Mary The Mother Of God Theology Religion Essay
The Mother of Jesus was an Israelite woman of Nazareth in Galilee who lived in the 1 st century BC and l century AD. She is considered as the first Jew who was converted to Christianity. She is identified in the New Testament and in the Quran as the mother of Jesus through divine intervention. For Christians, her son Jesus is worshipped as Christ i.e. the messiah, the savior, of the world. Muslims regard Jesus as both the messiah and an important Prophet of God but not considered as equal to God. Traditionally, Christians believe that she conceived her son miraculously by the power of the Holy Spirit. This took place when she was already engaged to Saint Joseph and was awaiting the concluding rite of marriage. In the New Testament, Mary's life began with the annunciation, when the angel Gabriel appeared to her and announced her divine selection to be the mother of Jesus. The Bible records Mary's role in key events of the life of Jesus from his conception to his Ascension. Christians of the Catholic Church, the Eastern Orthodox Church, oriental Church, Anglican Communion and Lutheran churches believe that Mary, as the mother of Jesus, is the mother of God and the Theotokos literally Bearer of God. Mary has been venerated since Early Christianity throughout the ages she has been a favorite subject in Christian art, music, and literature. (Cfr. Wales n.d)
2.0 The woman without sin
Martin Luther wrote that: "Mary is full of grace, proclaimed to be entirely without sin. God’s
grace fills her with everything good and makes her devoid of all evil". Christ died for all men,
but most of all ordered his life for his Mother, so that she might be the most beautiful of
the redeemed, intact and invulnerable. She was not freed, like us, but preserved from sin before
contracting it, at the very moment when the blessed trinity created her immortal soul and joined
it with her body. The effect of this privilege was to make her womanly body even more pure than
an angel, and to render her maidenhood more refulgent with divine beauty than the splendor of
an angel. Through the Immaculate Conception she regained the wonderful harmony human
nature possessed before the fall. So God enriched her with His divine grace that it was morally
impossible for her to fall into sin of any kind. There was never the slightest trace of sin, no
unruly desire or inclination; in her flesh, no seat of corruption; in her soul, no faintheartedness. The beauty of her body reflected the divine purity of her soul. By her purity alone, she was already worthy to become one day the mother of God. She is the creature of our race who never sinned. (1953:23). In the Islamic tradition, Mary and Jesus were the only children who could not be touched by Satan at the moment of their birth, for God imposed a veil between them and Satan.
3.0 The Mother of Jesus Christ
If Mary is the mother of Jesus, and if Jesus is God, then Mary is the Mother of God. There is no way out of this logical syllogism, the valid form of which has been recognized by classical logicians since before the time of Christ. Although Mary is the Mother of God, she is not his mother in the sense that she is older than God or the source of her Son's divinity, for she is neither. Rather, we say that she is the Mother of God in the sense that she carried in her womb a divine person-Jesus Christ, God "in the flesh" (2 John 7, cf. John 1:14)-and in the sense that she contributed the genetic matter to the human form God took in Jesus Christ.
In the 5th century, The Nestorian claim that Mary did not give birth to the unified person of Jesus Christ attempts to separate Christ's human nature from his divine nature, creating two separate and distinct persons---one divine and one human. Women do not give birth to human natures; they give birth to persons. Mary thus carried and gave birth to the person of Jesus Christ, and the person she gave birth to was God. In the year 431, as the Council of Ephesus declared that the Jesus Christ is the son of God, it became clearer that Mary is the mother of Jesus, who is God and declared that she is the mother of God. Since denying that Mary is God's mother implies doubt about Jesus' divinity, it is clear why Christians (until recent times) have been unanimous in proclaiming Mary as Mother of God. (Cfr. Saunders 1994: n.p.)
