Mary and the humility of God

Mary honoured and obeyed Jesus, her son, as her God; Jesus honoured and obeyed Mary, His creature, as His mother. In this we can see Mary’s perfect humility, and Jesus’s humility beyond perfection. Mary is as humble as humanly possible, but Jesus is as humble as only God can ever be. Mary is by grace immaculate, sinless, perfect; Jesus is by nature divine, the transcendent source and truth of all perfections.

Still today, in heaven, Mary honours and obeys Jesus, and Jesus honours and obeys Mary. Jesus is still fully human, and the fourth commandment still binds Him in heaven [though not as something external to Himself]. Their reciprocal love, honour and obedience will continue for eternity.

Why should Jesus honour Mary? Why should we honour our mothers? Because without them we would not exist. We owe absolutely everything to our mothers. Absolutely everything.

But how can I suggest that Jesus owes His existence to Mary, His own creature? How can He receive existence from one who receives existence from Him? How can a creature precede its Creator? How can the eternal Word of God depend on a temporal being? But if we deny this, we deny that she is His mother, and in doing so deny that He is truly a human. So how can I say this?

We must realise that the Word was always, eternally, Jesus. God does not suffer change. The eternal Word of God was already Jesus, son of God and son of Mary, before Jesus was conceived in Mary. Before Jesus was born in time, the eternal Word is the Jesus born in time. The gospel says, “And the Word was made flesh”, and while this was an event in time and a change in flesh, it was not an event in eternity or a change in God. The Word was eternally flesh, although that flesh was not always made.

The Son of God, eternally begotten of the Father, is the son of Mary, conceived in her in time. Without Mary there is no Jesus. In this way, in being His mother in time, Mary exists from eternity within her Son. But this existence from eternity within the Word is the reason and source of Mary’s creation, and so she exists because of Jesus even more than He does because of her. Mary exists for Jesus.

Still, by God’s grace and humility, Mary is Jesus’s mother. By God’s grace and humility, she is owed honour by God Himself. By God’s grace and humility, she gave life to Life Himself.

Mary, conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to you.

God bless you!

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