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972Morth Mariam Yeldos Aloho, (St. Mary) Part-1

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  • Fr. K.K. John
    Jul 31, 2002
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      Morth Mariam Yeldos Aloho, (St. Mary)

      Mary is familiar name for Bible readers. 7 different women bear the
      name, Mary in the New Testament.

      1, St. Mary, mother of Jesus.
      2, Mary, Mother of James and Joses, Mat 27:5, Mk 15:40, Lk 24:10.
      3, Mary Magdalene from whom Jesus cast out 7 demons, Mk 16:9,
      Lk 8:2.
      4, Mary, sister of Lazarus and Martha Lk 10: 39-42, John 12:3-4.
      5, Mary, Wife of Cleopas, Jn 19:25.
      6, Mary, Mother of John Mark, AA12: 12.
      7, Mary who greeted Paul at Rome, Rom 16:6.

      Multiplicity of names, absence of clear identification to discern
      relationship between each of them and translation errors have
      contributed lot of confusion and gave room for many erroneous
      interpretations concerning blessed Mary, the mother of God.

      Bible does not give enough details about St. Mary such as her birth,
      her parents, her life before conception of Jesus, her life with
      Joseph, death of Joseph, her life after the departing of Jesus,
      especially her death, etc. It is really difficult to construct a
      biography only based on Biblical references.

      Numerous traditions have emerged on these matters. Many of them are
      contradictory and some are even of vicious origin. While Roman
      Catholics heavily rely on such traditions and exalt her equal to God,
      Protestants fully repudiate the whole traditions as absurd because
      they are not found in the Holy Bible. Orthodox Church, as ever
      before, follows a medium course namely; we have neither added nor
      deleted anything from the genuine apostolic teaching. Thus we
      acknowledge her status as a created being. She was not born
      different. She, like any other human being, inherited at birth and
      shared in the fallen nature of Adam. She grew up like any other girl
      of her age yet, in humility and devotion. She found favor with God.
      The Holy Spirit purged her from all impurities of original sin just
      when she conceived Jesus. Her virginity was unaffected by the divine
      conception, bearing and delivery. She remained chaste virgin even
      after birth of Jesus. She was not defiled by human contact through
      out life either before or after divine conception as God predestined.
      Ezekiel's vision of `the shut gate' symbolized Mary, the mother of
      Jesus. In other words, the shut gate was the shadow of which St.Mary
      was the substance. "This gate shall be shut, it shall not be opened,
      and no man shall enter by it, because the Lord, the God of Israel has
      entered in by it." Ezk 44:2. Jerusalem temple had most holy place,
      which was separated by a veil, usually shut and the high priest
      entered only once a year on the Day of atonement, Heb 9: 7.
      Jerusalem Temple built by Solomon or any other temple for that matter
      had no such eternally shut gate through which human beings were
      forbidden to pass. Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon, invaded,
      besieged, ransacked and destroyed Jerusalem temple around BC 600.
      Ezekiel saw the vision in BC 574 that is 26 years after the temple
      destruction. Spoils of the temple were only survived then. Thus,
      Ezekiel was referring to a heavenly `new messianic temple,' not to
      the Jerusalem or any earthly temple. This confirms and supports
      ever-virginity of St. Mary.

      We confer her first position before all apostles and saints but not
      equal to God for creation shall never equal the creator. We adore,
      venerate and honor her as first among saints but we do not worship
      her. Worship belongs to God alone. It was her unqualified submission,
      unmatched devotion to the ultimate will of God and active
      participation in the redemptive plan that merited her the first
      position before all saints. For this reason, we commemorate her day
      of departing (Soonoyo), not the day of birth, as the feast of the
      Church on August 15th.

      End of Part 1
      To be continued....
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