So tomorrow, March 25th, is the Solemnity of the Annunciation of Our Lord. The moment when the Angel Gabriel appeared to Mary, the Mother of God to deliver a message that she was with Child.
Mary, Mother of God. This might be one of the biggest problems between Catholics and Protestants. How do you properly venerate and love Mary, especially when so many see that venerating her, as she deserves, is unbiblical and how it removes emphasis from Jesus.
I am not a Marian scholar, nor do I pretend to be. And I don’t have the same affinity for Mary as some of my fellow Catholics. It was a sticking point for me, people seem to put a huge value on Mary. Praying the rosary endlessly. Talking about Mary more than Jesus. And it always seemed so weird to me.
But then, I did some research. And I prayed. I even started praying the rosary. I used this: http://youtu.be/gsY9yaBsgls it let me follow along and focus on the words. The meditations, the contemplation, the peace that it brings.
And I grew to love her.
I know that you can get to Jesus through Mary. The Wedding at Cana signifies this. The miracle of turning the water into wine occurred after Jesus’ mother advised him they were out of wine. (John 2:1-12 Douay-Rheims)
In the same way, Catholics ask Mary to intercede on our behalf. She is our example, our mediator. She is our mother.
Mary is the ideal woman. She is the woman that all women on the planet should aspire to be. She is the ultimate example of humility, modesty and chastity.
“…I simply wish to note that the figure of Mary of Nazareth sheds light on womanhood as such by the very fact that God, in the sublime event of the Incarnation of his Son, entrusted himself to the ministry, the free and active ministry of a woman. It can thus be said that women, by looking to Mary, find in her the secret of living their femininity with dignity and of achieving their own true advancement. In the light of Mary, the Church sees in the face of women the reflection of a beauty which mirrors the loftiest sentiments of which the human heart is capable: the self-offering totality of love; the strength that is capable of bearing the greatest sorrows; limitless fidelity and tireless devotion to work; the ability to combine penetrating intuition with words of support and encouragement…” – Pope John Paul II, Redemptoris Mater
Those who argue that venerating Mary does a disservice to Jesus are doing a disservice to themselves.
Mary is necessary for our salvation. Mary was chosen and conceived without sin. God gave Mary the choice to bear his Son.
And she said yes. Through her own free will, as an unmarried woman, she said yes. And without her “yes” the salvation of the world would not have happened.
This is why we venerate Mary. We understand her pivotal role in our very salvation.
We understand that Mary was made perfect by God in order to play her part in our salvation.
And the Word became flesh and lived among us, and we have seen his glory, the glory as of a father’s only son, full of grace and truth. (John 1:14)
And, in honour of the Annunciation of Our Lord:
Nope. There is nothing biblical about celebrating Mary at all…