A fact did occur to me, as I was meditating today on the Eucharist. The major theme of the Eucharist, in addition to the sacrificial theme, is one of sanctifacation - making each and every one of us the new Holy Temple, the new Tabernacel, the new Ark of the Covenant. But then it hit me - there was actually a woman who accomplished all of that before the institution of the Eucharist - namely, the Holy Virgin. Is there any direct relation between Mary and the Eucharist? Although we traditionally associate the “full of grace” to refer to the immaculate conception and original sin, is there any Eucharistic theme in there too? Is Mary essentially the archetypical High Priest of the New Covenant, the role model that we should always consider in relation to the Eucharist?
Mary is often associated with the Eucharist and the Tabernacle. She is called the “Ark of the New Covenant.”
Catholic apologist Steve Ray expands on this in an article in Catholic Answers Magazine.
Mary is very much such a type of the Church as role model in her reception of the Eucharist. She received the Word in her quite literally. We receive the Word in the Eucharist quite literally also.
Cardinal Ratzinger (now Pope Em. Benedict XVI) wrote in chapter 1 of Mary: The Church at the Source:*The grain of wheat does not remain alone, for it includes the maternal mystery of the soil—Mary, the holy soil of the Church, as the Fathers so wonderfully call her, is an essential part of Christ. The mystery of Mary means precisely that God’s Word did not remain alone; rather, it assimilated the other—the soil—into itself, became man in the “soil” of his Mother, and then, fused with the soil of the whole of humanity, returned to God in a new form.
[T]he Gospel explains how men can become fruitful soil for God’s Word. They can become this soil by providing, as it were, the organic elements in which life can grow and mature; by drawing life themselves from this organic matter; by becoming themselves a word formed by the penetration of the Word; by sinking the roots of their life into prayer and thus into God.
*You see how Mary’s fertility in bearing the fruit she was given is our figure in bearing fruit with the Word we are given. We are to be “fertile soil” that properly germinate the seeds of grace given.
Jesus is the New Covenant High Priest - forever. (cf. Heb. 5:7-10 and 7:24-26)
In the New Covenant, we recognize two ways of participating in “the one priesthood of Christ” - the sacramental **ordained ministerial or hierarchical priesthood **and the common priesthood of all the faithful. (See CCC 1544-1547 vatican.va/archive/ENG0015/_P4T.HTM#ET
We can see Mary as the archetype of the common priesthood, but I don’t think she would ever be considered an archetype (or even type) of the High Priest.
Mary is also seen as a type of the Church. ( ewtn.com/library/PAPALDOC/JP2BVM58.HTM )
For the sake of those confused by Protestant lies about Mary it can be helpful to point to the following:
that Catholics clearly teach
to worship only God and
not to worship Mary**
How Marian Doctrines point to the glory of God and are a manifestation of His grace of which there are no limits to its power.
**Vatican II, Lumen Gentium 60, 62 **
**“Mary’s function as mother of men in no way obscures or diminishes this unique mediation of Christ, but rather shows its power. But the Blessed Virgin’s salutary influence on men originates not in any inner necessity but in the disposition of God. It flows forth from the superabundance of the merits of Christ, rests on his mediation, depends entirely on it and draws all its power from it. It does not hinder in any way the immediate union of the faithful with Christ but on the contrary fosters it. 60
“Therefore the Blessed Virgin is invoked by the Church under the titles of Advocate, Auxiliatrix, Adjutrix, and Mediatrix. This, however, is to be so understood that it neither takes away from nor adds anything to the dignity and efficaciousness of Christ the one Mediator.**
“For no creature could ever be counted as equal with the Incarnate Word and Redeemer. Just as the priesthood of Christ is shared in various ways both by the ministers and by the faithful, and as the one goodness of God is really communicated in different ways to His creatures, so also the unique mediation of the Redeemer does not exclude but rather gives rise to a manifold cooperation which is but a sharing in this one source.” 62. Also see CCC 970