972Morth Mariam Yeldos Aloho, (St. Mary) Part-1
- Jul 31, 2002Morth 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,
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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