I love apologetics. However, I rarely get the opportunity to discuss my faith with non-Catholics who might benefit from a correct understanding of the Catholic Church. I do however have many opportunities to discuss my faith with fellow Catholics. Unfortunately, so many Catholics have never really learned the faith, and are ill-equipped to engage fellow Christians in a robust discussion of our church.
One of the many issues non-Catholics, and possibly even some Catholics, have with our faith is the role of Mary. So many folks believe we worship Mary and hold her in equal esteem to that of our savior, Jesus. In reality of course, we are charged BY JESUS, to love and honor His mother, even adore her, but certainly not worship her. Mary, like all of humanity, is a created creature with a body and soul. Unlike the rest of humanity, Mary, as the new Eve, was prevented from contamination with sin from the moment of her conception. She is also unique in that she alone brought salvation to the earth by her “yes,” her fiat, which allowed her to conceive Christ and literally bring God in a physical sense into our world.
For those who wrongly think that Catholics should not love and honor Mary, try this approach the next time this opinion comes up in conversation.
I like to ask those who oppose our love and honor of Mary these questions.
1.Do you love Jesus? The answer will certainly be “yes.”
2.Do you want to be like Jesus? The answer will certainly be “yes.”
3.Do you want to follow Jesus and imitate Him? Again the answer will certainly be “yes.”
4.Was Jesus a good and faithful Jew. The answer will certainly be “yes.”
OK then. You’ve told me you love Jesus, want to be like him, and want to follow Him and imitate Him. When I honor and love Mary, I am imitating Jesus, following His example, and following His teaching. By loving Mary, I too choose to “honor my mother and father” as God told us and Jesus did while He was with us. By loving Mary, I accept that her “Yes” reversed the “No” given by Eve. Loving Mary means I accept and thank her for participating in the salvation of the world by giving birth to our Savior. If you truly want to follow Jesus as you just said, you must follow His example and honor and love His mother. To do otherwise would be to accept Jesus’ example and commandment for us. To reject Mary, Jesus’ mother, is to reject Jesus.
It’s hard to argue against this when someone admits he wants to be like Jesus, but refuses to follow the clear example Jesus gave us.