As the first Marian feasts of the new liturgical year approach, the command to honor father and mother presses upon us.   Curiously, I’ve never heard an evangelical (protestant) Christian cite the biblical mandate to honor Mary, the Mother of God, even though it is in the Bible plain as day.   Here is a quick summary of the biblical basis for the Christian practice of honoring Mary:

 

1)      As we have seen, the Ten Commandments require us to honor father and mother.

 

2)      The Bible tells us that Mary, the mother of Jesus Christ, is in fact the mother of all Christians.

 

3)      Therefore, since Mary is our mother, and the bible commands us to honor father and mother, all Christians have a biblical duty to honor Mary.

Where does the bible tell us that Mary is our mother?  We see the notion introduced at the cruxifiction:


            Seeing his mother and the disciple he loved standing near her, Jesus said to his mother, “Woman, this is your son.”  Then to the disciple he said, “This is your mother.”  And from that moment the disciple made a place for her in her home.  (John 19:26-27)

 

But in this instance Mary is being entrusted to the apostle John, not necessarily assigned as mother of all Christians.  It is in the book of Revelation that we see Mary called the mother of all believers.

 

The book of Revelation, also called the Apocolypse, is the written account of a vision that the apostle John had.  In Revelation chapter 12,  John sees “a woman, adorned with the sun, standing on the moon, and with twelve star on her head for a crown.  She was pregnant, and in labor . . . the woman brought a male child into the world, the son who was to rule all the nations with an iron scepter”

 

The male child, of course, is Jesus.  We know from the various Gospels that Mary is the woman who gave birth to Jesus, so the woman in Revelation chapter 12 is, of course, Mary. 

 

Chapter 12 continues with the story of the dragon (Satan) who wants to consume the child and his mother, but doesn’t, and then the chapter concludes, “Then the dragon was enraged with the woman and went away to make war on the rest of her children, that is, all who obey God’s commandments and bear witness for Jesus.”

 

So there it is.  We Christians – those who obey God’s commandments and bear witness for Jesus – are the other children, aside from Jesus, of that woman, Mary, who gave birth to Jesus.

 

It’s a truth we might have reasoned out implicitly, given that we Christians are adopted sons and daughters of God, and it follows that if we are to be brothers and sisters of Christ, we would be not only children of the Father, but of His mother as well.  That’s how adoption works.  But we needn’t rely only on logic to come to this conclusion, since the book of Revelation lays it out explicitly.

 

Mary is our mother.  We are commanded to honor mother and father.  Therefore, we who strive to obey God’s commands must take active measures to honor Mary.  One way Catholics do this is through various Marian feast days, not unlike the way we honor our biological mothers with birthdays and Mother’s Day and so on.


Meanwhile I feel a new verse to the old song forming in my head . . . "Mary’s my mother, this I know, for the bible tells me so . . ."  Feel free to complete if the spirit moves you.

 

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