Thursday, January 12, 2006

Mary as the New Israel

"There is none to guide her among all the sons she has borne;
there is none to take her by the hand among all the sons she has brought up."
--Isaiah 51:18

My first thought in encountering this passage was to think of the difficult state of the Church today and in many ages, when because of the difficulties in forming men for the priesthood, solid candidates for the episcopacy have been hard to come by.

On the other hand, reading this in its original historical context, Isaiah is stating that God is making use of the Persian king Cyrus because Israel's sinful condition precludes the raising up of a native Messiah to deliver the people from their captivity to Babylon.

On the other hand, 500 years later, Israel will produce the Virgin Mary, who indeed will bear the one who will guide her out of a different kind of captivity, the captivity to sin. If it is the case that Israel is incapable of bearing such a son, then the dogma of Mary's Immaculate Conception fits with this passage. What Israel on her own was not capable of doing, God was able to bring about through His intervention. Mary, as the new Israel, bears one who grasps us by the hand and pulls us out of the grave (I think here of the icons of Jesus at His Resurrection, pulling up Adam and Eve out of their coffins).

Peace to you in Christ! As always, I invite you to visit our website, and I promise you my prayers.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

There are a few songs that move the people to stay, such as patriotic songs.


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If I, who seem to be your right hand and am called Presbyter and seem to
preach the Word of God, If I do something against the discipline of the Church
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may the whole Church, in unanimous resolve, cut me, its right hand, off, and
throw me away.

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