How shall I answer the questions about Mary?
Her Immaculate Conception:
Mary is ‘full of grace’ through God. She was redeemed from the moment of her conception. When the Angel Gabriel greeted her, she was greeted with, “Hail Mary, full of grace” meaning she had been created without sin by God. See Luke 1:26-38. Our Blessed Mother Mary still had to be redeemed by God just as we must experience redemption, yet God redeemed Mary, who is the Ark of the New Covenant, at the moment of her conception so that she would be a purified vessel ready to receive the Messiah, Jesus, the New Covenant. She was purified by God just as the Ark of the Old Covenant was purified through God’s instructions to be made of pure gold to receive the Old Covenant. The Ark of the Old Covenant was a foreshadowing of the promises to come. This truth was recognized as Dogma in 1854 by Pope Pius IX. See CCC (Catechism of the Catholic Church) 491
Jesus is the second person of the Holy Trinity, conceived by the Holy Spirit and born of the Virgin Mary. Jesus was fully human and fully divine. Mary was proclaimed “Mother of God,” the Theotokos at the Council of Ephesus 431. She was given to the Church as Mother by Jesus when He was hanging on the cross, “Seeing his mother and the disciple he loved standing near her, Jesus said to his mother, “Woman, this is your son.” Then to the disciple he said, “This is your mother.” John 19:26. See CCC 495. .Mary is known as the New Eve, mother of the living. See CCC 511.
This mystery was prophesied by Isaiah, “Behold, a virgin shall conceive and bear a son.” Isaiah 7:14 and announced by the angel Gabriel to Mary in Luke 1:34-35, to which Mary answered: “I am the handmaid of the Lord, let what you have said be done to me.” Mary’s “Yes” to God has never changed and remains as a perpetual confession, and so the liturgy of the Church celebrates Mary as Aeiparthenos, the “Ever-virgin.” CCC 500 says, “Against this doctrine the objection is sometimes raised that the Bible mentions brothers and sisters of Jesus. The Church has always understood these passages as not referring to other children of the Virgin Mary. In fact James and Joseph, “brothers of Jesus,” are the sons of another Mary, a disciple of Christ, whom St. Matthew significantly calls “the other Mary.” Matthew 13:55; 27:56; 28:1. They are close relations of Jesus, according to an Old Testament expression.
The Blessed Mother
(By Angie Lake)
I would like to offer here my own personal opinions and thoughts in regard to the Blessed Virgin Mary. It is my prayer that my personal understanding be in line with the teaching of the Roman Catholic Church whose guidance I have trusted and followed all my life.
A good place to begin is Sacred Scripture and to meditate on some of Jesus’ final words to us: “Near the cross of Jesus stood His mother and His mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Clopas and Mary of Magdala. Seeing His mother and the disciple He loved standing near her, Jesus said to His mother, ‘Woman, this is your son.’ Then to the disciple He said, ‘This is your mother.’ And from that moment the disciple made a place for her in his home.” (John 19:25-27)
It follows that since I, as a believer in Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection, am in Christ and part of His mystical body; that Mary, being Jesus’ mother, therefore becomes my mother, for we are One in Him.
When we as believers read scripture, we often times put our name in the scripture to personalize the scripture, knowing that it is God’s Word to us personally and we must take it personally. If I do that here in this instance, then Jesus is saying to me, “This is your mother.” Because of this scripture, I receive Mary as the Mother of the Church, which is the mystical Body of Christ.
If you will visualize with me that we are the Body of Christ with Jesus as the Head as St. Paul tells us in I Corinthians 12:12-30, then where does the Blessed Virgin Mary fit within the Body of Jesus Christ?
Our church teaches that Mary was immaculately conceived so that she might be a pure vessel to receive the Messiah, our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Mary, the Ark of the New Covenant, was a vessel honored by God.
I encourage you to not confuse salvation through Jesus with communion with the saints in the Body of Christ. There are those who I ask to pray for me and with me in the seen Body of Christ. Because we lose our fleshly bodies does not mean we lose our position as part of the Body of Christ. Because we believe we have communion with the saints we may, if we choose, ask them to pray for us, to pray with us. Because Mary is the mother of God/Jesus, we believe she has a unique place in the Body of Christ and we may also ask for her intercession in our lives.
These thoughts are my own thoughts as I have interpreted Sacred Scripture within the teachings of the Holy Catholic Church.
Thank you, Blessed Mother Mary, for your yes. May I imitate your yes in giving my life toward the revelation of your son, Jesus, as you did. For I believe Jesus, your son to be my Lord and Savior, my only source of salvation.