Friday, November 17, 2006

Through Mary to Jesus?

This entry is in response to the question posed in comments. The answer is so lengthy, I felt it best to simply reply in an entry.

"What is the gospel that the Catholic Church proclaims? I don't recall ever reading in the Bible that we go through Mary to Jesus and this is exactly what Catholicism teaches."

First off, the gospel that the Catholic Church proclaims in no different than what Protestant churches proclaim. Of course, the gospel is much more in-depth than a few sentences, but I'm going to limit my response to the basics.

The gospel is the "good news" and is the message about Jesus... that He came to suffer and die for the sins of the world, so that whoever believes in Him, will receive forgiveness and eternal life... By Christ's blood shed on the cross, we are saved.

In regards to the phrase, "through Mary to Jesus", we must take a reasonable look at what is meant by this:

  • Through Mary's voluntary consent we have received Jesus.

When God became man, He came to us through Mary's body because Mary, acting on her free will, agreed to conceive the baby Jesus and her consent allowed His divine will to be completed.

  • Through Mary's example we are better able to imitate Jesus.

Due to her circumstances, Mary had to have an extreme measure of faith. God in his infinite wisdom and holiness would have chosen a virtuous woman in which to carry him... and Jesus respected and adored her. She gave credit where credit was due and remained true to the Lord her whole life! This is an example we should follow Christ...

  • Through Mary's intercession we obtain graces from Jesus.

Mary is, like the rest of those in heaven and here on earth, a part of the body of Christ. No doubt, she is held in a place of honor in the kingdom of heaven for her role and obedience to the Lord. The holier a person, and the closer they are to Christ, the more effective that person's prayer is. Mary could not have been closer to Jesus as she carried Him for nine months, gave birth to Him, and nurtured Him to manhood, for the Redemption of the world.

We ask the body of Christ on earth to pray for us (as instructed in 1 Tim 2:1-4) and also ask the saints and angels in heaven to pray for us. This is scriptural (Rev 5:8, Rev 8:3-4). In fact, the prayers of the righteous are powerful (James 5:16) and who are more righteous than Mary and the Saints, who have been perfected from every stain of sin while they praise our God in heaven?

Let us not forget that Christ gave her to us (and us to her) on the cross (John 19:26-17)! And considering these were some of His dying words, they MUST have been important!

Catholics are in no way saying that salvation comes from Mary but that because of her obedience, Christ was able to complete His work. Could He have done it another way? Of course! He's God! But through Mary, His divine will was carried out.

Jesus loves His mother. And the Bible does not downplay her, ignore her or make her less than who she really is. She is the Mother of God. Catholics understand her role and they love her as Christ loved her.

But, Catholics also understand the gospel. Without the blood of Christ shed for us, there would be no salvation. Salvation is from Christ alone!

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