Mary.

This was a hard subject for me. Although it was hard for me to accept all that the Catholic Church says about her, in the back of my mind, I was kind of hoping that it was all true. Even from a Protestant perpective, Mary was a holy woman, deserving of the same repect that we would give Moses, Abraham, Isaiah, St. Paul, and so many others. I had always held the opinion that Catholics worship her, using “veneration” as a euphemism for “worship,” while Protestants do not hold her in high enough regard.

However, at least in my Protestant experience, Mary has been pretty much relegated to women’s Bible studies. She was a good woman, but God could have chosen anyone with the right bloodline. In essence, she was just a womb to use.

I am convinced that the main reason for the Protestant position concerning Mary is to just go as far from the Catholic position as you can without demonizing her.

Protestants tend to do that. Catholics pray with their hands together with their fingers pointing to Heaven. Protestants pray with their hands folded or in their lap. Catholics kneel, Protestants sit. Catholics perform the Sign of the Cross when they pray, Protestants say “in Jesus’ Name.” Catholics use a crucifix, Protestants use an empty cross. Cathlolics honor and venerate Mary, Protestants show her little regard, and then claim that Catholics worship her. Sometimes it just seems like a game.

Protestants often are puzzled at how Catholics can come up with so much concerning Mary, when there is not much is said about her in the Bible. It’s true. Not much is said about her in the Bible, but there is more than most Protestants think, and what is said about her is paramount. The Revelation of Jesus to St. John is essential to understand Mary’s role. Read Revelation 11:19-12:6. Try to read it ignoring the chapter break. The break should be before verse 19, not after.

“Then God’s temple in heaven was opened, and the ark of his covenant was seen within his temple. There were flashes of lightning, rumblings, peals of thunder, an earthquake, and heavy hail. And a great sign appeared in heaven: a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars. She was pregnant and was crying out in birth pains and the agony of giving birth. And another sign appeared in heaven: behold, a great red dragon, with seven heads and ten horns, and on his heads seven diadems. His tail swept down a third of the stars of heaven and cast them to the earth. And the dragon stood before the woman who was about to give birth, so that when she bore her child he might devour it. She gave birth to a male child, one who is to rule all the nations with a rod of iron, but her child was caught up to God and to his throne, and the woman fled into the wilderness, where she has a place prepared by God, in which she is to be nourished for 1,260 days.”

It speaks of the Ark of the Covenant in Heaven. It then goes on to descibe the Ark as a woman clothed with the sun, who gives birth to a son, Jesus. The woman in this passage is several things, she is the Ark of the (New) Covenant, she is Mary, she is the Church, she is Israel who gave birth to the Messiah, and she is physically located in Heaven.

This demands us to compare Mary with the Old Testement Ark of the Covenant. By themselves, some of the points in this chart would not mean a lot, but when taken as a whole, it speaks volumes. I found this basic chart on the internet, but I lost the source. I have added a couple and deleted a couple. If anyone knows the sources, let me know so that I can cite it: (I finally found it again. Not on the web, but in a book that the other author probably got it from and didn’t cite it himself. It’s from Catholic for a Reason edited by Scott Haan):

Ark of the Old Covenant

Ark of the New Covenant

The Ark and the Holy Place had to be completely cleansed and consecrated to the Lord before His Shekinah glory could enter into it. It then became the dwelling place of God. Ex. 40:16-38 Mary was immaculately conceived through the power of God so that the vessel that contained the presence of God was pure. The Holy Spirit overshadowed Mary, and her womb became the dwelling place of God. Luke 1:35
When the sin of Israel became too great, God’s glory left the tabernacle 2 Sam 4:21
When Israel repented of her sin, and cleansed the temple, the Glory of God returned. 2 Chronicles 5
The Ark contained the tablets of the Law, a portion of manna, and Aaron’s staff which budded. Hebrews 9:4 Mary contained Jesus, the Word of God, the Bread of Life, the Branch who would one day after death, be raised to life
The Ark traveled to the hill country of Judah to dwell in the house of Obed-edom.2 Sam. 6:10 Mary traveled to the hill country of Judah to the home of Elizabeth. Luke 1:39
King David danced and leapt for joy in the presence of the Ark. 2 Sam. 6:14 John the Baptist, in Elizabeth’s womb, leaps for joy at the presence of the Lord inside Mary’s womb. Luke 1:43
David shouted for joy in the presence of the Ark. 2 Sam. 6:15 Elizabeth cried with a loud cry of joy at the presence of the Lord inside Mary’s womb. Luke 1:43
David asked, How can the ark of the LORD come to me?” 2 Sam. 6:9 Elizabeth asks, “And why is this granted to me that the mother of my Lord should come to me? Luke 1:43
The Ark remained in the home of Obed-edom for three months. 2 Sam 6:11 Mary remained with Elizabeth for three months. Luke 1:56
The house of Obed-edom was “blessed by the presence of the Ark. 2 Sam. 6:11 The word “blessed” is used three times concerning Mary at Elizabeth’s house. Luke 1: 39-45
The Ark returned to Jerusalem, in the new Temple where the presence and glory of God is revealed. 2 Sam. 6:12, 1 Kings 8:9-11 Mary returns home and eventually comes to Jerusalem where she presents God the Son in the Temple. Luke 1:56, 2:21-22
God made Aaron’s rod (which was kept in the Ark) return to life and budded to prove that he was the legitimate High Priest. Numbers 17:8 God resurrected his Son, who had become man in Mary’s womb, to prove that He is the eternal High Priest. Hebrews 4:14

There is so much more that I could say on this subject, but it is better covered by this article. In fact check out the whole site. It is one of the best sources anywhere that I have found.

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