Friday, April 13, 2007

Our Blessed Mother - Part 1

Tonight I will start a 2-part series about our Most Blessed Mother, Mary. In this series we will discuss:

  • Typology, the study of types
  • Why we call Mary Theotokos (Mother of God)
  • Mary’s Immaculate Conception and Sinless Nature


Typology, the study of types, must be understood in order to fully understand scripture. St. Augustine said that the New Testament lies hidden in the Old Testament, while the Old Testament is revealed in the New Testament. In other words, it is possible for the reader to find Christ in the Old Testament; however, without an understanding of the Old Testament it is difficult to have a complete understanding of the New Testament.

An example of typology is the way Jesus is often referred to as the Second Adam. Additionally, the Old Testament sacraments of the manna and circumcision are types of the New Testament sacraments of the Eucharist and Baptism. Arguably the most obvious use of typology is when Abraham is told to sacrifice his “only son,” which is an obvious prefigurment of the sacrifice of our Lord Jesus Christ.

An important rule of typology is that all New Testament types are superior to their Old Testament type. For example, Jesus Christ is obviously superior to Adam, just as the Eucharist is superior to the manna.

Mother of God

The most important title Our Blessed Mother has is Theotokos, which means “Mother of God.” After Mary conceives Jesus in her womb she travels to her cousin’s, Elizabeth, home. Upon arriving, Elizabeth says, “And how does this happen to me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me?" (Luke 1:43 emphasis added). The “Lord” Elizabeth is speaking of is Jesus Christ, who is God. Thus, Mary is the Mother of God.

Some will say that because our God is Triune, claiming Mary is the Mother of God is to say she is the Mother of the Trinity. This (claiming Mary is the Mother of Trinity) is heresy, and the Catholic Church has never claimed Mary to be the Mother of the Trinity. Instead, the Church has always taught that Mary is the Mother of the second person of the Trinity Incarnate - Jesus Christ, who is God. Therefore, again we conclude Mary is the Mother of God.

A final, and extremely heretical argument, that some bring forward is that Mary is the Mother of the man Jesus Christ, but not Mother of the divine Jesus Christ. This heresy is known as Nestorianism, which attempts to say that Jesus Christ is actually two different people, a divine person and a human person. We know that Jesus Christ is one person who had both a divine and human nature. Jesus Christ was not schizophrenic!

Tomorrow we will discuss Mary’s Immaculate Conception and Sinless Nature.

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