IN THE NAME OF THE FATHER, THE SON AND OF THE HOLY SPIRIT, ONE GOD AMEN.
CHRIST IN OUR MIDEST,
The greatest dignity that the Virgin Mary has received, is through the divine choice which out of all the women of the world, has made her the Mother that gave birth to the incarnate “Word of God”.
God was looking for the most humble young lady, the most humble, in mind, in heart and in behavior. It is not easy for someone, to receive honor and dignity and keep them. But the Virgin Mary being full of grace received honor and dignity and kept them all her life.
Gabriel the angel announced the good news to the Virgin Mary that she will become the Mother of Jesus, God the Savior, and she answers: “Behold, I am the hand maiden of the Lord, let it be to me as you say”. Also when Elizabeth praised Mary saying: “But why is this granted to me that the mother of my Lord should come to me”. (Luke 1: 43).
Mary the Holy Virgin humbled herself and said: “My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit has rejoiced in God my Savior, for He has regarded the lowly state of His maidservant.” (Luke 1: verses 46-49).
The moment Elizabeth heard the salutation of the Virgin Mary, she and the baby in her womb (John the Baptist) were filled with the Holy Spirit. Thus Elizabeth realized in the spirit, the secret of the incarnation. “The babe leaped for joy (Luke1: 44). Thus the prophecy of the angel Gabriel to Zakaria the priest, had been fulfilled according to what he said: “He will be also filled with the Holy Spirit, even from his mother’s womb. (Luke 1: 15).
Another sign of Mary’s lowliness, is her rushing towards Elizabeth, the old and barren relative, volunteering her services, even without being asked to do that. And Mary stayed about three months before she returned to her house. (Luke 1: 56).
Notice as well, how Jesus honored his mothers demand, at the wedding feast in Cana of Galilee, and how He showed His ability in changing the water into wine.
At the Cross of Jesus, notice how her crucified Son, comforted His mother, as He saw her and the beloved disciple, He said: “Mother here is your son and to the beloved disciple He said: “Here is your mother”, and from that hour, John took her unto his own”. (John 19) and with this act Mary became the mother of all of us.
Even after her falling asleep, He did not keep her body (the second heaven) upon the earth, But He lifted up her body into heaven. What a great honor the Holy Mother Mary received, like which no one else received.
As per being Ever Virgin, the Church since her early years, has called Mary not only Virgin, but Ever Virgin. She was seen as never having a sexual union with Joseph, before or after the birth of Christ. (Ezekiel 44: verses 1,2) is a passage often referred to, by the early Fathers in this regard.
The texts say: “Then He brought me back to the outer gate of the sanctuary which faces towards the east, but it is shut. And the Lord said to me, this gate shall be shut; it shall not be opened, and no man shall enter by it, because the Lord God of Israel has entered by it; therefore it shall be shut”.
In the teaching of the Holy Tradition about this passage, Mary is considered to be the Temple, through which door Christ the Lord of Israel has entered into this world. No one argues about this as it is considered holy and accepted by the faithful with faith, awe and respect. The Bible refers to the virginity of Mary in many places, and these are understood, through the spiritual mind of the Church.
A certain person asked Jesus, about the woman who got married to seven brothers after the death of each of them: “Whose wife of the seven would she be in the resurrection ? Jesus answered saying: “In heaven they do not marry and will not be given in marriage, but they will be like the angels of God in heaven.” (Luke 27: verses 27-37).
In this answer, Jesus calls our attention to Heaven, what is Heaven.
Since Heaven is the dwelling place of God, on basis of the Lord’s Prayer in which we say: “Our Father who art in Heaven”, henceforth we symbolize the Church with Heaven, as such, we also call the Virgin Mary, metaphorically the Carnal Heaven, because Jesus dwelt in her, that is to say, God dwelt in her.
So, whereas the Virgin Mary is the Heaven in whom Jesus dwelt, and whereas in Heaven they do not marry and are not given in marriage, therefore how could the Virgin Mary have matrimonial relations with Joseph?
Notice whenever we say Ever Virgin, we assume her continuous correlation with Christ, For If, after giving birth to Christ, she got physically married and gave birth to others than Christ, then Christ Himself wouldn’t be the ONE whom the Israelites expected generation after generation.
To talk about the Virgin Mary, directly or indirectly, ties me up with Christ.
If for instance, you ask: Is the Virgin Mary the Mother of God? The answer depends upon my belief in Jesus, whether or not He is God.
Jesus in my belief is God incarnate, henceforth I say that the Virgin Mary is the Mother of God.
In Geneses of the Old Testament (chapter 28) it is mentioned that Jacob had seen in a dream a ladder that connected Earth with Heaven. The Church interpreted that ladder to be the Virgin Mary through whom God descended into Earth thus opening paradise to man again.
The Church magnifies the Virgin Mary, and places her, in a higher rank than the Cherubim and the Seraphim, the Archangels, Angels, Martyrs and all the Saints without exception.
King Solomon the Wise, says: “Many women have been honored but you have surpassed them all.” (Proverbs 31: 29). And King David the Psalmist says: “At your right hand the Queen stands in gold.” (Psalm 45: 9).
As we can see the persons and incidents of the Old Testament are, but a shadow of the persons and incidents of the New Testament. All of them focus about the Savior of the World, our Lord Jesus Christ, who was born in the body of the All Holy, immaculate and Ever Virgin Mary.
The Virgin Mary whom God pleased to be incarnate of her, is the most pure living paradise which grew the TREE of LIFE within her immaculately according to His divine will, that all those who believe in Him, will be saved and inherit Eternal Life. Jesus assured us of this, as he said: “Whosoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has Eternal Life and I will raise him on the last day.” (John 6: 54).
The first Eve had sinned, thus she brought sin and pain into the world, and with sin she brought death, for the wages of sin, is death. But the all Holy Virgin Mary, the new Eve gave birth to God who was made Man, thus bringing back to Man, Eternal Joy and Everlasting Happiness.
Today we celebrate the feast of the Annunciation which the Church considers as the HEAD, or the beginning of our Salvation. It is the manifestation of the mystery from the ages, for the Son of God becomes the Son of the Virgin, and Gabriel proclaims grace to all peoples. All the prophecies of old are fulfilled and man cries out to the Virgin Theotokos, Rejoice O full of grace, the Lord is with you.
This tells us that, the fullness of time, in the program of God, for the Salvation of Man has started, and the prophecies of Old, began to be fulfilled, beginning with the choice of God to the All Holy and Ever Virgin Mary, in who’s intercession, we pray that God may keep you within His grace and mercy now and for ever more.
By Elen Saleh