By Gary Zimak

I love the Blessed Mother! There…I said it and I’m glad I did! As a Catholic, I’m so blessed to be a member of the Church that truly honors and respects the Mother of my Lord and Savior. I must admit that, even though I’m a cradle Catholic, I didn’t always feel this way. In fact, for most of my life I didn’t understand Mary’s role or care about her too much. What a mistake! Now, after several recent accusations of “Mary worship” on my Facebook page, it’s time to stand up for my “Mom”. And, even though I love her and want to defend her honor, I have no intention of getting nasty. Rather, I’d prefer to present 5 facts about Mary. Before you accuse Catholics of worshiping Mary, I ask you to take a long hard look at these facts. They have a way of poking holes in the theory that we place too much emphasis on Mary. If you still want to accuse Catholics of worshiping Mary, then I suggest you ignore these facts!

1. God Sent The Savior Through Mary – I list this one first because it’s really tough to downplay Mary’s importance while acknowledging that the long awaiting Messiah came to earth by being born of a woman…and that woman was Mary. Out of all the ways that Jesus could have come to earth, why was Mary chosen? If Mary was important to God, shouldn’t she mean something to us?

2. Jesus Performed His First Miracle At Mary’s Request – This is another good one. Oh I know, Jesus didn’t need Mary to turn the water into wine at Cana. She just happened to be there. OK, why then did St. John list Mary FIRST in his list of wedding guests?

On the third day there was a marriage at Cana in Galilee, and the mother of Jesus was there; Jesus also was invited to the marriage with His disciples. (John 2:1-2)

If Mary is not important in this saga, why is she listed BEFORE the apostles and BEFORE Jesus? St. John the Evangelist was not known for inserting extraneous details. Mary is listed first because John wants to call the readers’ attention to her presence at the wedding.

But what about “the rebuke”? You know, the argument that Jesus was telling Mary to “butt out” when He stated:

“O woman, what have you to do with me? My hour has not yet come.” (John 2:4)

Jesus was a devout Jew and an obedient follower of the Ten Commandments. Why would He publicly dishonor His mother in violation of the Fourth Commandment? Secondly, if this was such a “put down” by Jesus, why did He go ahead and perform the miracle of changing water into wine? Wouldn’t that have been the end of the request. Of course it would, unless He wasn’t putting Mary down. When His mother interceded on behalf of the couple, Our Lord decided that His time had now come. Don’t you think Jesus is trying to tell us something? Isn’t is probable that Jesus waited until Mary’s request, in order to show us her intercessory power? Doesn’t that explain why St. John listed her first among the guests?

3. Jesus Gave Mary To John From The Cross – As He suffered and died on the Cross, Jesus made a very profound statement:

When Jesus saw His mother, and the disciple whom He loved standing near, He said to His mother, “Woman, behold your son!” Then He said to the disciple, “Behold your mother!” And from that hour the disciple took her to his own home. (John 19:26-27)

Why, while struggling to speak as He hung on the Cross, would Jesus have spoken these words if they didn’t mean anything? Could He have been making small talk? Obviously, there was a reason that Our Lord did what He did. The Church has always believed that John represented each member of the Church and that, from that moment on, Mary became our spiritual mother. Scripture tells us that, on that day John accepted Jesus’ gift and “took her to his own home” (John 19:27). Shouldn’t we do the same?

4. Jesus’ First Graces Were Given Through Mary – This is a fact that frequently gets overlooked by those who wish to downplay Mary’s importance…and it comes straight from the Bible! After accepting God’s offer to become the Mother of the Savior, Mary traveled “in haste” to visit her relative, Elizabeth.

And when Elizabeth heard the greeting of Mary, the child leaped in her womb; and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit. (Luke 1:41)

According to this Bible passage, before Jesus was even born, Mary’s voice was used to deliver the graces to Elizabeth. Why? Because she’s not important? Isn’t there some other way, these graces could have been dispensed?

