Mary in the Scriptures
By Deacon Keith Fournier
When Mary visited her cousin Elizabeth, she bore within her the Incarnate Word of God. She was as a living tabernacle of love (Luke 1:38-45). Jesus, the Redeemer in the womb, was already saving the world and Mary, his chosen mother, was already His first disciple. This little Virgin from Nazareth not only experienced the great miracle but she had become herself a vehicle of grace, God's Divine Life, for others. She was also the Model for each of us who bear His name. The Apostle Paul wrote to the Christians in Corinth: "But I shall show you a still more excellent way." If I speak in human and angelic tongues but do not have love, I am a resounding gong or a clashing cymbal. And if I have the gift of prophecy and comprehend all mysteries and all knowledge; if I have all faith so as to move mountains but do not have love, I am nothing. If I give away everything I own, and if I hand my body over so that I may boast but do not have love, I gain nothing. Love is patient, love is kind. It is not jealous, (love) is not pompous, it is not inflated, it is not rude, it does not seek its own interests, it is not quick-tempered, it does not brood over injury, it does not rejoice over wrongdoing but rejoices with the truth. It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails" (1 Cor. 12:31, 13).
Annunciation - Fra Angelico - 1430
Mary is our Model on the way of discipleship. God is not someone who we place on a shelf so to speak, only to bring Him down when we perceive ourselves to be in need. The truth is, we are always in need and He is living within us through our Baptism, having given us in Christ everything we need.
(2 Cor. 1:20) God is the Source and Summit of our life. Without Him, we have no life at all. True Spirituality is "inside out" rather than "outside in."
There is a way, a pattern that all men and women are invited into - not just once, but daily - which can become transformative, perfective of who we are as human persons. This way opens for each of us the deeper meaning of human life. It is the path to authentic peace and the portal of the mystery of meaning itself. This is what Christian Scripture calls the "more excellent way" the way of Love. Mary understands this Way and walked on it with extraordinary humility. It is the way of Her Son, the Lord Jesus Christ who is Love Incarnate, God with a human face.
Is it any wonder that the early Christians painted her image in the catacombs during their moments of fear, persecution and doubt? In her "yes" they came to understand that ordinary people can change human history. They were inspired to add their own "yes", their own "Fiat" to hers. Justin Martyr and other early apologists found in her "fiat", her obedient "yes" to the angel, the undoing of the "no - I will not serve" given by the first woman Eve. They called Mary "The Second Eve", the mother of the new creation. In her womb she lovingly carried the One whom St. Paul called the "New Adam" ( 1 Cor. 15). He was born from her as the first born of a new race of men and women who find a new birth through His Saving Life, Death, Resurrection, and Ascension, the Paschal Mystery. That same Redeemer now resides within, and lives His life through all who respond to the invitation of Love like Mary did.
More Mary, Mother of God
Appearances of Mary
The term "appearance" has been used with Marian apparitions and visions of Jesus Christ. The Church will confirm an apparition as worthy of belief, but belief is never required by divine faith. Read More
Mary as Mother
From antiquity, Mary has been called "Theotokos", or "God-Bearer". The word in Greek is "Theotokos". The term was used as part of the popular piety of the early first millennium church. Read More
Mary was there at the Incarnation, Birth, Crucifixion, and Resurrection of God Incarnate. She was there throughout the often called "hidden years" in Nazareth. In the life of the Redeemer... Read More
Since the Virgin Mary's role in the mystery of Christ and the Spirit has been treated, it is fitting now to consider her place in the mystery of the Church. She is acknowledged as... Read More
Mary as Model
Christian Scripture calls the "more excellent way", the way of Love. Mary understands this Way and walked on it with extraordinary humility. Follow her in journey through the Scriptures. Read More
A Bishop named Nestorius objected to the title of Theotokos, Mother of God or God Bearer for Mary. The Council of Ephesus met in 431AD and affirmed Mary was the "Mother of God"... Read More
Devotion to - and love for . Mary, the Mother of God, is a foundational part of the Christian Church both East and West. The Eastern Christian emphasis, both doctrinally and devotionally, is... Read More
Mary as Disciple
Way of Mary
And Mary said, "Behold, I am the servant of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word." And the angel departed from her. (The Gospel of Luke 2:34-37) Read More
Mary's Prayer teaches us to stay afloat in the ocean of life, with all of its undertows. Mary's way is to become an ark within, where the same God who became incarnate within her... Read More
Mission of Mary
In a beautiful apostolic exhortation entitled the Sacrament of Love, issued in 1997, Pope Benedict XVI wrote these words under a section entitled The Eucharist and the Virgin Mary... Read More
Before they were called Christians (Acts 11:26), at Antioch, they were referred to as "the Way". A Rabbi named Saul spoke of persecuting "the way" (Acts 22:4) before he was profoundly converted... Read More
"Standing by the cross of Jesus were his mother... When Jesus saw his mother and the disciple there whom he loved, he said to his mother, Woman, behold, your son." Read More
Message of Mary
Devotion of Mary
When they came to the place called the Skull, there they crucified him, along with the criminals - one on his right, the other on his left. Jesus said, "Father, forgive them... Read More
But at daybreak on the first day of the week they took the spices they had prepared and went to the tomb. They found the stone rolled away from the tomb; but when they entered... Read More
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