In my last post, (yes, it’s been awhile, unfortunately) I mentioned that I had been doing some research on Mary and Scripture. I looked at scholarly sites, which made me work harder than I had for awhile. I got the material for today’s post from http://www.ewtn.com/library/mary/maryinsc.htm, a section on EWTN called ‘Mary in Scripture’. It turns out that Mary is the bridge between the Old and New Testaments and the Old and New Covenants. This makes Mary an important figure in the Bible. Mary is the Daughter of Zion, the Ark of the Covenant, the new Eve working with the new Adam. The early Christian Church, even Protestant Reformation leaders, including Martin Luther, studied Scripture to gain a better understanding of Mary. However, studying the early scripture historians (those historians who were guided by the Holy Spirit, who, of course, also inspired the writers of the old & new testaments) fell out of favor and people started coming up with their own interpretations of the Bible or using tools of professional historians to interpret the Bible. So, the scriptural Mary has been lost for non-Catholic Christians and therefore, the appreciation of Mary as more than the woman who gave birth to Jesus.
Much of the events of the New Testament are fulfilment of the prophecies of the Old Testament. (I really d0n’t need to go into examples here, do I?) So, Mary was also the fulfilment of Old Testament prophecies. And many Protestant scholars are seeing this again. First, we have Genesis 3:15, which tells us, “I will put enmity between you and the woman, and your seed and her seed: she will crush your head, and you will lie in wait for her heel” The ‘woman’ is Mary and “her seed”, of course, is Jesus. Whereas Eve was seduced and conquered by the serpent (Satan), Mary and Jesus will defeat the serpent. And while Gen 3:15 may sound like it is only speaking about a woman and not a woman and man because God was speaking to just Eve, but it is foretelling that Mary would be pregnant without a husband, a “pregnant virgin.” Isaiah 7:14 says, “Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign; the young woman, pregnant and about to bear a son, shall name him Emmanuel.” Micah 5:2 says, “Therefore the Lord will give them up, until the time when she who is to give birth has borne, then the rest of his kindred shall return to the children of Israel”, which along with with Genesis and Isaiah, points to a pregnant mother giving birth to a son, and a special son at that.
We see Mary in the last book of the bible, in Revelation 12. “A great sign appeared in the sky, a woman (Mary) clothed with the sun (radiant in grace), with the moon under her feet (majesty over the earth, because of her position as the Mother of God, Jesus), and on her head a crown of twelve stars (majesty over the angels). She was with child and wailed aloud in pain as she labored to give birth (pain because of Eve’s sin). Then another sign appeared in the sky; it was a huge red dragon (Satan) with seven heads and ten horns, and on its head were seven diadems. Its tail swept away a third of the stars in the sky and hurled them down to earth. Then the dragon stood before before the woman about to give birth, to devour her child when she gave birth. She gave birth to a male son, a male child, destined to rule all the nations with an iron rod. Her child was caught up to God and his throne. ” So Mary would give birth to a son who would go up to God, God’s throne & would rule with an iron rod. Sounds like Jesus to me, since only God would go up to God’s throne. Mary, therefore, gave birth to God in giving birth to Jesus. Mary is also considered to be the spouse of God because the Holy Spirit (one – third of the Trinity) impregnated Mary.
So, the idea of Mary being worthy of adoration is supported by Scripture (trust me, I left most of the examples out). Catholics have a reverence for Mary because there is cause for it, not just for fun.