Tag Archives: why

Mary ~ Jesus’ Mother


Some people question and many ask about Mary, Jesus’ Mother, being born without Original Sin. They say, that since Mary refers to her Redeemer and Savior, would she do that if she were without Original Sin?

Some reply that Mary probably did sin in her life – if she didn’t, then she would be considered a god like Jesus.

The church teaches Mary was free of Original Sin. How does the church come to this conclusion through scripture?

Mary is seen as the Ark of the New Covenant ~ a spotless vessel who carried a sinless Jesus ~ and that Ark would be sinless, too ~ of original sin.  God chose Mary among women, unblemished of sin, and full of grace to carry the baby Jesus in her womb.

There are many references which tie in this dogma to Scripture.  I found a Catholic interpretation and will repeat it here:   This is only one of the many ways it is explained ~~~~

“It seems clear that Luke has used typology to reveal something about the place of Mary in salvation history.”  God the Holy Spirit overshadowed and then indwelled Mary.  At that time Mary’s womb became the dwelling place of the presence of God”  [Luke 1:35].

In the Ark of the Old Covenant, God came to his people with a spiritual presence, but in Mary, the Ark of the New Covenant, God comes to dwell with his people not only spiritually but physically, in the womb of a specially prepared Jewish girl.   [Exodus 40:34-35] says “God the Holy Spirit overshadowed and then indwelled the Ark. The Ark became the dwelling place of the presence of God”.

“The Old Testament tells us that one item was placed inside the Ark of the Old Covenant while in the Sinai wilderness:  God told Moses to put the stone tablets with the Ten Commandments inside the ark [Deut. 10:3–5].  Hebrews 9:4 informs us that two additional items were placed in the Ark: “a golden urn holding the manna, and Aaron’s rod that budded.”

“Notice the amazing parallels:

  • In the ark was the law of God inscribed in stone; in Mary’s womb was the Word of God in flesh.
  •  In the ark was the urn of manna, the bread from heaven that kept God’s people alive in the wilderness; in Mary’s womb is the Bread of Life come down from heaven that brings eternal life.
  • In the ark was the rod of Aaron, the proof of true priesthood; in Mary’s womb is the true priest.

In the third century, St. Gregory the Wonder Worker said that Mary is truly an ark—

  • “gold within and gold without, and she has received in her womb all the treasures of the sanctuary.”

 

© Marie Coppola, Revised December 2012   

Reference: http://www.catholic.com/thisrock/2005/0510fea5.asp

 

What & When is Advent & Why do Christians Observe it?

 

The Four Weeks of Advent are the four weeks before Christmas on December 25th. Christmas is the day Christians celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ, which believers have done since about 400 AD. ‘Christ’ means ‘Messiah’ or ‘Anointed One’.

In the West today, the real meaning of Christmas is often forgotten. To many it has become or others want it to become a non-religious holiday. But the real Christmas story is found in the Bible. It is told in two different books: Matthew and Luke, Chapters 1 and 2.

If you have no Bible, you can read these chapters online. Some non-Christians actually believe that Christians celebrate Christmas for the coming of Santa Claus. This may be in part due to the secular advetisements and commercials which highlight Santa and his reindeer, and all the tons of presents one could aspire to receive and many other secular ‘holiday’ ideas in which the Christ in Christmas seems to be pushed aside farther and farther.

But Jesus Christ’s birth is the true reason believers celebrate Christmas.

Four weeks before Christmas, parishioners in the Catholic Church celebrate Advent. Advent is a period of joyful preparation and waiting, and extends over the four Sundays before Christmas. The word ‘Advent’ comes from the Latin advenio, meaning “to come to” and refers to the coming of Christ. Advent is a joyful preparation of Christ’s birth at Christmas, but also a waiting, for the Christ in His Second Coming.  This year, Advent begins on the First Sunday of Advent, November 29th, followed by The Second Sunday on December 6th, Third Sunday on December 13th, and the Fourth Sunday on December 20th.

Rather than focusing on the secular display of Christmas, gift-giving or receiving, Christians celebrating during the 4 weeks of Advent open their hearts and minds to dwell on God. Advent is a time to slow down, to wait, and to notice. Isaiah tells us, ‘no ear can hear, no eye can see the wondrous deeds God has ready for us’ unless those ears and eyes are open to notice God’s presence in their lives.

Advent prepares us for the coming of God much as preparation for the coming of the Infant Jesus at Christmas. During Advent, believers try to take even ten minutes out of the day in silence to watch for signs of God’s presence in one’s life and share that presence with others.

The second week of Advent, we focus on transformation; God is calling us to renew our watch for Jesus’ Second Coming. We give thanks for His constant care and the changing events in our life. This second week, we embrace change by the baby born in Bethlehem who proclaims changes for mankind through his later ministry.

The third week of Advent calls us to be messengers of joy to each other, especially to the least among us. This is done through gatherings in faith sharing. This takes the focus off us, and turns to our brothers and sisters in need.

The fourth week of Advent we focus on the promises of God and pray for grace, trust and courage to respond more fully to God. This is done through Scripture sharing and reflection. We reflect on the Holy Family: Joseph, Mary and Baby Jesus, and how we can imitate them in our daily family life. Ref: Quest Reflection Booklet

Advent Calendars are primarily for the children. Kids love to count down the days until Christmas and this is precisely what the Advent calendar is. It is box like calendar that has a backing. The front has little perforated windows numbered 1 to 25. They are usually designated with religious images; and each window is opened each day starting with #1 on December first. Some calendars have chocolate surprises in them and others have religious pictures or sayings or small toy. December 24th usually has a picture of the creche and a surprise for the 25th.

Prepare your heart for Jesus, this coming Advent, the reason for the season.

© Marie Coppola Revised 2013; some rights reserved.