Friday, May 9, 2008

John, the Ark, and Mary

Continuing from my last post on this topic - following Professor Hahn's book - starting on page 58:

John describes the struggles surrounding the birth and mission of the Messiah? He shows symbolically, the roles that Satan, the Caesars, and the Herods would play. Yet the centerpiece of Revelation12, the most prominent element, is the woman who is the ark of the covenant. If she is more than an embodied idea, who is she?

Tradition tells us that she is the same person whom Jesus calls "woman" in John's Gospel, the reprise of the person Adam, calls "woman" in the garden of Eden. Like the beginning of John's gospel, this episode of the Apocalypse repeatedly evokes the Protoevangelium of Genesis. The first clue is that John, here as in the gospel, never reveals this person's name; he refers to her only by the name Adam gave to Eve in the garden: she is "woman." Later in the same chapter of the Apocalypse, e learn also that like Eve who was the "mother of all the living" the woman of John's vision is the mother, not only to the "male child" but also to the "rest of her offspring," further identified as "those who keep the commandments of God and bear testimony to Jesus" (Rev 12:17)

This is one of the reasons that Catholics honor Mary as their spiritual mother. Later we will look at her role as Queen Mother, in relationship to Jesus' role as king.

At the very least, I am hoping that an examination of these passages will show that this particular teaching on Mary is scriptural.

moving on:

Revelation's most explicit reference to the Protoevangelium, however, is the figure of the dragon, whom John clearly identifies with the "ancient serpent" of Genesis, "the deceiver of the world" (Rev 12:9; see Gen 3:13) The conflict that follows, then between the dragon and the child clearly fulfills the promise of Genesis 3:15, when God swore to place "enmity" between the serpent" and the woman; between your seed and her seed' And the anguish of the woman's delivery seems also to come in fulfillment of God's words to Eve: "I will greatly multiply your pain in childbearing; in pain you shall bring forth children" (Gen 3:16).

John clearly intends for the woman of the Apocalypse to evoke Eve, the mother of all the living, and the New Eve, the person he identifies as "woman" in the gospel.

For further reading on this topic see here.

Catholic Answers.

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

No comments: