MARY IN THE BIBLE

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THEME: Mary In the Bible (Luke 1:27)
FOCUS: Understanding the Biblical Foundation of Mary’s Role in The Life of Christians
Background:
In Gen 2(15-17), God made the covenant of creation with Adam and Eve, they disobeyed, then the consequences …..”And I will put enmity between you and the woman,…..”Gen 3:9-19. The Davidic covenant 2Sam 7:12–13 continues the trajectory of previous covenants (Adam, Noah, Abraham, Moses) preparing for the next Covenant prophesied in Jer. 31:14-26; Ezek 36:26-27, Isa 9, 11; “Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign: Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son,……, Immanuel. (Isa 7:14) – ushering in the New Covenant.
Doctrine: (Teaching) – The message of the gospel/the content of the faith it prompts – The Apostles Creed.
Dogma: to be a truth relating to faith or morals, revealed by God, transmitted from the Apostles in the Scriptures or by tradition, and proposed by the Church for the acceptance of the faithful. It might be described briefly as a revealed truth defined by the Church – but private revelations do not constitute dogmas, and some theologians confine the word defined to doctrines solemnly defined by the pope or by a general council, while a revealed truth becomes a dogma even when proposed by the Church through her ordinary Magisterium or Teaching Office.
Tradition: (doctrine, account, or custom) transmitted from one generation to another sometimes to the organ or mode of the transmission. Traditions claims a Divine origin, oral as distinct from written, in the sense that a given doctrine or institution is not directly dependent on Holy Scripture as its source but only on the oral teaching of Christ or the Apostles. Catholics hold that that there is in fact certain revealed truths apart from those contained in the Bible; Holy Scripture is therefore not the only theological source of the Revelation made by God to His Church. Side by side with Scripture there is tradition, side by side with the written revelation there is the oral revelation. This granted, it is impossible to be satisfied with the Bible alone for the solution of all dogmatic questions.

Bible Passage Reading: Centered on Luke 1:26-38.
The Story:
Luke 1:27 ushered in the active role of the Blessed Virgin Mary(BVM) in the Objective Redemption part of the Economy of Salvation history, though She still participate with all Christians in the Subjective Redemption. The story of the BVM can best be discussed through Her four Marian Dogmas -Immaculate conception, Mother of God, Assumption of Mary, The Perpetual virginity of Mary.

Immaculate Conception
The Immaculate Conception is supported by Genesis 3:15(The word “enmity,” which is rich in meaning in this passage, signifies a complete and radical opposition. The enmity God established between the woman/her seed and the serpent/his seed, which is sin, is an absolute opposition, because there is absolute enmity between Jesus and all evil.) and Luke 1:26-31 which have always been interpreted by the Church as implying the Virgin Mary’s exemption from Original Sin [Gabriel’s greeting to Mary using a perfect past participle concerning her condition of grace: “Hail has-been graced”], which has taken place in the past, but which remains relevant to the present, i.e., the Immaculate Conception.
Mother of God – Theotokos (the “God-bearer”)
Jesus is God, Mary is Jesus’ mother, thus Mary is the Mother of God. This is an example of the Church protecting the whole truth about Christ, which had been denied by Nestorius (denied the profound Hypostatic Union of both the divine and human nature in the one divine person of the Lord) Mary’s role as the Mother of God is revealed in Sacred Scripture. At the Annunciation, the Angel Gabriel declares to Mary: “Behold, you shall conceive in your womb and shall bring forth a son, …..called Son of God” (Lk 1:31; Lk 1:35). She becomes His mother the moment He becomes incarnate in her womb by the power of the Holy Spirit.
Mary is Mother of God. Since Jesus is truly God the Son, and Mary is repeatedly referred to in Scripture as the “Mother of Jesus” (Mt 2:13, 2:20; Jn 2:1, 3; Acts 1:14, etc.) Mary as the “Ark of the New Covenant”; 2 Samuel 6: 14-15–David “danced” before the Ark thus in Luke 1: 43-44 the infant John, “danced” in Elizabeth’s womb before the new ark.
Mary’s Perpetual Virginity
Mary is virgin before, during, and after the birth of Jesus. Mary’s virginity is the sign of her undivided gift of herself to God. Mary’s virginity shows forth God’s absolute initiative in the Incarnation. She conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit in a holy unique way, cf. Lk. 1:35. Scripture implicitly affirms Mary’s virgin birthing of Our Lord in the great prophecy of Isaiah 7:14. The prophecy foretells that a virgin, beyond conceiving, will also bear a Son as a virgin: “Behold a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son.” Therefore, it is not only a virgin’s conception, but also a virgin birth. (Jn. 20:19).
Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary

