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Question: Where Do I Find Mary in the Bible?

Laura writes:

Where do I find Mary’s role in the Bible— what Scriptures? I haven’t found them. I hope it’s not made up by the aimless traditions of our fathers. Oh, I did find that we are not to pray to dead— would MARY be any different? Please help me understand.

FATHER JOE:

Do you really want to understand, Laura? Then you need to do a lot more study. Catholicism was preaching the Gospel before we even had a New Testament or a canonical Bible. Sacred Tradition was not a gift that Christ gave the Church and then took away. Similarly, he gave us shepherds who speak in his name and who interpret the truths from the deposit of faith. Not all traditions are aimless, but some have their source in Christ, the apostles and the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. Catholicism speaks of two fonts to revelation: Sacred Tradition and Sacred Scripture. There are Marian teachings that emerge both from the Bible and Tradition. These two elements are not in conflict. Indeed, the New Testament Gospels emerged from the oral tradition. The Bible and the Church forbid seeking two-way communication with the dead as in occult practices. However, we are not forbidden to request their intercession (the saints) or to pray for them (souls in purgatory). Praying for the dead as we see in 2nd Maccabees was within Jewish practice and the Church continued it. Indeed, the mystery of the redemption and resurrection would give it an increased intensity. As for Mary, there are good books available and a number of informative posts at this blog site:

Posts about the Virgin Mary  (click here)

Here are some scripture quotes that refer to the Mother of God.

The devil hates her and he stands against her. Do you?
Genesis 3:15
Revelation 12:17

God makes her the virgin mother.
Isaiah 7:14

Mary is “full of grace,” even prior to the coming of Christ.
Luke 1:26-28

Her presence with Christ in the womb awakened the Spirit in others:
Luke 1:41

The first half of the Hail Mary prayer comes from Scripture.
Luke 1:42

Mary is truly the Mother of God, mother of the whole person of her child.
Luke 1:43

Mary is without sin and calls Christ her Savior even at the annunciation (present tense).
Luke 1:47

Mary will always be called blessed among women.
Luke 1:48

God has miraculously and uniquely intervened in her life.
Luke 1:49

Mary will receive our many prayers. She will suffer much in solidarity with her Son for our sake.
Luke 2:34-35

Mary is the first disciple of her Son, keeping the Word so wondrously that the Word becomes flesh and lives among us.
Luke 11:27-28

Mary is a powerful intercessor with Christ.
John 2:3-5

The Mother of the Redeemer becomes the Mother of all the Redeemed.
John 19:26-27 / Revelation 12:17

Mary and the saints are in communion with Jesus Christ in heaven.
1 Corinthians 6:17

Mary is the new Ark of the Covenant.
Revelation 11:19-12:1

Mary was assumed into heaven as Queen.
Revelation 12:1

4 Responses

  1. PAUL:

    You know Father Joe, you sound a lot like the secular scientist Richard Dawkins who if you don’t just take his word as fact without any REAL evidence, then “you’re stupid!”

    You have only church practices to back your claim about Mary’s holiness.

    If I’m not wrong, doesn’t God say, “There is none righteous, not a single one”? Doesn’t he say, “All have fallen away”? Doesn’t he say, “All have fallen short of the glory of God”? Now I’m sure you’ll have a very convincing argument for Mary’s not being included there but is that based on biblical teachings or the churches practice?

    What did Christ day about the teachers of the law? Be careful to judge others Father Joe lest you be judged likewise!

    There’s only 1 Judge I know. I’d appreciate you not praying for me thanks as you’ll probably go in front of a statue of Mary to do so. It’s no wonder Jesus called the teachers hypocrites!

    P.S. If you can’t reply without so much anger in you, maybe it’s time for you to shut down your blog eh? FATHER and LEADER of the flock!

    FATHER JOE:

    Ignorance is not the same as stupidity, or at least it need not be. We can be properly informed and grow in the truth. Dawkins negates any philosophy or religion that falls outside of his limited scope for truth. Dawkins does not deny all evidence, but he does throw out much of the richness that belongs to human culture and genius. I throw nothing out. We can be informed through science, philosophy and religion. We can be edified by mathematics or a poetic sonnet. We can learn from dissertations or from fanciful myths. I believe that God speaks to us in natural law and in his revealed Word. How is it then that I am like Dawkins? Indeed, would you not be the one to show him essential agreement and kinship in discounting Sacred Tradition and the teaching role of the Magisterium?

    Actually, in regard to Mary’s holiness, we have the testimony of Scripture, as I have earnestly attempted to demonstrate to you. You are the one who would question Mary’s divine election as the immaculate Mother of our Savior. Why would you question God’s providence or his power to give his Son a pure vessel through which to enter our world? Original sin was passed to us through human generation. It would make no sense for Christ as the All Holy One to take his humanity from sinful flesh. The privilege of the Immaculate Conception was not simply to honor Mary but to protect the divine dignity of Jesus Christ. Mary is hailed by an angel as “full of grace.” She is the most favored daughter of God chosen to be the holy Mother of the Messiah.

    Yes, all have fallen short of the glory of God. Yes, we are sinners. It was precisely for this reason that Mary calls Jesus her Savior. However, in her case there is prevenient grace. Mary is preserved from sin by the same saving Cross that transforms us through faith and baptism. Mary does not save herself. Jesus does for her what he will do for us who believe in him.

    The testimony of Scripture comes to us through a living Church. It must be understood within the context of the tenets and worship of that faith community. Your rejection of the Church and her traditions results in numerous false interpretations. However, I doubt you will appreciate how the disjointed interpretations you give are severed from any kind of logical or authentic hermeneutics.