Not convinced? Listen to what Elizabeth had to say (also directly from the Bible)…

“For behold, when the voice of your greeting came to my ears, the child in my womb leaped for joy.” (Luke 1:44)

It’s pretty hard to deny the importance of Mary’s presence and voice in dispensing these graces to Elizabeth. Did the graces originate from Mary? No, they obviously came from Jesus. However, He chose to have Mary make the journey and use her voice to deliver them. Why? Because He wants us to realize that she is important!

5. Jesus Christ Is The Sole Mediator Between God And Man – Now, this doesn’t make sense. How does this help to support the Catholic position? This is why we Catholics “have it all wrong”, isn’t it? Sorry if I’m bursting anyone’s bubble, but Catholics absolutely believe that Jesus Christ is the sole mediator between God and man. The Catechism of the Catholic Church (CCC) clearly states this belief:

Intercession is a prayer of petition which leads us to pray as Jesus did. He is the one intercessor with the Father on behalf of all men, especially sinners. (CCC 2634)

This Catholic teaching is supported by the following Bible passage:

For there is one God, and there is one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, who gave Himself as a ransom for all. (1 Timothy 2:5-6)

Although Jesus Christ is the sole mediator between God and man, that doesn’t preclude others (including Mary) from being involved in a subordinate mediation, or intercession. Saint Paul, who made the above statement, is obviously aware of that fact since he several times urges his readers to pray for each other (Romans 1:9, 1 Thessalonians 5:25, 1 Timothy 2:1). The Catechism refers to this type of intercession as being a “participation in the intercession of Christ” (CCC 2635) and is put into practice each time we pray for one another. Asking Mary to intercede for us in no way takes away from Jesus’ role as mediator between God and men.

While I’m not naive enough to think that listing these 5 facts will render me immune from further accusations of “Mary worship”, I do think that they will have an effect if looked at with an open mind. Sacred Scripture does not contain a lot of words about Mary, but what’s there is powerful. Theologians have spent 2,000 years studying her Biblical appearances and will continue to do so. We can learn much by studying Mary’s role as documented in the pages of the Bible. If anyone wants to accuse me of being a “Mary worshiper”, I ask you to first look at these 5 facts. If you still want to point a finger, you’ll need to ignore these factual statements…because accepting them will seriously undermine your credibility!

Republished with Permission from Catholic Exchange

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23 COMMENTS

  1. Catholics do worship Mary. This is with the worship of dulia not latria. See Thomas Aquinas. Most specifically, we worship Mary with hyperdulia because she is the greatest of all the saints.

  2. Mary plays absoultly no role in intercession. Jesus himself said in St. John 14:6. I am the way the truth and the life. No man cometh to the Father but by me.

    • Why would you bother, then, to pray for your friends and relatives when they ask you to pray for them? If Mary, the Mother of our Lord, plays absolutely no role in intercession as you say, then so do you, and me, and anyone!

    • But no man cometh to the Son but by Mary or in a logic word Holy Covenant of God .. In the Holy Rosary Christ is the key of Heaven and Mary is the Moderator to the Father and Son.

  3. i am a fervent follower of MOTHER MARY; anyone can say a lot of objections against Mother Mary. but, i am immune reaction about anything. AVE MARIA!!!

  4. Problem is that Reformation theology taught that the Church is a middle man that gets in the way of Christ’s mediation rather than see her as Bride, Mother, and Body of Christ, extending His visible ministry and care on Earth in all times and places. So it’s no surprise prayer and interpretation of the Bible are truncated to a degree much less sacraments, saints, etc.

