Viewpoint X

The Church teaches that from the descendants of Eve, God chose the Virgin Mary to be the mother of his Son . . . Mary is truly the “Mother of God” since she was the mother of the eternal Son of God made man, who is God himself. (Catechism, 508–509: p. 128)

Mary, the queen of all saints, is not worshiped in the church. It is made clear that she was descended from the first humans as we all are. She had a natural mother and father, known to us as Saints Joachim and Ann. Very little is known about them since they are not mentioned in the gospels. A detailed account of the birth of Mary exists in the Protoevangelium of James, the brother of John, and it is also not included in the canon of the New Testament. It appears that “hearsay” could not be sworn to.

The mystery of the Incarnation, that is, God becoming man in Jesus of Nazareth, as expressed by Matthew and Luke, is most surely centered on Mary as the “mediatrix”. She is the means or the channel God chose for himself to enter the world of his own creation. That thought alone leads directly to contemplation of the Trinity.

If we can project into the future, and establish a criterion for projected events, the thought must arise in us as to where the power to do so comes from? What standard of judgment do we base this understanding on?

Some say that this capability is solely determined by our past experiences, but where does that leave our free imagination to create new criteria; an ideal future plan perhaps? Although human competence is limited, one might say that for God, if one believes in God, anything and everything is possible.

Since the will of God is unlimited, a vast majority of human beings believe he can actualize the condition of a future individual as well as of the future of the universe. He can be of this world and still not in this world at the same time. Time and space, also created by him, are his alone to manipulate by his will; all this done in the Spirit – which he both is and is not. He is who is, as Scripture tells us.

On this basis, the consideration of Mary having been conceived without sin stands entirely on the understanding of faith. In this case seeing is not believing, but believing is seeing! Are we so living in the present, so pragmatic, as William James would say, that we cannot nor will not imagine this pre-orienting of Mary’s future?

Theologically, it makes the most sense that God, in Jesus, does not have two worldly parents, but does have a mother destined from all eternity to be the means by which and in whom Truth entered the world as a person.

The Spirit of God, who is Love, placed himself in the womb of the very special person of Mary, actualizing the Incarnation of Christ, so we can say Mary is the Mother of God.

The joy and peace of the Nativity is a pure gift of God (Emanuel) to the human race through Mary Immaculate. In Jesus we have defeated death, and are brought to new life. Hans von Balthasar said:

Christians, therefore live not only toward death, but always away from death.

Viewpoint agrees with Meister Eckhart when he said:

“Just as it would be presumptuous and reckless not to believe unless you have understood, so too it would be slothful and lazy not to investigate by natural arguments and examples what you believe by faith.”

Feast of the Immaculate Conception, December, 2009

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