    Our Lord criticized the Pharisees and Scribes as blind guides and hypocrites, but he did not deny that they received their authority from God. “The scribes and the Pharisees have taken their seat on the chair of Moses. Therefore, do and observe all things whatsoever they tell you, but do not follow their example. For they preach but they do not practice” (Matthew 23:2-3). The Pope sits in the cathedra or chair of St. Peter, to whom our Lord gave the keys of the kingdom and renamed as the ROCK upon which he would establish his Church. The Magisterium is composed of those bishops who teach in unity with him. Priests are also given apostolic orders and are charged to teach what the Church teaches. Thus, you may not think much of me, but if you were consistent, you would take seriously to observe what the Catholic Church teaches. Instead, you ridicule the messengers and reject the message. If you do so from ignorance then you may still be open to Christ’s mercy. If you do so from enmity, then the warning about judgment also applies to you.

    Christ will judge souls, but the teaching Church and her ministers are charged to proclaim the truths of faith.

    Why would you reject my offer of intercessory prayer for you? Is it just because of an expressed malice against Mary? I fear that a proper discernment of spirit would disclose a poorly disguised diabolical oppression. On this account I will redouble my efforts. “Dear Lord Jesus, you made yourself a slave so that men might be free. You were renounced by the crowd so that we might be claimed by God as his children. You were mocked by the soldiers and crowned with thorns all so that we might be made members of your kingdom. You suffered the scourging and passion so that a broken world might be healed. You died on the Cross so that we might live. Dear Jesus, you are the SAVING NAME, and we ask you to open the eyes and to soften the heart of Paul who has commented on this Blog. Let him know the love you have for him. Forgive his sins and join him ever closer to the family of faith. We offer this prayer in Jesus’ Name, the one who is the Son of God and the Son of Mary. Amen.”

    Again, I will extend to you the Peace of Christ.

  2. Your quote above of Luke 1:47 is incorrect.

    There is no reference whatsoever that Mary was without sin!

    NIV – “and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior,”
    NIrV – “My spirit delights in God my Savior. ”
    KJV – “And my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Saviour.”

    My question is, if Mary was without sin, then why wasn’t she offered on the cross as a perfect sacrifice for our sin rather than God’s own son?

    FATHER JOE:

    Luke 1:46-48And Mary said: “My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord; my spirit rejoices in God my savior. For he has looked upon his handmaid’s lowliness; behold, from now on will all ages call me blessed.

    You are very much confused. Have you really read the posts I have written about Mary? Did you just fail to understand them?

    First, the translation that I follow is accurate. Your versions as well note that Mary calls the Lord her Savior. She does not say he will be her Savior but that he (already) is. She is already saved, i.e. sinless.

    Second, it is ridiculous to argue that Mary had to be crucified. The meritorious value of Christ’s Cross embraces us forward in time through faith and baptism; it reaches backwards in time and touches Mary in the womb of St. Ann. Why? Because Jesus (the All Holy One) must pass through an immaculate vessel. Jesus is still Mary’s Savior. Because of her singular role, she does cooperate at the Cross with his redemptive suffering as our Sorrowful Mother.

    Third, there is also prophecy here. All ages will call Mary blessed. This is fulfilled in the Catholic Church which speaks of the Blessed Mother with piety and love. Some are too bigoted to give Mary her due, I suppose falling outside the range of this prophecy and the Church Christ established. “The Mother of the Redeemer becomes the Mother of all the Redeemed.”

    I will keep you in prayer that God’s grace will penetrate any ignorance and distance you from bigotry.

  3. Father Joe I still don’t see any verse directly giving Mary a role to intercede. None of these scriptures give Mary a single role…and to correct you on Revelation 12:1 .The woman signifies God’s church, not Mary.

    FATHER JOE:

    Actually, the ancient authorities did indeed connect Revelation 12:1 to Mary as she gives birth to the Christ. What you fail to appreciate is that Mary becomes a model or paradigm for the Church. Just as Mary gives birth to the Christ, now the Church becomes the vehicle to make Christ present by grace in her members and sacraments. Mary is as we hope to become. Mary’s maternal role did not end with Christ’s public ministry or his death. Those who dismiss her role really do not understand the full weight of the incarnation.

    The links also make clear that Catholicism looks to both Sacred Scripture and Sacred Tradition. You would force the Church to throw away one of the initial sources or revelation. We cannot do that.

    If you followed the link given in the post you would have read about the intercessory role of the Church and her saints (particularly Mary). CLICK HERE for more details.

    The Book of Revelation is the last biblical book to be written and it reflects both God’s inspiration and the mind of the early Church. John sees the twenty-four elders (in heaven) fall down before the Lamb, each “holding a harp, and with golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints” (Revelation 5:8). The holy ones of heaven offer prayers for the holy people of God on earth. The saints include human beings and angels. We read: “An angel came and stood at the altar with a golden censer; he was given much incense to mingle with the prayers of all the saints from the hand of the angel before God” (Revelation 8:3-4). The unique mediation of Christ does not invalidate our intercession for one another. Indeed, our Lord wills it as an expression of the Church’s profound unity.

  4. Father Joe, I am very enlightened by your posts and arguments… I am a catholic and i have come across so many people who feel joyous in conderming the catholic church and her teachings. Like Digs, they dont want to answer questions but they would want me to open the scriptures for everything I say… Nowaday I do not argue with peticostals cos its useless!

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