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  6. Mary is not only a greatest saint of all saints, but She is one of a God Spirits also known the Sophia or the Wisdom in old testament in the Holy Bible She also called the First-Beggetress Sophia Mother of Universe and also Christ telling that His Mother called Love … In our time Lord Jesus Christ telling about the Holy Covenant of God and the Comforter in (Solomon 6:9) King Solomon pointing that the Dove or the Holy Spirit is only a female form and if you read some other writings of King David and King Solomon and the Lamentation some of this verses telling about the life of this Woman called Sophia or the Wisdom, the Comforter and The Holy Spirit, also one of the verses in last word of Christ what hey telling that Jesus gave Mary to John … that’s wrong belief ‘coz the right understanding about what Christ Telling is Lord Jesus Christ Gave his all apostle to Mary his Mother and truly revealed the prophetic that ‘Christ will return as a Woman’ or the second Christ according the message of God to Zachariah and She always saying find me I am the Tree of Life and The Mother Church, The Holy City of God, The Holy Mountain of God and the Throne.

  7. As to point three, Christ refers to Mary as Woman. In English, this would sound insulting, but what he is really saying is The Woman, referring to her role as the future Queen of Heaven and the woman at war with the beast of Revelation. Christ obeyed his parents and both she and he knew that performing his first public miracle would expose his divine nature and propel him on the three year path toward the cross. It must have been a moment of anguish for both, knowing it would lead to his suffering death, but both knew it had to begin sometime, somewhere. Christ obeyed.

  8. Thanks for this article. After 20 years I left the Jehovah’s Witnesses 8 months ago after realizing that I’d formed too many doctrinal disagreements with Watchtower theology. I now class myself as a non-denominational Christian & for the past 8 months I’ve visited various protestant churches but haven’t committed to any of them. I am now seriously considering the Catholic Church & am going to attend my 1st Mass there this coming Sunday. As previously a JW, they really hate Catholics, I found the Catholic understanding about Mary a bit hard to get my head around but this article along with others I’ve read has really helped.

    • Answer: Praying to the dead is strictly forbidden in the Bible. Deuteronomy 18:11 tells us that anyone who “consults with the dead” is “detestable to the Lord.” The story of Saul consulting a medium to bring up the spirit of the dead Samuel resulted in his death “because he was unfaithful to the LORD; he did not keep the word of the LORD and even consulted a medium for guidance” (1 Samuel 28:1-25; 1 Chronicles 10:13-14). Clearly, God has declared that such things are not to be done.

      Consider the characteristics of God. God is omnipresent—everywhere at once—and is capable of hearing every prayer in the world (Psalm 139:7-12). A human being, on the other hand, does not possess this attribute. Also, God is the only one with the power to answer prayer. In this regard, God is omnipotent—all powerful (Revelation 19:6). Certainly this is an attribute a human being—dead or alive—does not possess. Finally, God is omniscient—He knows everything (Psalm 147:4-5). Even before we pray, God knows our genuine needs and knows them better than we do. Not only does He know our needs, but He answers our prayers according to His perfect will.

      So, in order for a dead person to receive prayers, the dead individual has to hear the prayer, possess the power to answer it, and know how to answer it in a way that is best for the individual praying. Only God hears and answers prayer because of His perfect essence and because of what some theologians call His “immanence.” Immanence is the quality of God that causes Him to be directly involved with the affairs of mankind (1 Timothy 6:14-15); this includes answering prayer.

      Even after a person dies, God is still involved with that person and his destination. Hebrews 9:27 says so: “…Man is destined to die once, and after that to face judgment.” If a person dies in Christ, he goes to heaven to be present with the Lord (2 Corinthians 5:1-9, especially verse 8); if a person dies in his sin, he goes to hell, and eventually everyone in hell will be thrown into the lake of fire (Revelation 20:14-15).

      A person suffering in agony will not be able to hear or answer a prayer, nor will a person who is living in heavenly bliss with God. If we pray to someone and he is in eternal agony, should we expect him to be able to hear and answer our prayers? Likewise, would a person in heaven be concerned for temporal problems on earth? God has provided His Son, Jesus Christ, to be the mediator between man and God (1 Timothy 2:5). With Jesus Christ as our mediator, we can go through Jesus to God. Why would we want to go through a sinful dead individual, especially when doing so risks the wrath of God?

