If Jesus … then the Theotokos

“If Jesus is truly the eternal Son of God, the God-man who became flesh is the womb of Mary;

if in and through her person He, the Second Person of the Holy Trinity, actually assumed our human nature, to transfigure that nature and restore it to its original intended purity and holiness;

if His saving, redeeming work was made possible by Mary’s fiat, her willing acceptance of virginal birth-giving through the power of the Holy Spirit

– if all of this is true, then we can do nothing other than acknowledge her role in God’s economy of salvation, and celebrate that role, with joy and conviction, in the services of the Church.

If Jesus is truly who we believe and confess Him to be, then we can do nothing other, and nothing less, than exalt His humble mother as truly Theotokos: a human person like ourselves, but whose womb ‘became more spacious than the heavens’ by bearing the incarnate Son of God. And if, from her Nativity through her Dormition and beyond, she is truly who we believe and confess her to be – the Mother of God – then we can do nothing other, and nothing less, than to ask her to intercede ceaselessly for us, for the sake of our salvation. The most ancient icon we possess is a fresco of Mary found in the catacombs of Rome. There she offers herself as she does in the familiar image of the Deisis: standing upright, her hands lifted in supplication, making intercession on behalf of us all. She is the Ornate, the very incarnation of ceaseless prayer.” (John Breck, Longing for God, p 129)

 

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