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Genesis 3:15 foreshadows Mary as intimately sharing in the same absolute victory of her Son over Satan
According to St. Paul (cf. Rom 5-8; Heb 2), the consequences of Satan’s seed, evil, are twofold: sin and death (which specifically refers to bodily corruption). Therefore, the Mother of Jesus, who shared in her Son’s victory over Satan and his seed, would also have to be saved from the two consequences of sin and death (bodily corruption).
Other secondary scriptural support for the Assumption of Mary include Luke 1:28, “Hail, full of grace,” since her bodily assumption is a natural effect of being “full of grace”; Revelation 12:1, where Mary’s coronation implies her preceding bodily assumption; 1 Corinthians 15:23 and Matthew 27:52-53 which support the possibility of a bodily assumption, and Psalm 132:8, which prophesies: “Arise, O Lord, into your resting place: you and the ark which you have sanctified.” In Revelation 11:19: “Then God’s temple in heaven was opened, and the ark of his covenant was seen within His temple; and there…..” Since the Ark of the Covenant is a typology of Mary in the Old Testament, and since the vision immediately following it is of a “Woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars” (Rev 12:1) – This scripturally supports Assumption.
Memory Verse: Luke 1:38 …” Behold the maidservant of the Lord! Let it be done to me according to your word”.
The Message:
Benefits and lessons of the study:
1. Mary knew God’s Word. In the time Mary lived she was probably illiterate, but she had heard the Word of God and kept it hidden in her heart. How well do we know God’s Word? Are we able to speak the Words of His truth to others? Is our time in the Word an important part of our day? Luke 1:54-55. Living your life as a servant of the Lord: Mary ultimately responds to the angel with the powerful words” Behold the maidservant…”(Luke 1:38). Through Mary’s willingness to be used by God, we have an incredible example of Paul’s later request for followers of Christ to be a “living sacrifice” (Rom 12:1).
She was redeemed by Jesus, too, but her redemption was anticipatory. That is, God applied the merits, which Jesus gained for us on the Cross, prior to the historical act of the crucifixion. The fruit of Christ’s redemption was applied to Mary to preserve her from original sin.
“The most Blessed Virgin Mary was, from the first moment of her conception, by a singular grace and privilege of almighty God and by virtue of the merits of Jesus Christ, Savior of the human race, preserved immune from all stain of original sin.” -Pope Pius IX, Ineffabilis Deus, 1854. In her apparitions to St. Bernadette at Lourdes in 1858, Mary referred to herself by saying, “I am the Immaculate Conception.”
2. Mary, as virgin and Mother is model both to those who are married and to those who have been called to live out the evangelical counsels of poverty, chastity, and obedience in consecrated virginity, for those who have chosen, virginity “for the sake of the Kingdom, “cf. Mt. 19:12. Mary was a chosen vessel of the Lord. If you are a child of God, you have been chosen to be an instrument that God is using to fulfill His purposes. Mary was chosen to give human life to the Son of God, and we are chosen to give spiritual life and encouragement to others. Are you living an eternally focused life? Do you take the time to share the truth of the life-giving Gospel of Jesus Christ with others? Luke 1:30-31 Mary said “yes” to God’s plan for her life. She had an obedient, submissive, and a humble heart. Are we willing to say, “yes Lord,” to whatever task He calls us? May we be faithful, obedient servants. Luke 1:38.
3. Mary was filled with the Spirit. As believers, we have the Holy Spirit working in us, and there is nothing we can accomplish for God outside the power of the Holy Spirit. Do you tap into the power of the Spirit, or do you rely on your strength to get through difficult situations and trials? May we submit our lives to Him working in and through us. Luke 1:35. Mary turned to Jesus for help when she had a problem to be solved. When a problem arises where do we turn to first for guidance? Do we seek Christ or turn to others? Do we spend time worrying? Do we point others toward Christ? John 2:3-5.
Mary was quiet before the Lord and meditated on all He had done in her life. How often are we truly quiet before the Lord, just pondering on what He has done and is doing in our lives? Do we take the time to meditate on His Word? Luke 2:19,51. The threefold character of Mary’s virginity was declared in the definition of Pope St. Martin I at the Lateran Synod in 649 A.D., where he pronounced as an article of faith that: The blessed ever-virginal and immaculate Mary conceived, without seed, by the Holy Spirit, and without loss of integrity brought Him forth, and after His birth preserved her virginity inviolate.
4. Mary’s Assumption is promise of ultimate and everlasting fulfillment in God. At the same time, it is an anticipation of the glorious resurrection of all those who have died and will die in a state of sanctifying grace. Mary’s virginity reminds us that human fulfillment and authentic efficacy is rooted in the gift of self. Mary was a faithful servant. When it seemed like everyone had deserted Jesus, his mother Mary was there, and she followed him all the way to the cross. Today there are not many professing believers who are ready to follow Jesus to the cross. Are you a true follower of Christ? Are you faithful to Jesus no matter the circumstances or the difficulty of what you may be called to endure? There are many who claim to be followers of Jesus but are deceived (Matthew 7:21) John 19:25.
“Finally, the Immaculate Virgin, preserved free from all stain of original sin, when the course of her earthly life was finished, was taken up body and soul into heavenly glory, and exalted by the Lord as Queen over all things, so that she might be the more fully conformed to her Son, the Lord of lords, and conqueror of sin and death.”-Pope Pius XII, Munificentissimus Deus, 1950.

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Conclusion:
The Rosary, though clearly Marian in character, is at heart a Christocentric prayer. In the sobriety of its elements, it has all the depth of the Gospel message in its entirety, of which it can be said to be a compendium (Marialis Cultus). It is an echo of the prayer of Mary, her perennial Magnificat for the work of the redemptive Incarnation which began in her virginal womb.

With the Rosary, the Christian people sits at the school of Mary and is led to contemplate the beauty on the face of Christ and to experience the depths of his love. Through the Rosary the faithful receive abundant grace, as though from the very hands of the Mother of the Redeemer.