      • According to Christ we will never die in and even if he was dead he will live, many people read literature in a fast pace and while they stand on a position just to fight for that particular position, I congratulate this article he has state his position masterfully, when some one is trying to rebuttal they (he/she) needs to rebuttal correctly I am a Catholic myself and have struggle for many years with this position but realizing that Christians according to scripture are alive and under Neath God’s throne ( paradise) , the non- denominational Christian does not except many alternative realities as pugutory what happen to the Christian who doesn’t live to a certain standard will Christ send them straight to hell? Wouldn’t that be controversial? Christ mentioning that he came to give life and more abundant but sends follower’s straight tohell because they not getting iit right? Or will they suffer lost and be purified? These ad the questions that many Christian who are not Catholic aren’t asking themselves because to a extent they believe that once their sins are forgiving that they came just confessed them in the name of Jesus an start against fresh but Jesus stated so well to Peter what ever sins you retain Will be retain and which ever sins you loosened wide be loosened this iisa very powerful statement some sins can not be loosened with out the intercession of a holy Order ordained apostle and in our modern era the only one’s who have kept this Order are the traditional church order. I urge those who are searching to ponder in these thoughts.

        God bless you in the name of the father, son and holy spirit. Amen.

    • Welcome to the Catholic Church and may God bless you always! I was surprised to hear you say that Jehovah’s Witnesses hate Catholics…I never thought that! We as Catholics are taught to love everyone and to spread love…I will remember you in my prayers…

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  10. Protestants think of Christ as a jealous God, who doesn’t share his power with men. But the core of the Christian faith is that God became man, so that men could become like gods.

    — Jesus crushed the head of serpent (Genesis 3:15). Christians too. (Luke 10:19 ; Romans 16:20).
    — Jesus is our hope (I Peter 1:3). Christians too. (I Thessalonicians 2:19).
    — Jesus is the Light of the World (John 8:12). Christians too. (Matthew 5:14)
    — Jesus is the only true King and Priest (Revelation 17:14 ; Hebrews 4:14). We’re too (I Peter 2:9)
    — God is our only Father and Teacher (Matthew 23:8-10). But the apostles are still our spiritual fathers (Philemon 10 ; I Peter 5:13 ; I Corinthians 4:17 ; I Timothy 1:18 ; Galatians 4:19) and teachers (Acts 13:1 ; I Corinthians 12:28; I Timothy 2:7 ; II Timothy 1:11)
    — Jesus is the only Mediator between God and men. (I Timothy 2:5). Christians are too. (I Timothy 2:1)

    These are not contradictions. These are the consequences of the Church being the Body of Christ. We all participate in the divine nature (II Peter 1:4). So does the Blessed Virgin, most than any of us.

    « Let then, says he, what I have thus far said in brief, suffice for the present as my offering of thanks to God. But what shall I say to you, O mother-virgin and virgin-mother? For the praise even of her who is not man’s work exceeds the power of man. Wherefore the dimness of my poverty I will make bright with the splendour of the gifts of the spirits that around you shine, and offering to you of your own, from the immortal meadows I will pluck a garland for your sacred and divinely crowned head. With your ancestral hymns will I greet you, O daughter of David, and mother of the Lord and God of David. For it were both base and inauspicious to adorn you, who in your own glory excellest with that which belongs unto another. Receive, therefore, O lady most benignant, gifts precious, and such as are fitted to you alone, O you who art exalted above all generations, and who, among all created things, both visible and invisible, shinest forth as the most honourable. Blessed is the root of Jesse, and thrice blessed is the house of David, in which you have sprung up. God is in the midst of you, and you shall not be moved, for the Most High has made holy the place of His tabernacle. For in you the covenants and oaths made of God unto the fathers have received a most glorious fulfilment, since by you the Lord has appeared, the God of hosts with us. »

    — St Methodius of Olympus

    • This is a slightly flawed argument. If we are meant to be like Christ in every respect, does that mean that we start to take on His divine attributes such as omnipresence? And if so, what is the difference between God and man anymore? Wouldn’t this contradict the thread of God’s holiness (otherness) that runs through the entire Bible? That no one else is like Him?

