The role of Mary in Jesus' ministry on earth


#1

As has been suggested to me: I am starting a thread for people who wish to discuss the role of Our Lady in Jesus’ ministry while He lived on earth.

Questions that might come up:

  • Did she participate, if so, how?

  • What info. do we have in Scripture?

  • Does this help to suggest that Our Lady is doing the same now in a spiritual way?

  • How does our relationship with Mary correspond with our relationship to our Saviour?

These are not direct questions but examples of the sort of related debates that might surface.

I have put this into the ‘Scripture’ section rather than ‘Spirituality’ as this in itself might introduce an interesting debate or two.

To note: I would appreciate it if people opposing this topic might frame their arguments politely; and vice-versa, let none of us be dismissive.

So, the question is broad and the horizon wide, for debate. I hope there are some interesting chats going to happen.

Thank you.


#2

From the sparse bits of Scriptural information we have it seems like then, much like now, she had a spiritual/intercessory role rather than an administrative or preaching one.


#3

Hi. I would say so too but maybe depends how you mean administrative? Did she organise missions you mean? Preaching: you mean preaching as Jesus preached using parables etc…?


#4

…what about at The Wedding at Cana. This was definitely intercessory, but was her intervention anything else you mentioned too?


#5

In order to put Mary into her proper place in Scripture, in the Church, and our lives we need to be steeped in Marian typology and theology. A lot of people simply don’t have that kind of resource at their fingertips. :slight_smile:

A book that helped me see Mary in the OT, as well as the NT was St. Alphonsus de Liguori’s “The Glories of Mary.” He discusses Church teaching and popular devotion from the viewpoint of Scripture, the Early Church Fathers, as well as bishops, priests and saints. I highly recommend it to people who want to better understand Mary’s role leading up to Christ, her position with him during his life, as well as her relationship with us in the Church.


#6

I mean there is no evidence, so far as I am aware, that Mary had a role in the governance of the Church or engaged in any kind of preaching ministry (addressing a group of Christians or non-Christians to teach, exhort, etc.). Obviously she spoke to people, but no one would reasonably call that preaching or administration.


#7

Hi. Great to have you on thread! :slight_smile:

I have a couple of books on the NT so will use them if/when a topic comes up. Have you studied ‘Marianology’ specifically then?

I will order this book this evening. I would like to see more of Mary in the OT. I think I see her in The Song of Songs (…leaning on her Beloved etc…and I think this ties in with Revelation). What do you think?


#8

Our Blessed and Holy Mother Mary is the Quintessential example of the most perfect follower of Christ.
She was perfect in obeying God’s request.
She was perfect in living a simplistic life.
She was perfect in following Christ’s direction.
She was perfect in Charity.
She was perfect in Humility.
She was perfect in Purity.
She was perfect in Prayer
She was and is the perfect, Mother, Daughter, and woman.


#9

Thanks for the invitation. :slight_smile:

I have a couple of books on the NT so will use them if/when a topic comes up. Have you studied ‘Marianology’ specifically then?

Haydock’s Catholic Bible Commentary can be helpful too because he quotes the Early Church Fathers and other Bible scholars.

I read several books on Mary when considering the Church and in my early years in the Church. They helped me understand who Mary is and what she means to the Church and in God’s plan of salvation.

I will order this book this evening. I would like to see more of Mary in the OT. I think I see her in The Song of Songs (…leaning on her Beloved etc…and I think this ties in with Revelation). What do you think?

Yes, Mary can be and is compared to the Bride in the SoS by the Early Church Fathers and in the Church’s liturgies. Psalm 45: 9-15 can be applied to her, and other passages too numerous to list here.


#10

This might be termed as stretching something out but…preaching in terms of exhortation. Okay.

Preaching in terms of teaching? I would suggest that it could be assumed Our Lady did. -

This is the great thing about Scripture is, although we can’t conclude without referring solidly to certain sources, there is room for analysis. I would never walk away from an analytical session and say that a ‘result’ was more than an estimation/speculation, but there is still room for pondering.

