Friday, January 9, 2015

Mary represents humanity

Mary, the Mother of God, the Theotokos, played a key role in the salvation of mankind. Without her, Jesus Christ would not be able to be born into creation. But what does Mary represent? What is she?

‘Mary is not a goddess representing feminine gentleness alongside of or opposed to a fearful masculine God. In the person of a woman, a human mother, Mary represents humanity associated with the accomplishment of God’s loving plan. In this woman, in this mother sanctified and made fruitful by the Spirit, the divine Agape took a human body. Mary’s virginal conception of Christ did not raise her above mankind. From the often expressed Orthodox point of view, Mary remained in intimate solidarity with all mankind. Her virginal motherhood indicates that the Lord took the initiative for man’s salvation, and that his entry into history transcends the laws of fallen human nature without at the same time destroying the creature. According to the symbolism found in Byzantine hymnography and iconography, the Virgin is often symbolically represented as the burning bush that burned with the divine fire but was not consumed.’[1] There we read: ‘There the angel of the Lord appeared to him in flames of fire from within a bush. Moses saw that though the bush was on fire it did not burn up.’ (Exodus 3:2).

[1] Behr-Sigel, Elisabeth, The Ministry of Women in the Church, (California, Oakwood Publications, 1991), p. 193. 

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