  11. For those who believe in Mother Mary and the great honour the Lord God has given to her no explanation is necessary and for those who do not believe no explanation is possible but we pray the Lord through the intervention and infilling of God the Holy Spirit to open their minds and hearts to know the Truth that the Truth may set them free.

  12. This article is unfortunately misleading.
    #1. The fact that God chose Mary to be Jesus’ earthly mother doesn’t necessarily mean that there is something special or different about Mary. When Mary thanks God for choosing her, she doesn’t say ‘I am happy you have recognised me as important.’ Rather, she says ‘he has been mindful of the humble state of his servant’ and ‘His mercy extends to those who fear him.’ (Luke 1:48, 50). Another word for this is God’s grace. This is part of a wider pattern in the Bible. God usually chooses those who are not important or special. And in Deuteronomy 7:7-8 He explains why: ‘The Lord did not set his affection on you and choose you because you were more numerous than other peoples, for you were the fewest of all peoples. But it was because the Lord loved you.’ It isn’t because the Jews were great and important but because God decided to love them. Similarly, it isn’t because Mary is important but because God decided to love her, despite her unimportant status.

    #2. Listing Mary as a guest before Jesus and the disciples was most likely because she was invited to the party first as a more senior member of the community. If John really did mean to list Mary first because she was more important, then we would end up with the strange conclusion that Mary is somehow more important than Jesus. With respect to the second idea presented here, Jesus clearly tells Mary that ‘his hour has not yet come’ after she asked Him to do something. You can’t read that and logically conclude that Jesus’ hour did in fact come. That conclusion is quite simply the opposite of what the verse says (a strange way to interpret it). A better understanding of what Jesus says here is the fact that ‘his hour’ refers to a specific event in His life: the crucifixion. Throughout the entire book of John, Jesus says that His hour has not yet come. And then, in chapter 12 verse 27 He finally says ‘Now my soul is troubled, and what shall I say? ‘Father, save me from this hour’? No, it was for this very reason I came to this hour.’ So ‘the hour’ is the moment that Jesus is revealed for who He really is: the crucified saviour of the world. Jesus is telling Mary ‘I’m not going to reveal myself to everyone yet because it isn’t the right time.’ And so, as expected, the master of the banquet is never told that Jesus was the one who turned the water into wine; Jesus’ hour had not yet come.

    #3. When Jesus asked John to take care of His mother while He was dying on the Cross, he was setting an important example for the church: caring for others in the midst of the deepest pain anyone could experience. Elsewhere in John, Jesus refers to the cross as the moment that He and God the Father would be glorified before the whole world. The Cross is actually about Jesus and how important He is. Why would Jesus change His mind while He was on the cross to start teaching everyone how important someone else is?

    #4. Again, this is an unfortunate misreading of the passage. When God chose Mary, He wasn’t thinking to Himself ‘Mary is really important and I need to make sure everyone knows that.’ Rather, He was having mercy on someone of a low and humble position in life (see answer to #1).

    #5. I think there is a bit of confusion in this point. The words ‘sole mediator’ really do mean ‘no one else mediates.’ I think the confusion comes when we think that intercession is somehow the same thing as mediation. Intercession is when I speak to an authority figure (like the Prime Minister) to help someone I care about (like my best friend). Mediation is when I take a message from my good friend and relay it back to the Prime Minister on my own authority.
    The Bible does say that we should intercede for each other (pray to God to help us) but never mediate for each other (take someone else’s message to God for them and instead of them).
    Only Jesus could do that because He is the only one who is both a man (He understands us) and God (He has the authority to relay the message).
    So the scripture mentioned here clearly forbids asking others (including Mary to mediate for us).

    I am afraid that this article is misleading on several points and shows a misunderstanding of the Scriptures referenced.

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