3.1 Mary conceived and gave a birth to the son of God
In Mary, the Holy Spirit fulfils the plan of the Father's loving goodness. Through the Holy Spirit, the virgin conceives and gives birth to the son of God. By the Holy Spirit's power and her faith, her virginity became uniquely fruitful. (CCC 723)
3.2 Mary's divine motherhood
Mary is acclaimed by Elizabeth, at the prompting of the Spirit and even before the birth
of her son, as "the mother of my lord." In fact, the one whom she conceived as man by the Holy
Spirit, who truly became her son according to the flesh, was none other than the father's eternal
Son, the second person of the holy Trinity. (CCC 495) Pope Leo XIII declared, "Beyond all
question, the dignity of the mother of God is so great and sublime that nothing greater could be
effected .... The mother of God surpasses in the highest degree all other creatures." Pope Pius XI
pronounced her honor and dignity the highest after God. St. Anselm said, "the son he gave to
Mary was not one different from his own, but the same. Henceforth He is indissolubly the son
both of God and of Mary. God created the universe, but the Mary brought forth God."Hence the
church confesses that Mary is truly "mother of God."
4.0 Teaching and understanding of the church fathers
Irenaeus says, "The Virgin Mary, being obedient to his word, received from an angel the
glad tidings that she would bear God" (Against Heresies, 5:19:1 [A.D. 189]). Peter of
Alexandria says, "We acknowledge the resurrection of the dead, of which Jesus Christ our Lord
became the firstling; he bore a body not in appearance but in truth derived from Mary the Mother of God" (Letter to All Non-Egyptian Bishops 12 [A.D. 324]). Cyril of Jerusalem says, "The
Father bears witness from heaven to his Son. The Holy Spirit bears witness, coming down bodily
in the form of a dove. The archangel Gabriel bears witness, bringing the good tidings to Mary.
The Virgin Mother of God bears witness" (Catechetical Lectures 10:19 [A.D. 350]). Athanasius
says, "The Word begotten of the Father from on high, inexpressibly, inexplicably,
incomprehensibly, and eternally, is he that is born in time here below of the Virgin Mary, the
Mother of God" (The Incarnation of the Word of God 8 [A.D. 365]). Gregory of Nazianz says, "If anyone does not agree that holy Mary is Mother of God, he is at odds with the Godhead" (Letter to Cledonius the Priest 101 [A.D. 382]). Theodore of Mopsuestia says, "When, therefore, they ask, 'Is Mary mother of man or Mother of God?' we answer, 'Both!' The one by the very nature of what was done and the other by relation" (The Incarnation 15 [A.D. 405]). Cyril of Alexandria says, "I have been amazed that some are utterly in doubt as to whether or not the holy Virgin is able to be called the Mother of God. For if our Lord Jesus Christ is God, how should the holy Virgin who bore him not be the Mother of God?" (Letter to the Monks of Egypt 1 [A.D. 427]). "And since the holy Virgin corporeally brought forth God made one with flesh according to nature, for this reason we also call her Mother of God, not as if the nature of the Word had the beginning of its existence from the flesh" (Third Letter to Nestorius [A.D. 430]) (Carr 2004: n.p.)
God had intended a special role of Mary in His salvation plan. She was blessed among women, full of grace and holy for the whole of humanity to be saved through her son lord Jesus Christ. Nestorian provoked whole church to think, how can a human person be a bearer of God? Yes, she gave a birth to Jesus Christ, who is God and human. He is the 2nd person in the trinity.
She did not give birth to God the Father, God the Holy Spirit, and also God the Son who was
existed before the eternity. God's salvific plan for the humanity took place in the Word; the Word
became flesh and brought forth in the world through a woman called Mary. She accepted and
became the mother of Jesus. She became the mother of the whole person of Jesus Christ. As a
mother she nurtured, nourished and strengthened her son very faithfully, lovingly and devoutly.
She had integrated all the spiritual gifts' that inherited from above for the divine plan. She
became the model of motherhood either human or divine because she accepted the word, kept it
in her heart, delivered to the world, participated in the plan by witnessing and supporting to the
mission of Jesus Christ. Mary, the mother of Jesus, is mentioned as Maryam, more in the Qur'an
than in the entire N.T. where Mary is called a Chosen One, a Purified One, a Truthful one, her
child conceived through "a Word from God", and "exalted above all women of The
Worlds/Universes (the material and heavenly worlds) ". Therefore, Mary fulfills the prediction
ascribed to her in the Magnificat (Lk.1 :48) that "Henceforth all generations will call me blessed."