Catholic Biblical Apologetics - Sample Essay
It is no wonder then that Catholics pray to Mary. However these arguments presented are not without basis. The fullness of these views is manifested in the Bible itself and the traditions of the Church. They were not invented by the Church to raise money to build cathedrals and abbeys during the Middle Ages. They have bases, and these bases are not just bases of pure logic. They were revealed by God through His Word, Jesus Christ, documented by the saints and Christians of the 1st century A. D. In short, it is found in the Bible and supported by tradition.
Catholics “pray” to Mary because of her status and closeness to Jesus. Lk 1:42:43, it reads, “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb, the mother of my Lord. ” This suggests that Mary was honored by God as the most blessed of women, the one who will bring His Son to the world. Because the womb is blessed so as the carrier should be blessed. This is basis of the Catholic teaching of Mary as “full of grace. ” Nevertheless, it should be noted that Catholics do not pray to Mary; they are praying to God, through Mary.
Mary is not an equal of God. Mary intercedes for us to pray to God on the behalf of mankind. Catholics are not praying to Mary to grant their requests, rather they are praying to God, through the intercession of Mary, so that their requests be granted. But this does not settle the question of “Is there any Biblical support for the belief of Catholics to call upon Mary to intercede to God on their behalf? ” It should be noted that the Incarnated Word was well pleased to His bodily dwelling (Col. 1:19, 2:9), short the womb of the Virgin Mary.
Mary therefore being the closest creature to Jesus, obtained His favor, manifested in the honors given through her through her acts of fidelity and humble obedience. There is no probability that Jesus will not allow Mary to pray to God for the sake of mankind. Jesus loves Mary more than any son on earth loves his mother. She was “favored by God” (Lk. 1:30) and as such obtained God’s grace to intercede for us. She was no deity except that she was favored by the deity. In Jewish history, the mother of the King is often described as the “queen mother.
” This was instituted during the time of King Solomon. This position of “queen mother” is a highly favored position as indicated in 1 Kgs. 2:19-20. It reads, “… then the king sat on his throne, and had a throne brought for the king’s mother, and she sat on his right. Then she said, ‘I have one small request to make of you, do not refuse me. ‘ And the king said to her, ‘Make your request, my mother, for I will not refuse you. ” This was the practice of many kings throughout Jewish history. The “queen mother” was the trusted advisor of the king.
Her requests were often granted by the king, for it signifies the love of the son to his mother. Added to that, the term Mediatrix is also attached to the personality of the Virgin Mother who mediates for the requests made by men to the Most High. To mediate is to utter a petition to God as indicated in the following verses Mark 9:17–29, Luke 8:49–55 Matt. 8:13, 15:28, 17:15–18, Mark 9:17–29, Luke 8:49–55. Protestants would argue that there is only one mediator between God and Man, Jesus Christ, as indicated in 1 Tim.
2:5, and that the term Mediatrix is a blasphemous word that allows Mary to be a co-redeemer of Christ. Christ is the bridge of man to God, because Jesus Christ is both human and divine. The only channel of man to the Divine is only to a being Who is both human and divine. Jesus Christ fulfilled this mission when He was crucified. By His crucifixion, man is saved from the bondage of sin. The role of the Virgin Mother however is different from the role of Jesus Christ. The Virgin Mother is the mediator of man to Jesus Christ.
“Why not go directly to Jesus?”, a man argued. Well, a Catholic can go to directly to Jesus Christ although by going to the Virgin Mary, the person praying will realize the true meaning of the Virgin’s love to his Son and to humanity (MacDonald, www. davidmacd. com). Being a Mediatrix does not necessarily mean being a co-redeemer of Christ. In the same manner, Jesus Christ, more than any other king on earth, bestowed on Mary the title “queen mother. ” It should be noted that like the queen mother, Mary can make requests to the Lord Jesus Christ, which originate from the believer.
The intercession of Mary to Jesus for the sake of mankind is a clear manifestation of Mary’s status as queen mother. It is not that Catholics should always pray to Jesus through Mary, rather it is an alternative. It is good to pray directly to the Lord Jesus in order for our requests to be granted, but the revelation of the Son’s love to His mother is deeply expressed when prayers to God are interceded by the Virgin Mary. Surely, Catholics pray to Jesus through Mary because of her status and role in the Divine plan.
“Surely, from now on all generations will call me blessed” (Lk. 1:47). Mary’s blessedness had swept through many generations, taking the believer on a succession of prayers and resolutions. The miracles that were attributed to the Virgin Mother were indicators that she continues to participate in the Divine plan which in due time will be expressed. It is not true, as argued by Protestants, that praying to Mary will decrease faith in the Holy Trinity, rather it is the reverse. Praying to Jesus through Mary strengthens the faith of the believer.
The rosary for example is not just a set of solitary prayers to the mother for intercession. If history is to be view, the rosary was made to increase faith to God, with Mary as the intercessor (Flanagan and Schihl, 1986). It was not made to glorify Mary; it was made in order for the requests of the faithful be magnified to the Lord Christ through the intercession of Mary. It was made in order to show the extent of God’s love of humanity. Even Marin Luther in his Explanation of the Magnificat (1521) argued that Mary is the honor of God, taking nothing for herself except what God has willed.
She was nothing for herself, but for Christ, Mary wishes that humanity come to God through her.
Flanagan, Paul and Robert Schihl. 1986. Catholic Biblical Apologetics. Scriptures taken from the New American Bible Revised New Testament (verses italicized indicated in the paper). Confraternity of Christian Doctrine. Immaculate Conception and Assumption. Mary and the Saints. URL http://www. catholic. com/library/Immaculate_Conception_and_Assum. asp. Retrieved August 13, 2007.