Exploring Our Faith Volume II: Mary the First Disciple Part II

Welcome back to Mariology 101.  One of the problems that people of good faith have when it comes to Mary is that there is not much material in the Bible concerning her directly.  There seems to be only a few places where she is mentioned at all.  The truth of the matter is though that the Bible is filled with information about Mary if one only knows where and how to look. 

As Catholics when we read the Bible we do so on at least two levels.  We read it first on the historical/literal level to see what the passage says directly but we also read it on a spiritual level.  What does this passage tells us about Jesus Christ?  In praying the Scripture it is good for example to see how God worked in the story of Joseph being sold into slavery only to rise to a high place in the Egyptian government and save people from famine, it is good to see how God delivered His people from physical slavery in Egypt, and to listen to the prophets tell the people about a better time to come after their exile is over with.  On the other hand there is much more to these passages.  We see in the story of Joseph a foreshadowing of Jesus being sold by Judas only to be elevated to not to a new position of human power but rather eternal life. We see in Moses a foretaste of Jesus saving us not from physical slavery but from our slavery to sin.  We see in the story of the prophets a glimpse of the better life in heaven that Jesus won for us after our earthly exile is over with.
We refer to the Old Testament figures and events that foreshadow something in the New Testament “types”.  These types never 100% foreshadow the future event completely but we believe that these Old Testament types are fulfilled in the New Testament events.  We also believe that just as there are Old Testament types for Jesus that there are Old Testament Types for Mary.  For the rest of this blog, I would like to share with you some types of Mary.
We refer to Mary in our Church as the “New Eve,” because like Eve Mary was kind of a new beginning.  Also like Eve, we believe Mary was sinless.  This is important for us to consider because it is a reminder to us that Mary could have said “no.”  We sometimes think that because Mary was sinless she had to say “yes” to God and this is simply not true.  Like Eve, Mary’s decision had an effect on the whole world. 
One of the most interesting types of Mary is the woman Jael from the Book of Judges.  When Mary meets Elizabeth, Elizabeth greets her with the words “Blessed are you among women,” but Mary is not the first woman in the Bible to be referred to as “blessed among women”.  In the Book of Judges, a woman named Jael (Judges 5&6) is called “blessed among women”.  What did Jael do to earn such a title?  Would you believe it was because she took a tent stake and ran it through a guy’s head?  Well, that is what the Book of Judges tells us.  When reading the Book of Judges, we must remember to read it in the spiritual sense, because I am pretty sure that God does not want us running tent stakes through people’s heads.  Each of the evil kings (and kingdoms) in the Old Testament represent to us sin and so in a spiritual sense we celebrate Jael because she undeniably defeated evil, crushing it and in a similar way we believe that Mary’s “yes” was the definitive end to evil because her “yes” brought forth our savior.  She made it possible for God and man to be reunited again.  Often Mary is pictured as stomping on the head of a serpent to show that she through her “yes” to God she crushed evil.  When we give a complete “yes” to God, when we drive a tent stake through the sin in our life  and we to crush  the evil in our lives with no compromise.
I hope that you are able to see how much the Old Testament helps us understand the New Testament.  I also hope you can begin to also see where the Church gets a lot of their information about Mary from and that it is scripturally sound.  If you are interested in learning more about the types of Mary in the Old Testament, I recommend you stay tune and/or check out Scott Hahn’s Book Hail Holy Queen: The Mother of God in the Word of God.