Interesting. I can't say that I agree with your assessment or interpretation, but at least I understand your viewpoint. Thank you!
(1) Catholics believe that God alone (not Mary nor any of the other saints) is worthy of worship. The confusion between Catholics and non-Catholics comes from how we understand the word "prayer." For non-Catholics, "to pray" to Someone is "to worship" that Someone. But for Catholics, "to pray" to someone simply means "to ask" something of that someone. Think of how you've heard the word "pray" used in a Shakespearean play (e.g. "I pray you do this without delay"). So when Catholics "pray" to Mary or the saints, we're not "worshiping" these mere human beings. Instead, we're simply "asking" them to continue to pray for us in heaven, the same way that our loves ones pray for us while on earth.
So the Catholic church believes that Mary - and not just Jesus - was immaculately conceived, lived a sinless life, and did not experience death? ... that almost seems to elevate her to Savior status, methinks. Catholics claim that they don't worship Mary, but their actions seem to say otherwise.https://www.catholiccompany.com/content ... t-Mary.cfm. Contains a link to the official Vatican document.
The thing that's really important to point out here is that the stature Mary holds within the Catholic Church is due mainly to Catholic tradition, and not Scripture per se. If the Scriptures clearly elevated her to that level then we would all be closer in our views on this. I think when looking for scriptural support for the notion of Mary being elevated to that degree, you sort of have to take a leap. For example, Ephesians Chapter 5 does indeed use the metaphor of a bride to describe an aspect of the relationship between Jesus and the Church... but there's no scriptural connection here that lends itself to a description of Mary herself. Verses 22 to 33 set up that metaphor as a way to show the purity that comes of submitting to authority by comparing our submission to Christ with submission within marriage.The Catholic teachings on Mary do indeed recognize that she was uniquely holy and played a most important role in the salvation of the world, in giving her "yes" or "let it be done" (Lk. 1:38) to God and freely agreeing to become mother of God Himself. Still, Mary's unique--even perfect--holiness, does not raise her to the level of "Savior." She is/was merely a human being, and Church teaching is quite clear on this. But, given her perfect holiness, she is THE model Christian and, in fact, is THE model for the Church, who the Bridegroom makes "holy and without blemish" (Eph. 5:27).
I'm not so sure that's the interpretation I'd go with in the reference here to Revelation. Revelation is highly symbolic and the interpretation that this refers to Mary strikes me as a bit too literal. Additionally, the woman described here is said to have fled to the wilderness to be sheltered for 1,260 days. To my knowledge this is not something that Mary experienced during her life. The way I read this is that the child brought forth from the woman is the church, which the dragon was poised to destroy. This section speaks of apostasy, as opposed to a descriptor of Mary.I'm sympathetic to Christians who misunderstand the Church's esteem for the Blessed Virgin. But I think the esteem in which she is held is absolutely justified. Scripture, of course, tells us that "all generations will call [her] blessed" (Lk. 1:48) and that she is the mother of all "those who keep God's commandments and bear witness to Jesus" (Rev. 12:17).
It's true that Jesus performed His first miracle at the request of Mary, but I'm not sure that this really supports the notion that Mary should be as elevated as you're describing. There were other factors at that wedding that also would have influenced the decision besides a simple desire to do as Mary asked. That would come too close to putting Mary in a sort of spiritual authority over Jesus, and I don't think you mean it that way.Further, her intercession impacts the will of God Himself, which we see at the wedding at Cana. In that episode, Jesus of course tells Mary that "[his] hour has not yet come" (Jn. 2:4), and yet, because Mary persists in her intercession on behalf of the bride and groom, Jesus resolves to perform his first miracle and thereby to start his public ministry.
Again, I don't think Revelation refers to Mary here. If it does, then one would have to account for every part of the metaphor, and I don't think that's possible. Verse 1 alone strikes me as problematic if you're going to apply it as a description of Mary. How would one interpret the crown of twelve starts, for example?And this episode shows that Mary is the new covenant Queen Mother (Rev. 12:1),
Again, I'm not seeing the connection between this set of verses and Mary. I have my own ideas of what's being symbolized here but I won't go into it as I have no scriptural support for it at this time. It just strikes me as too big a leap to say that this a symbol of Mary. (Not saying you should change your view, I just don't see the connection in scripture.)who was prefigured by the queen mothers of the Old Testament kings of Israel, such as Bathsheba, who "speak[s] to the king for [the people]" (1 Kings 2:18), who sits at the right hand of her son, the king (1 Kings 2:19), and whose intercession the king himself promises "not [to] refuse" (1 Kings 2:20).
That's a lot of references. Keepin' us busy!Once you realize of all this, together with the fact that the ark of the covenant in the Old Testament also prefigured Mary (see e.g. Heb. 9:4; Lk. 1:41-44, 56; 2 Sam. 6:9-16, Rev. 11:19, 12:1-5), you see how holy and vital Mary is in the life of the Christian.
I can see how it can be interpreted that way, but I'm not sure it's the only way to view it.As the ark of the new covenant, Mary is the vehicle through which God manifests His power and glory. So when Jesus gives his mother to the apostle John while on the cross (Jn. 19:26-27), and John thereafter takes Mary into his home, Jesus is also giving his mother to the rest of the world, so that his followers might take her into their homes and into their hearts--not as a substitute for God nor as an alternate Savior, but as loving mother and holy role model.
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