Friday, August 5, 2016

The Mother of God’s Contribution to Salvation

The Mother of God, the Theotokos, has played a key role in the plan God had for the salvation of His Creation. Her faith allowed her to become the Mother of God, showing that humanity participates in its salvation from sin and death. The Theotkos is greatly venerated, and respected as the Mother not only of God, but as our own Mother too. Christos Yannaras in his book The Freedom of Morality points out the Theotokos’ contribution to Salvation:

‘. . . a woman gave her flesh to the Word, and thus she herself embodied the participation of humanity, and of creation as a whole, in the personal ministry of the “new life” and the salvation of the world. The Mother of God’s contribution to the incarnation of the Word was not confined to the role of a “means” or instrument, to the performance of an impersonal function natural to her sex and essential for the birth of the Son of God “in the flesh.” From the first moment, the Virgin Mary’s contribution as a woman was an act of personal freedom, freedom from any natural necessity. It is precisely this freedom from natural necessity – from desire, instinct and pleasure – and the transformation of the natural function of motherhood into a personal act of free assent, love and self-offering, that makes the Mother of God “Virgin even after childbirth.” In Orthodox iconography, the Mother of God holding her child is depicted as the throne of the Godhead, and the faithful see in her person the supreme celebration of salvation for man and the world.’ (p.102). 

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