  • Our Lady, it can be deduced, would have known the OT from her having taken Jesus to all the necessary rituals that were Jewish customs to show obedience to her heritage. So it would also make sense that Mary herself taught Jesus as a boy much of what He knows - not His own mission from His father, but the OT knowledge. Maybe it was after her teaching Him that He realized Himself in the OT?! So, if Our Lady did teach Jesus, then could be assumed that Mary taught others too? Is Our Lady reported to have spent time with other people in the Bible before or during Jesus’ life on earth? In terms of administration, if Mary spent time with disciples then could it be assumed that Mary did evangelize for Jesus and send people to Him. “Listen to Him”, Mary said at the wedding. Had Mary said this before when He was away? Or after? How much did Jesus listen to His Mother in practical issues?

#11

Quite! We recognise these truths with faith. This means that these statements of faith are fruits from Our Lady’s time on earth. If we recognise that these statements were true then there are virtues here that as a heavenly light would not have been hidden in a way that those close to Christ would not have been spiritually attracted to her, although her loveliness in wider circles would have possibly been hidden, or concealed, due to Christ’s presence - as St. Louis De Montfort titled his book: ‘The Secret of Mary’. I have taken this title out of context possibly but as Jesus said: " a light is not to be put under the table…’. So from these virtues in Mary’s own immediate society the fruits of her labour (pun intended) would have surfaced in service to her son: her very life was and is a fruit of her own labour!


#12

You’re welcome! :slight_smile:

This is very useful. I clicked on the link and it took me to an online resource. So much easier than going to a book, at least for online discussion! Thank you.

It seems a very considered, and pondered upon, approach. Do you think it was Our Lady herself who was involved in that decision? (- I’m not expecting you to answer that as it is personal).

The OT Jews associated the SofS with something different I recall? I can’t remember. But it was venerated as extra special but kept out of the Hebrew Scriptures for obvious reasons to do with content. But it was highly venerated.

May have to ask you for a few :slight_smile:

There is another discussion at present in which Mary as a teacher has been presented for argument. I would like to ask you your opinion, taking into consideration: “When Our Lady said: Let what you have said be done unto me”. Now, the relationship between Jesus and Mother was close. So, when we hear Jesus’ words in the Garden of Gethsemane, we hear Him say: “Let your will be done”. There are echoes of Our Lady’s words to the angel. And there is a parallel in that an angel indeed came and cared for Jesus. Two acts of submission to God’s will - Mary’s, after shock and worry, and Jesus’ submission after worry and grief. If we take Mary as teacher of Jesus when He was a child then we can see that Our Lady and Jesus in both those two submissive exclamations echoed in one another. Her ‘fiat’, is from then on in, in Jesus’ heart, throughout His life. The effect of Mary as Mother is equal to Mary as teacher to The Teacher because Mary is always in His heart in a big way. So do you know if there is anything in the OT that speaks of teaching, that could be linked to Our Lady - maybe to do with Wisdom? (I am thinking Wisdom is feminine and closely related to the Holy Spirit - the Spouse of Our Lady).

One other thing to consider when taking these exclamations into account is the number three. Jesus also said on the cross: “Into your hands Lord, I commend my Spirit”. This is a submissive exclamation (I think?) after agony and all else.


#13

Frankly, that is speculation without any basis. There is nothing in scripture to support your contention. You are simply jumping to conclusions which you cannot back up.


#14

With all due respect, please read the posts before posting.

I said this already, that it is speculation and analysis only, which is what forums can be for - discussion. And exegesis was born of investigation. If investigation was not allowed, no Saint, or Doctor of the Church, or author or Pope even, would have studied. Please respect the thread for what it is.

As you can see, I put forward suggestions in question-form to highlight that this is questioning only, not fact.


#15

And instead of blanket statements, and if you are not a fan of insight, then maybe you could argue with logic and reason. Here is my question:

Do you think that Mary participated in the teaching of the child Jesus, as far as teaching him how to be a good boy, the customs and rituals of the Jews, and Old Testament teaching goes?

