Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Some Thoughts About Mary for Evangelicals

Evangelicals usually get a little nervous when a Catholic starts talking about Mary. 

But there is no need to be nervous! Mary - in many ways - is one of us. She's a member of the Church, a follower of Christ, and redeemed by his merits on the cross.

Mary was also the first person to whom God announced the arrival of the Messiah. She was the one through whom the Incarnated Son of God came into the world. Her flesh was connected to the flesh of the the God-man for nine months. She was one of the few, and probably the most intimate, witness of Christ's life before his ministry. And when many of Christ's followers fled during his passion, she was found right there at Golgatha, close enough to the cross for Jesus to be able to announce to her that John was her son, and that she was his mother.

It sounds as though Mary is a very significant figure in salvation history, and might deserve a little bit more attention than simply a song sung at Christmas about what she did or did not know. (Beautiful song, by the way)

Here are two things we can certainly learn from Mary:

First, Mary is an incredible example of faith. When the angel Gabriel announced to her that she would conceive  and bear the Son of the Most High, she did not get into a wrestling match like Jacob; she did not argue like Moses; she did not demand a sign like Gideon. She responded: "I am the Lord's servant, may it be to be as you have said." We are called to this kind of faith.

Second, a person's last words recorded in Scripture are often taken to be particularly significant. St John the Baptist's last recorded words are: "I must decrease, while He [Jesus] must increase." And St Thomas the Apostle's final words say of Jesus, "My Lord and My God!" Mary's last recorded words we find at the marriage at Cana. When the wine ran out, she turned to the servants and, referring to her son, told them: "Do whatever he tells you."

Let us follow Mary's example of faithfulness to her Lord, and our Lord, Jesus Christ.


  1. A couple other "cool" Mary things. One, she is another example of a Creator-God who creates ex nihilo. Just as His Spirit brings creation into existence from nothing, God enters into humanity through a virginal births.

    Second, she is another "type" of God's dwelling place with man. First the garden. Then the promised land, then the tent of meeting, the Tabernacle, the Temple, the Kingdom. Now in the womb of Mary. Ultimately, we all our living stones in the temple not formed by human hands.

    Good stuff.

  2. Bob,
    great comment. Just to clarify for anyone who might be confused, Mary herself is not the Creator-God, but what took place in her is an example of how God in heaven creates ex nihilo


  3. Beautiful reflection! Thank you! I hope many evangelicals get a chance to read this.