Sunday, March 24, 2013

We don't worship Mary

Today I was listening to a Catholic sermon (they exist!) on EWTN from some 70 year old (or older) priest (I'm guessing) who is still full of life, as he is preaching on the person of Mary. He opened with the statement that Mary is very misunderstood by protestants, they are always saying we worship her, which is just wrong and dumb. We honor her. Jesus after all honored her, should we not emulate Him? Mary isn't God, she's a human.
So now I'm feeling pretty humbled. Man, I guess I've got it wrong. Maybe them Catholics don't worship her after all and all that Protestant stuff I've learned is just junk. I was on my heels.
Then his sermon went on.
Let's face it church, there has only been one perfect person, one masterpiece...(Here I'm thinking, I agree with this too, Jesus is the greatest of all, man this guy is on a roll) and that person is Mary.
(Nope. Didn't get it wrong.)
We as Christians are a family are we not? The Father, the Son is our brother, and of course every family needs a mother... Mary! Mary was married to the Holy Spirit, so that she could bear His child Jesus. Let me say that again, God plus Mary means Jesus. She was perfect, full of glory, without original sin for otherwise how would she be a fitting vessel for Jesus? (this is really coming off the wheels here.) Immaculately conceived! (Okay that's it off this goes, the blasphemy has gone on long enough.)

Mary was under no notion that she was without sin and perfect in all ways. Look at Luke 1:48 "For He has regarded the lowly state of His maidservant;" does not sound like "For I am a fitting vessel indeed."
Jesus called her 'woman' not 'mother' and there was no notion that Mary was anything but a devoted and ordinary, faithful teenage girl who was called by God to extraordinary things.
So the Protestants are right, although the Catholics use the language of "we don't worship her" what they do in practice is to assign her all the attributes due God alone: omniscience to hear all prayers, sinlessness, perfection, etc and insist that that's not diminishing God's glory.
You can call it 'honor' rather than 'worship' just as you can call 'black' as 'white.' But it doesn't change anything.

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