If not, theologians would disagree. If so, then Mary in one form or other was a teacher - is this not correct?


#16

Before anyone jumps down my throat about this :stuck_out_tongue: I am trying to question Our Lady’s role in Christ’s life; hence, the thread title and why ‘teacher’ came up as one discussion. I am not saying that Our Lady is equal to Christ in any way shape or form but rather noticing similar characteristics between Mary and her son. This could be termed as Mariological study!

So in this line above I am asking if ‘Mary as Teacher’ is equal to ‘Mary as Mother’, when viewed in terms of her binding relationship with her Son: The Teacher (The Word of God).


#17

What you are doing though is making the leap from a mother teaching her child to automatically assume that meant she went around teaching like the Apostles did. For the latter you have nothing to support it.


#18

You’re welcome. :tiphat: A couple more resources for you: The Glories of Mary and Search for the Revised Standard Version Catholic Bible. Under “Simple Searches” put in the word wisdom and all kinds of scriptural references will be listed. :slight_smile:

It seems a very considered, and pondered upon, approach. Do you think it was Our Lady herself who was involved in that decision? (- I’m not expecting you to answer that as it is personal).

She had a defining part to play in my entering the Church, so yes, I believe she was involved in my urge to research Marian teachings. :slight_smile:

The OT Jews associated the SofS with something different I recall? I can’t remember. But it was venerated as extra special but kept out of the Hebrew Scriptures for obvious reasons to do with content. But it was highly venerated.

The SoS was about King Solomon’s taking a bride. So, the book is about the union of God (King) with his people (Israel). Interpretation of SoS is not limited to that for us as Christians, of course.

There is another discussion at present in which Mary as a teacher has been presented for argument. I would like to ask you your opinion, taking into consideration: “When Our Lady said: Let what you have said be done unto me”. Now, the relationship between Jesus and Mother was close. So, when we hear Jesus’ words in the Garden of Gethsemane, we hear Him say: “Let your will be done”. There are echoes of Our Lady’s words to the angel. And there is a parallel in that an angel indeed came and cared for Jesus. Two acts of submission to God’s will - Mary’s, after shock and worry, and Jesus’ submission after worry and grief. If we take Mary as teacher of Jesus when He was a child then we can see that Our Lady and Jesus in both those two submissive exclamations echoed in one another. Her ‘fiat’, is from then on in, in Jesus’ heart, throughout His life. The effect of Mary as Mother is equal to Mary as teacher to The Teacher because Mary is always in His heart in a big way. So do you know if there is anything in the OT that speaks of teaching, that could be linked to Our Lady - maybe to do with Wisdom? (I am thinking Wisdom is feminine and closely related to the Holy Spirit - the Spouse of Our Lady).

One other thing to consider when taking these exclamations into account is the number three. Jesus also said on the cross: “Into your hands Lord, I commend my Spirit”. This is a submissive exclamation (I think?) after agony and all else.

No doubt Mary and Joseph taught Jesus as a child–both were holy people. I couldn’t say that Jesus learned submissiveness to God’s will because Mary was his teacher, though. I think that’s saying too much. Certainly she was that example, but he, being divine and one with his Father all through his life, needed no one to teach him anything. Mary and Joseph gave him the proper education for a Jewish boy and were faithful to the Law. Mary was no doubt more united to her Son than Joseph due to who he was and how he had been conceived–through her cooperative fiat with God’s will. Mary can be and is venerated for her many virtues, and a host of other proper things, but instructing Jesus in how to be in union with God’s will would not have been one of them. :slight_smile:

As to the number 3, in Mid-Eastern cultures stating something 3 times showed that one truly meant what one said. This is probably why the Gospel writer had Jesus declaring his sumission to God’s will 3 times. Of course, there is a mystical meaning behind the number 3 since God is a Trinity of Persons with one nature. I don’t know if the Gospel writer had this consciously in mind, but it’s possible.


