Sunday, May 4, 2008


As we continue this book we will see many symbols and richness in the scriptures that refer to Mary. This next part of Scott Hahn's book Hail, Holy Queen: The Mother of God in the Word of God introduces us to the image of Mary as the New Eve and emphasizes her motherhood. From page 36-38

But let's return for a moment to Jesus' initial response. Did you notice how he addressed her? He called her not "Mother" or even "Mary," but "Woman." Again non-Catholic commentators will sometimes claim that Jesus intended the epithet "Woman" to convey disrespect or reproach. After all, shouldn't He address her as "Mother"?

First we should point out that since Jesus was obedient all His life to the law, it is unlikely that He would ever show dishonor to His mother, thereby violating the fourth commandment.

Second Jesus will again address Mary as "Woman," but in very different circumstances. As He hangs dying on the cross, He will call her "Woman" when He gives her as mother to His beloved disciple, John (Jn 19:26). Surely, in that instance, He could mean to reproach or dishonor.

Yet we miss more than Jesus' sinlessness if we reduce the word "woman" to an insult. For Jesus' use of that word represents yet another echo of Genesis. "Woman" is the name Adam gives to Eve (Gen 2:23) Jesus then is addressing Mary as Eve to the New Adam- which heightens the significance of the wedding feast they are attending.

Still we can anticipate some outraged objection: How can Mary be His bride if she's His mother? To answer that, we must consider Isaiah's prophecy of the coming salvation of Israel: "You shall no more be termed Foraken... but you sahll be called My Delight Is in Her, and your land Married. For as a young man marries a virgin, so shall your sons marry you, and as the bridegroom rejoices over the bride, so shall your God rejoice over you" (Is 62:4-5)> There's a lot suggested in those two compact verses: Mary's virginal motherhood, her miraculous conception ,and her mystical marriage to God, who is at once her Father, her Spouse, and her Son. The mystery of divine maternity runs deep, because the mystery of the Trinity runs still deeper.

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1 comment:

Jennifer Sr. said...

The other day one of the kids asked me about Jesus calling Mary "Woman" and I explained it wasn't a slang term(as in 'hey woman!'), but he was probably addressing her as her Lord and not her son and it was like calling her "ma'am"...