) Christ’s hands turned palms down into his mother’s indicate that the grace of redemption is in her keeping.

9) Mary’s left hand supports Christ possessively. That means she is his mother. It’s a comforting hand for everyone who calls on her.

10) Dark blue mantle – the color worn by mothers in Palestine. means Mary is both virgin and mother of Christ.

11) The entire background is gold representing the heaven.

12) Golden crown placed on the original picture as a token of many miracles wrought by our lady invoked under the title of perpetual help.

13) Greek initials for Jesus Christ.

14) Foot with falling sandal represents Christ’s divine nature, barely clinging to earth. The human nature is symbolized in the other foot to which the sandal is more firmly bound. This simply means that Christ has two natures, Human and Divine.

June 30th, 2012

Why is Mary called The Ark of The Covenant?

Mary The Ark of The Covenant

Though many titles have been bestowed on the Blessed Mother, the one title that evolves itself as we journey from the Old testament to the New testament is – The Ark of the Covenant.

The Israelites held The Ark of the Covenant in high esteem. So sacred was it considered that the Lord God set up a separate tribe to carry it. Duetronomy 10:8 – “At that time the LORD set apart the tribe of Levi to carry the ark of the covenant of the LORD, to stand before the LORD to minister to him and to bless in his name, to this day.”

Of the many verses which tell us about the Ark of God’s covenant let us focus on what St. Paul in his letter to the Hebrews says about the Ark of the Covenant and the contents inside it. This is what he says in Hebrews chapter 9 verse 4. “Having the golden altar of incense and the Ark of the covenant covered on all sides with gold, which contained a golden urn holding the manna, and Aaron’s rod that budded, and the tables of the covenant”.

To sum up therefore the Ark of the covenant of the old testament was house to the manna that the Israelites were fed with in their days of wandering in the desert apart from Aaron’s rod and the tables (the book of laws) of the covenant.

Why is Mary the Ark of New Covenant?

When we recite the litany of Our Lady we acknowledge the Mother as being the Ark of the Covenant. Why is this so? The manna, Aaron’s rod and the tables of the covenant all point to a single person and that is Our Lord Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ is (a) the Bread of life that came down from heaven, (b) the High Priest who offered his holy blood for the atonement of the sins of humankind and (c) the fulfilment of all the laws. Therefore the Blessed Mother who carried Jesus in her womb is the Ark of God’s New Covenant with mankind, the covenant which is sealed with the blood of Christ.

Verses showing Mary as the Ark of Covenant

Some verses which support the claim that the Blessed Virgin Mother is indeed the Ark of the New Covenant are 2 Chronicles 6 :41 and Psalms 132:8 “And now arise, O LORD God, and go to thy resting place, thou and the Ark of thy might.” These verses clearly indicate how Jesus the Son of God and the Son of Mary would honour his mother – the Ark. He intended to honour her by taking her to heaven in much the same way as he himself went. Another verse that supports this claim is the Revelation given to St. John the Apostle whom the Mother adopted as her son at the foot of the Cross.

Revelations 11:19 “Then God’s temple in heaven was opened, and the Ark of his covenant was seen within his temple; and there were flashes of lightning, voices, peals of thunder, an earthquake, and heavy hail.” Since the Ark of the Covenant was a sign and a very important one at that, Revelations 12:1 “ And a great portent appeared in heaven, a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars, refers to the Ark of the Covenant and the 12 tribes of Israel.

Joshua 4: 9 reveals an incident which when read along with verses from the Acts shows us the connection between the Mother and the Ark of the Covenant “ And Joshua set up twelve stones in the midst of the Jordan, in the place where the feet of the priests bearing the Ark of the covenant had stood.” Acts 1: 13-14 “And when they had entered, they went up to the upper room, where they were staying, Peter and John and James and Andrew, Philip and Thomas, Bartholomew and Matthew, James the son of Alphaeus and Simon the Zealot and Judas the son of James.

All these with one accord devoted themselves to prayer, together with the women and Mary the mother of Jesus. Acts 2:1 “When the day of Pentecost had come, they were all together in one place”.Now we all know that when Jesus was baptized in the Jordan the Father let the Holy Spirit descend on him.Therefore the Jordan in the verse above symbolizes the presence of the Holy Spirit and when does the Holy Spirit descend? when the twelve priests and the Ark of the covenant are together. i.e. when the twelve apostles and the Blessed Mother are together.

Read Mary’s Faith: A Model For The Church

The Bible shows us two distinct sets of people and their experiences concerning the Ark of the Covenant . 1 Samuel 3:3-4:- The lamp of God had not yet gone and Samuel was lying down in the temple of the Lord, where the Ark of God was . 4. Then the Lord called, “Samuel! Samuel!” 2 Samuel 6:12 It was told King David, “The Lord has blessed the household of O’bed’dom and all that belongs to him because of the Ark of God.”

The above passages from the old testament testify the fact that God blessed all those who were in close proximity to the Ark of the Covenant and revered it. When we meditate on the glorious mysteries of the Rosary we meditate on the Pentecost. The message conveyed by the Pentecost is very simple – all those who maintain close proximity with the Blessed Mother and revere her will be blessed.

Punishment for disrespecting The Ark of Covenant

Now let us examine what happened to those who dealt disrespectfully with the Ark of God. 1 Samuel 5:1-2,6. When the Philistines captured the Ark of God, they brought it from Ebenezer to Ashdod. Then the Philistines took the Ark of God and brought it into the house of Dagon and set it up beside Dagon. The hand of the Lord was heavy upon the people of Ashdod and he terrified and struck them with tumors, both in Ashdod and in its territory.

Here Dagon the God of the Philistines symbolizes Satan. If God were to deal so severely with people who dared to capture and place his Ark (made of earthly materials) alongside the unholy Dagon and thereby insult it, how much more severely would he deal with those who dare to insult the Blessed Mother (The Ark of the New Covenant) made by him in his own image and likeness and chosen to be a part of the divine plan of redemption.

1 Samuel 5:4 makes interesting reading “But when they rose early on the next morning, Dagon had fallen on his face to the ground before the Ark of the Lord and the head of Dagon and both his hands were lying cut off upon the threshold; only the trunk of Dagon was left to him.If Satan is not able to stand his ground against the Ark of the Old Covenant how much more will his feet not stagger in the presence of the Ark of the New Covenant.

The Blessed Virgin Mother has been given to us as a powerful advocate against Satan. She is someone before whom the power and weapons of Satan pale. Let us seek her assistance sincerely in our fight against the enemy, for she has been given to us as help and protection against the forces of evil.

– – – written by Lajan Miranda

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