#19

And instead of blanket statements, and if you are not a fan of insight, then maybe you could argue with logic and reason. Here is my question:

Do you think that Mary participated in the teaching of the child Jesus, as far as teaching him how to be a good boy, the customs and rituals of the Jews, and Old Testament teaching goes?

If not, theologians would disagree. If so, then Mary in one form or other was a teacher - is this not correct?


#20

Thank you. I will check these out :slight_smile:

She had a defining part to play in my entering the Church, so yes, I believe she was involved in my urge to research Marian teachings. :slight_smile:

What a wonderful. realisation! Thank you for sharing this. One could say Our Lady goes to fetch us as Mary did when Jesus went missing (although He had good reason).

The SoS was about King Solomon’s taking a bride. So, the book is about the union of God (King) with his people (Israel). Interpretation of SoS is not limited to that for us as Christians, of course.

No, of course, and it could be attributed to various wise truths, making up the one Truth. I would say though that Christ being in the OT, and being the completion of the Scriptures, could indicate that this is the wisdom behind the SofS. Because as Christians we understand that we are ‘spiritual Israel’. And as Christ was born of the Virgin we too are reborn as spiritual Israel in closer union with Christ through the Virgin Mary as our Mother. There is no closer union except for the mystery that is the Holy Trinity, closer than Jesus Christ in the womb of Mary. To enter into deep relationship with God is to be reborn from Mary’s womb. I think either mystical interpretation leads to the same Truth. What do you think?

No doubt Mary and Joseph taught Jesus as a child–both were holy people. I couldn’t say that Jesus learned submissiveness to God’s will because Mary was his teacher, though. I think that’s saying too much. Certainly she was that example, but he, being divine and one with his Father all through his life, needed no one to teach him anything. Mary and Joseph gave him the proper education for a Jewish boy and were faithful to the Law. Mary was no doubt more united to her Son than Joseph due to who he was and how he had been conceived–through her cooperative fiat with God’s will. Mary can be and is venerated for her many virtues, and a host of other proper things, but instructing Jesus in how to be in union with God’s will would not have been one of them. :slight_smile:

-Sorry Della, this is why I wrote: 'Our Lady, it can be deduced, would have known the OT from her having taken Jesus to all the necessary rituals that were Jewish customs to show obedience to her heritage. So it would also make sense that Mary herself taught Jesus as a boy much of what He knows - not His own mission from His father, but the OT knowledge. Maybe it was after her teaching Him that He realized Himself in the OT?!

I do not think and didn’t say that Jesus discovered His Will from Our Lady. What I meant was that ‘as a consequence’ of Our Lady’s teaching of the OT and Mothering, Jesus Himself would have discovered from Scripture (in the Holy Spirit), Himself, in there. He would have seen Himself as the Word of His own Father’s Will. But Our Lady would have taught Him scriptural knowledge unless of course He knew this already and it all was imprinted in his head but I don’t think so because He was human and divine.

The other point concerning Mary’s ‘fiat’ is that the willingness to submit is a supernatural link with Christ - her son to be. Point I was making was that the bond, even on earth, was unbreakable, from the time of her conception and her conclusive ‘fiat’. So there would be characteristics in Mother that would be found in the Son. And so would help exegesis when studying Mary’s role in our lives and possibly point towards scriptural passages. Maybe this is the wrong way around?

s to the number 3, in Mid-Eastern cultures stating something 3 times showed that one truly meant what one said. This is probably why the Gospel writer had Jesus declaring his sumission to God’s will 3 times. Of course, there is a mystical meaning behind the number 3 since God is a Trinity of Persons with one nature. I don’t know if the Gospel writer had this consciously in mind, but it’s possible.

I agree.

May I suggest we start with something concrete, with a passage from Scripture: “Let what you have said be done unto me.” How does this configure with Christ’s submission?

As far as the teacher side of things goes, I think we can safely say that to be Mother is to teach in some way anyway, so for now, is a kind of pointless discussion. Sorry for that!


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