As part of the law, Mary redeemed Jesus Christ, first-born. I am struggling to understand why, and what this means. It is not just a coincidence. Any thoughts insights appreciated.
Where did you read this?
Mary did not redeem God. Mary was redeemed by God from the moment of her Immaculate Conception.
490 To become the mother of the Savior, Mary "was enriched by God with gifts appropriate to such a role."132 The angel Gabriel at the moment of the annunciation salutes her as “full of grace”.133 In fact, in order for Mary to be able to give the free assent of her faith to the announcement of her vocation, it was necessary that she be wholly borne by God’s grace.
491 Through the centuries the Church has become ever more aware that Mary, “full of grace” through God,134 was redeemed from the moment of her conception. That is what the dogma of the Immaculate Conception confesses, as Pope Pius IX proclaimed in 1854:
"The most Blessed Virgin Mary was, from the first moment of her conception, by a singular grace and privilege of almighty God and by virtue of the merits of Jesus Christ, Savior of the human race, preserved immune from all stain of original sin."135
From St. Pope John Paul II:
- However, applied to Mary, the term “co-operator” acquires a specific meaning. The collaboration of Christians in salvation takes place after the Calvary event, whose fruits they endeavour to spread by prayer and sacrifice. Mary, instead, co-operated during the event itself and in the role of mother; thus her co-operation embraces the whole of Christ’s saving work. She alone was associated in this way with the redemptive sacrifice that merited the salvation of all mankind. In union with Christ and in submission to him, she collaborated in obtaining the grace of salvation for all humanity.
The Blessed Virgin’s role as co-operator has its source in her divine motherhood. By giving birth to the One who was destined to achieve man’s redemption, by nourishing him, presenting him in the temple and suffering with him as he died on the Cross, “in a wholly singular way she co-operated … in the work of the Saviour” (Lumen gentium, n. 61). Although God’s call to co-operate in the work of salvation concerns every human being, the participation of the Saviour’s Mother in humanity’s Redemption is a unique and unrepeatable fact.
Despite the uniqueness of her condition, Mary is also the recipient of salvation. She is the first to be saved, redeemed by Christ “in the most sublime way” in her Immaculate Conception (cf. Bull Ineffabilis Deus, in Pius IX, Acta, 1, 605) and filled with the grace of the Holy Spirit.
– Wednesday Audience, April 9, 1997.
Joseph and Mary obeyed the Mosaic law exactly, as Christ had to be born under the law in order to fulfill the law. Are you speaking of the presentation in the temple? That redemption (Ex 13:11-15, Nm 18:15-16) was to obey the Mosaic law. I believe it was a physical act and not a spiritual act.
Not in the spiritual sense (as in redemption from sin and death), obviously.
As the firstborn son, Jesus was redeemed by His parents because God declared to the Israelites that every firstborn male is His due - male firstborns are to be set apart and offered to Him. Normally speaking, in the case of animals and plants this would mean that the firstborn is to be given as a sacrifice to God (slaughtered, burned up), but in the case of humans, God decreed that the parents are to symbolically buy back the child and its life from Him.
Because Joseph and Mary are observant Jews (as far as we know), they observed this custom. In His humanity, Jesus was under the Law.
:eek: Where did you hear this? This sounds heretical…
No, it’s correct. You’re thinking of it in a Christian context of salvation. See Patrick’s comment, above – it makes sense in the context of the Mosaic law. See Exodus 13 and Luke 2.
To be fair, though, the way that the comment was worded, it makes it sound like Mary alone did the redeeming; that might be what leads to the anachronism…
And such would involve Joseph too! To be accurate. *as you note (the parents).
Oh ok sorry. I didn’t see Patrick’s comment. Phew, thanks for the clarification!
You’d probably think it was Joseph who redeemed Jesus, since Joseph was the father.
Redemption comprises of eternal law
This might help.
From the Rosary Center’s reflections on the Fourth Joyful Mystery:
1.Observing the law of Moses they take Jesus to the temple to present Him to the Lord.
2.According to the Law the firstborn male child of every family should be consecrated to the Lord.
3.Mary offers her Son to the Father, then ransoms Him back at the price paid by the poor.
4.Jesus is not subject to the law of Moses, yet to teach obedience, submits to it.
5.Mary is not subject to the law of purification, yet in humility she submits to it.
First apologies if I startled anyone. I did specifically state “As part of the law” the deutero law and there is no heresy. It would also be possible to include Joseph, yes, but Mary is blood-line and she received the unnatural supernatural privilege, and plus she kept all these things in her heart.
Specifically with regard to this reference to the subjection to the law points 4 and 5. Could it be then that the significance is that the law failed (was broken) because of points 4 and 5. Not so much a breaking of the law, but a failure of the law, which nullifies the law. Jesus Christ was redeemed according to the law, but the law failed in that Jesus Christ was in fact not redeemed by the law. When Jesus Christ was found as a boy in the Temple, he stated “Did you not know that I must be in my Father’s house?” He was still consecrated to the Father, He was not redeemed and the law failed.
Strangely all of this comes from Luke 2.
I believe you are mistaken. The law did not fail, and Jesus was in fact redeemed (bought back) by his parents. He was consecrated to the Father, and bought back by his parents. When he was found in the Temple, he merely stated the truth, that he was in his Father’s house.
The redemption of the firstborn was a Jewish custom, related to the freeing of the Jews from the Egyptians. It has symbolic relation to our redemption by Christ’s shedding his blood on the cross, but it’s not the same redemption.
She redeemed him according to the law when she took him to the temple to be presented.