As Eve played an essential role in our downfall, Mary played an essential role in our redemption. And she still does. How, you ask? Consider these parallels. First, concerning Eve, then Mary as the New Eve, some points from the second chapter of Brant Pitre’s book, Jesus and the Jewish Roots of Mary.
- Adam and Eve were created in the image and likeness of God and God said it was very good. They were created without sin, without Original Sin.
- Adam does not name Eve until after they commit the first sin. He calls her Woman until then.
- Eve invites Adam to eat the forbidden fruit, which she gives to him as he was with her. He was right there. They fell together.
- Since they fell together, they both suffer the effects of the first sin.
- The serpent is also affected. God gives an oracle about “a future battle between the offspring of the serpent and the offspring of the woman.”
- Eve was no ordinary woman, “she played a crucial role in bringing death into the world but one of her offspring—the Messiah—who was expected to rise up one day and undo the effects of the Fall.”
“And the Lord God said to the serpent: Because thou hast done this thing, thou art cursed among all cattle, and beasts of the earth: upon thy breast shalt thou go, and earth shalt thou eat all the days of thy life. I will put enmities between thee and the woman, and thy seed and her seed: she shall crush thy head, and thou shalt lie in wait for her heel.” — Genesis 3:14-15 Douay-Rheims, public domain.
You probably see some parallels here but I’ll write them out anyway.
- The Blessed Virgin Mary was created (by an action of her Son Who is a Divine Person and not limited by time and space), without sin, without the stain of Original Sin. He saves us all but He saved her before her birth, He saves us after our birth, when we are baptized.
- In his Gospel and in the Apocalypse, John calls Mary “Woman” instead of by her name, Mary. In the Gospel it’s Jesus Himself calling her “Woman.” Those who see that as an insult to His Mother are not hearing the echoes of Genesis that the Gospel’s author wrote.
- The first Eve invites the first Adam to commit the first sin, Mary invites Jesus to perform the first of his signs.
- Mary is with Jesus at the crucifixion and He calls her Woman again right at the hour when He defeats the devil.
- The devil is defeated, conquered, the oracle is fulfilled.
- Mary is no ordinary woman, she is the Woman of God’s promise in Genesis. And this becomes even more clear in the Apocalypse with the woman clothed with the sun.
“Whereunto baptism being of the like form, now saveth you also.” — 1 Peter 3:21 Douay-Rheims, public domain.
“25 Now there stood by the cross of Jesus, his mother, and his mother’s sister, Mary of Cleophas, and Mary Magdalen. When Jesus therefore had seen his mother and the disciple standing whom he loved, he saith to his mother: Woman, behold thy son. After that, he saith to the disciple: Behold thy mother. And from that hour, the disciple took her to his own.” — John 19:25–27 Douay-Rheims, pubic domain.
“And a great sign appeared in heaven: A woman clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars: And being with child, she cried travailing in birth, and was in pain to be delivered. And there was seen another sign in heaven: and behold a great red dragon, having seven heads, and ten horns: and on his head seven diadems: And his tail drew the third part of the stars of heaven, and cast them to the earth: and the dragon stood before the woman who was ready to be delivered; that, when she should be delivered, he might devour her son. And she brought forth a man child, who was to rule all nations with an iron rod: and her son was taken up to God, and to his throne. And the woman fled into the wilderness, where she had a place prepared by God, that there they should feed her a thousand two hundred sixty days. And there was a great battle in heaven, Michael and his angels fought with the dragon, and the dragon fought and his angels: And they prevailed not, neither was their place found any more in heaven. And that great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, who is called the devil and Satan, who seduceth the whole world; and he was cast unto the earth, and his angels were thrown down with him.” — Rev (Apocalypse) 12:1-9 Douay-Rheims, public domain.
There is so much more in Dr. Pitre’s book. This is only a brief look at the second chapter. I’m really looking forward to digging deeper and sharing more with you, and I plan to re-read these books of the Bible, too, with new eyes.
Speaking of eyes: I bought the digital video from his site, Catholic Productions, but I haven’t watched all of it yet. I keep having to deal with eye issues. Oy, it’s as if my entire body has decided that, in revenge for the way I treated it in my younger days, it’s gonna make my elder days miserable. Well, it can try but my natural optimism and supernatural joy says, Oh yeah? You and what army? ;)
Thanks for visiting and reading. God bless you and may His peace be always with you.
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This has been a post in the Something About Mary Every Day In May series. More on the way, stay tuned.
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