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Mary - Mother of God
We all know that Mary is the mother of Jesus Christ. For a large section of the human race, Jesus is also the Son of God, the one and only Saviour. But the importance of Mary is not really understood even by many Christians.
Many look upon Mary just as a medium used by God for taking the human form. But that is absolutely wrong. Mary was not just any other woman God selected at random for coming to Earth to save mankind from sin.
The Holy Bible itself shows the importance of Mary in God's 'plan' to save mankind. The Bible makes the fact absolutely clear that Mary is truly the Mother of God and that she " is the most blessed among all women " and that she is the Mother of all mankind. I will try my best to make this crystal clear in this article on the basis of the Bible itself.
Mary the Blessed
Mary is mentioned in the Bible on several occasions. The most important in my view is at the start of the Gospel of Luke. I am quoting from three instances in Chapter 1, starting from verse 28.
1. "And the angel being come in, said unto her (Mary): Hail, full of grace, the Lord is with thee: blessed art thou among women." (Luke.1:28).
2. "And she (cousin Elizabeth) cried out with a loud voice and said: Blessed art thou among women and blessed is the fruit of thy womb." (Luke.1:42).
3. "Because he (God) hath regarded the humility of his handmaid: for behold from henceforth all generations shall call me blessed. " (Luke.1:48).
Let me describe in short the circumstances of the above mentioned verses. The first is when the angel Gabriel is sent from God to Mary to announce the news that " thou shalt conceive in thy womb and shalt bring forth a son: and thou shalt call his name Jesus." (Luke.1:31).
The second is when Mary goes to visit her cousin Elizabeth who, as angel Gabriel tells Mary " also hath conceived a son in her old age: and this is the sixth month with her that is called barren."(Luke.1:36) And Mary goes to the hill country and to the city of Juda. " And she entered into the house of Zachary (husband ) and saluted Elizabeth. And it came to pass that when Elizabeth heard the salutation of Mary, the infant leaped in her womb. And Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit."(Luke.1:40-41). And she cried out the above quoted second verse.
The third instance is part of Mary's reply to Elizabeth's above greeting. "And Mary said: My soul doth magnify the Lord. And my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Saviour. "(Luke.1:46-47) Because he hath ........
Now let us see the meaning of the word 'bless', most suitable for these occasions. bless - to extol as holy. extol - to praise highly.
There is no one else in the entire Bible, who is as holy as Mary and who has been praised so highly as Mary. As such one can easily understand the importance of Mary as the Mother of God.
Mary - Mother of God
The true and absolute fact that Mary is the Mother of God can also be proved from the Bible. The Gospel of Luke again provides the Bible verse we are looking at. As we saw above, Mary visits her cousin Elizabeth and the following verse is also part of Elizabeth's greeting.
" And whence is this to me that the Mother of my Lord should come to me? For behold as soon as the voice of thy salutation sounded in my ears, the infant in my womb leaped for joy." (Luke.1:43-44)
As everyone knows, in the Bible God is usually called as Lord. Here Elizabeth is calling Mary, the Mother of God. The importance of that salutation becomes more clear when one reads the part that comes just before in verse 41. This verse which I have quoted in the beginning is being repeated here. " And it came to pass that when Elizabeth heard the salutation of Mary, the infant leaped in her womb. And Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit."(Luke.1:41).
Though it is widely believed that everything in the Bible has been written with the inspiration and prompting (blessing) of the Holy Spirit, in this particular instance, it is made abundantly clear that what Elizabeth proclaims is a divine truth. The Holy Spirit, who is God the Spirit, is making a divine proclamation that Mary is the Mother of God. What more clarity does one need!
Mary the Intercessor
There is a misconception that Catholics pray to Mary as one prays to God or Jesus. This is not correct. One does not pray to Mary, but asks her to pray for one's needs. One is only asking Mary's help. She intercedes for us.
What is so special about Mary, that one should ask her help and not just pray directly to Jesus? First of all, it is a a fact that almost everyone who is a believer in God, asks others also to pray for him/ her. Next, let us see again from the Bible the very special 'hold' that Mary has over Jesus. What I would like to show is the motherly power Mary has over Jesus by which she can affect or 'persuade' the Son of God.
St.John,Chapter 2, describes the marriage in Cana, where Jesus changes water into wine. Jesus, mother Mary and his disciples are invited for the marriage. What happens is that even before all the guests can be served, the wine that was kept has finished.
"And the wine failing, the mother of Jesus saith to him: They have no wine. And Jesus saith to her: Woman, what is that to me and to thee? My hour is not yet come. His mother saith to the waiters: Whatsoever he shall say to you, do ye." (John.2:3-5).
And what follows is that Jesus asks the waiters to fill six water-pots of stone with water, and the water turns to wine. One must first of all remember that Jesus has so far not done a single miracle and is not at all in favour of doing one now. But such is the 'loving power' that Mother Mary has over her son, that Jesus accepts and obeys her 'command' and does his first miracle. The fact is that Mary is even able to make Jesus, the son of God, change his mind.
We have seen the very special and distinct position Mary has as the Mother of God. She is very special to Jesus, and as such her prayers to Jesus, will also be special. All those who ask Mary's help for their needs are sure to see the positive results. As we see in St.John, Chapter 19, "When Jesus therefore had seen his mother and the disciple standing whom he loved, he saith to his mother: Woman, behold thy son. After that, he saith to the disciple: Behold thy mother. And from that hour, the disciple took her to his own." (John.19:26-27).
We all are the sons and daughters of Mary, and we all should take Mary as our own. She is Mother Mary for all mankind.