By John Larkins
The month of May has been dedicated by His Church to the veneration of Mary, the mother of Jesus. There are few things more puzzling to a Christian, as documented in the Bible, than the typical unschooled reaction of many churchgoers to this woman. Mary is prefigured in the God’s condemnation of Satan (as the snake that tricked Eve) when he said, “the woman will crush your head.”
Common sense among most ordinary people says that if a Savior is to be born, He must have a father and a mother. We all know the facts regarding Mary agreeing to be God’s mother, even though she was mystified and justifiably fearful, when the angel Gabriel appeared to her. Mary’s cousin Elizabeth was in her sixth month carrying John the Baptist when Gabriel appeared (Luke 1:26 – 56). Mary is identified as a virgin, espoused to Joseph. Gabriel spoke words in the prayer, the Hail Mary, saying “Hail, thou that are highly favored, the Lord is with thee, blessed art thou among women.” That seems to me to be a singularly honorable greeting. From a historical perspective, Mary probably was 14 years old. Having been raised in the temple, she was not used to idle conversation. The angel told Mary to not be afraid, for you have found favor with God. Do you think this statement calmed her suspicions? Now, the bombshell: “Thou shall conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call His name ‘Jesus.’”
Gabriel went on to show great respect for this Son of the Highest, to be her child. Mary was young but she was not ignorant: “Then, Mary said to the angel, ‘How shall this be, seeing I know not a man?’ Gabriel explained that the Holy Ghost shall come upon thee and the power of the highest shall overshadow thee, therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God.” Mary, obedient to God’s will, said “Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it done unto me according to thy word.”
Right here, for those who actually believe God’s Bible, is the rebuttal for the heretics who refuse to call Mary the Mother of God. In saying as much, they say that Jesus was not God.
One of the most poignant quotes in the Bible is from Elizabeth when Mary visited her: “For lo, as soon as the voice of thy salutation sounded in mine ears, the babe leaped in my womb for joy.” Mary summed up Jesus Christ’s Church’s teaching concerning Mary for the next 1,530 years: “For he hath regarded the low estate of his handmaiden: for, behold, from henceforth all generations shall call me blessed.”
Mary is often mentioned in the Bible as any mother would be who raised a son – when Jesus was temporarily separated from His family during a trip, for example. Mary is also directly involved in Jesus’s first recorded miracle (John 2: 1-6). At the marriage feast in Cana, the servers had no wine. Mary mentioned this to Jesus, who said, “Woman, what have I to do with thee? Mine hour has not yet come.” Mary, meek and loving, said nothing to her son. She simply said to the servants, “Whatsoever He saith unto you, do it.”
Mary’s life was lived totally for her son, including witnessing His torture leading to and at the foot of the cross, where He died. Just before His death, Jesus told John to take care of Mary, and in the sense of the apostolic succession, she is our mother also.
Jesus’ Church has validated several missionary appearances by Mary over the last 300 years. She still is the handmaiden of the Lord. Mary loves God’s children and delights in taking our cares and tears to her Son. Perhaps she can become your friend. Do not let the heretics separate you from her!
John Larkins was born in Oklahoma to an U.S. Army family. His education was in the Catholic Church and teaching in the United Methodist Church for 10 years. After 50 years of various positions in federal service at home and in Vietnam, Saudi Arabia and Iraq, John and his wife Carol live in Gadsden.