Mary’s role in salvation history
By Sean Martin
Does Mary’s role as intercessor cease in Heaven?
Jesus said “I give you a new commandment: love one another” (John 13:34). St. Thomas Aquinas taught “to love is to will the good of another” (Catechism of the Catholic Church 1766). The greatest possible good for someone is their salvation, to live for all eternity with God in the Heavenly Kingdom. Therefore, it is obvious that those who are in Heaven before the throne of God, angels and saints, desire for us to join in the Heavenly feast, especially Mary our Queen Mother and Advocate. St. John the Apostle describes the intercessory role of saints in the Kingdom of God “and when he had taken the scroll, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb, each holding a harp, and with golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints” (Revelation 5:8). Mary loves all humanity and desires for us to be saved. This is unmistakable since she said yes to God, which brought the Savior into the world. Mary has interceded for humanity throughout her life, and this intercessory role does not stop because she is in heaven. “This motherhood of Mary in the order of grace continues uninterruptedly from the consent which she loyally gave at the Annunciation and which she sustained without wavering beneath the cross, until the eternal fulfillment of all the elect. Taken up to heaven she did not lay aside this saving office but by her manifold intercession continues to bring us the gifts of eternal salvation . . . Therefore the Blessed Virgin is invoked in the Church under the titles of Advocate, Helper, Benefactress, and Mediatrix” (CCC 969).
What is Mary’s role in salvation history?
Our Heavenly Father loves humanity so much that He did not abandon us to the power of sin and death after the Original Sin of our first parents, Adam and Eve. He began to establish the Divine Kingdom by building the people of God and sending a Savior into the world by means of a virgin woman. “Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign. Behold, a young woman shall conceive and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel” (Isaiah 7:14).
God the Father wants all humanity to live with Him in His Heavenly Kingdom for all eternity. “At the end of time, the Kingdom of God will come in its fullness. After the universal judgment, the righteous will reign for ever with Christ” (CCC 1042) our Redeemer King and Mary our Coredemptrix Queen Mother.
After the fall of Adam and Eve, God spoke to the serpent and stated “I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your seed and her seed; he shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise his heel” (Genesis 3:15). In this passage the seed of the woman is a foreshadowing of Jesus Christ; therefore the woman is a foreshadowing of Mary. The passage predicts the victory of Jesus Christ the King and Mary the Queen Mother over Satan, sin and death. Hence, this is why Genesis 3:15 has been called the protoevangelium, the first Gospel.
Genesis 3:15 also reveals the personhood of “the Woman”. God said that he would put enmity between the serpent, Satan, and the woman, Mary. The word enmity means in complete opposition. Satan is complete evil in his will; therefore Mary would be the complete opposite of evil. Mary is completely good, without the stain of sin. God preserved Mary at the moment of her conception free from original sin and she retained the preternatural gifts of infused knowledge, immortality of the body, integrity, and impassibility. Pope Pius IX in 1854 declared the dogma of Mary’s Immaculate Conception: “We declare, pronounce, and define that the doctrine which holds that the most Blessed Virgin Mary, in the first instance of her conception, by a singular grace and privilege granted by Almighty God, in view of the merits of Jesus Christ, the Savior of the human race, was preserved free from all stain of original sin, is a doctrine revealed by God and therefore to be believed firmly and constantly by all the faithful” (Ineffabilis Deus).
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