Robert asked:

Catholics seem to ask Mary to mediate for them. Why?


Tim Staples replied:

"...we believe as Catholics...just as first Timothy 2:5 says it, there is one mediator between God and man, the man Jesus Christ. He is the only person in the universe that qualifies to reconcile men to God because he is fully God to appease an infinitely holy God, and he is fully man to make fitting sacrifice for the sins of men and nobody can replace him when it comes to that role as the essential mediator bringing us to God.

However, Robert, what we also see in Sacred Scripture is that you and I as Christians are called to participate in part in that which Christ alone possesses infinitely...he calls us to be mediators. He calls us for example...first Timothy 2:5...one God one mediator. Well the word mediator in scripture is a synonym with intercessor. In fact in Hebrews 7:24 and 25 Sacred Scripture says Christ ever liveth to make intercession for us at the right hand of the father...you and I are also called to intercede according to first Timothy chapter 2 verses 1 and 2. For example Saint Paul says we are to intercede for kings and for people in authority and for all men. Why? Because God, look at verse 4, God wills their salvation. So we're all called to intercede in order to bring souls to God. We can't do that by our own power. But because we are in Christ...and that's the key and I think this is what protestants...are not getting is that the Church is the body of Christ. That means Christ extended into this world. So as such she participates in each of us...to communicate Christ's salvific love and grace to others.

Ephesians chapter 1 verses 22 and 23 says that Christ is the head of the Church which is his body the fullness of him who fills all and...is in all...This is why you'll find all over the New Testament...Saint Paul will say it, James will say it, all over the place - you and I can save souls. Not by our own power of course. But we can save souls for example in first Timothy 4:16. Saint Paul says to Timothy take heed unto thyself and unto the doctrine for in so doing you will both save yourself and them that hear thee. Or in first Corinthians 9:22 Saint Paul says I become all things to all men that by all means I might save some...

Because of the fact that we are in Christ we are called to be mediators. In fact...we're all called to be priests. There is a universal priesthood of believers according to first Peter 2 verses 5 through 9. And a priest is nothing more than a mediator between God and man...

But he calls all of us to be priests and as such we participate in the mediation of Christ. We make it real for those all around us in this world. Well Mary is simply the preeminent example. The preeminent example of this priestly ministry of believers bringing the grace of Christ to the world because Mary was uniquely called by God to bring the whole Christ to the whole world.

You and I bring Christ to those around us. Mary uniquely was called to bring the whole Christ to the whole world, hence you'll hear terms like mediatrix of all grace and co-redemptrix...she is, but all of us are not to the degree that she is as I said, but all of us are called to save souls in cooperation with God's grace..

This is why James would say in James chapter 5 verse 19 if any man sees his brother in sin and warn him of the error of his sin and he repents he has saved a soul from death and will have covered a multitude of sins...

...we need to understand that as members of the body of Christ, that's where our power comes from, to be able to intercede as James 5:16 says the effectual fervent prayer of the righteous man availeth much. Why? Well because he is in Christ. It's not I, Paul says in Galatians 2:20, but Christ who lives in me. So when we are in Christ we are connected to the king of kings and lord of lords and the grace of God flows through us so radically that Saint Paul could say in first Corinthians 3:5, what is Paul, what is Apollos but servants whereby you Corinthians have come to believe. He then says in verse 9 we are co-laborers with God...

This does not die when we do. There is a grand myth among protestants, millions upon millions of non-denominational folk, that somehow when you die you go over into a corner somewhere and you have nothing to do any longer with the body of Christ, and that is absolutely unbiblical...in Romans 8 verse 35 and following, Paul says who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall persecution, famine, nakedness, peril or sword? We are counted as sheep for the slaughter. We are killed all the day long. He says no in all these things. We are more than conquerors through him who has loved us for I am persuaded that neither death nor life nor angels, principalities, powers.

But I want to stop there for a moment because he gives us a litany that shall not separate us from the love of Christ. But he says death...doesn't separate us from the love of Christ, and therefore it doesn't separate us from one another. Why? Because we are members of the body of Christ. It is the love of God that makes us one. The power of God in us that makes us one, not our location...I could be in China praying for Patrick and my prayers are just as powerful as if I'm sitting right here. Well the saints in heaven, their prayers are even more powerful than ours because they are free from sin...His plan of salvation, not ours and his plan involves using the members of the body of Christ to intercede for one another, to minister grace to one another, to affect healing for one another. In fact Jesus said in John 14:12 the things that he did we will do and greater things because we are in him. Apart from him...we can do absolutely nothing John 15:5, but in him Philippians 4:13 I can do all things in him who strengthens me and that includes the entire body of Christ.

Now when you get to Mary in particular...she was not biblically speaking just used by God for nine months and then that's it. That's not the biblical text. We see Mary front and center in John 2 interceding and bringing about Christ's first miracle where the apostles come to believe, according to john 2:11, he begins to manifest his glory - that is Christ through the intercession of Mary...

We see Simeon prophesying that Mary would have a sword pierce her soul just as the nails would pierce the body of our Lord and he would save souls. Simeon prophesied in Luke 2 verses 34 and 35 that a sword would pierce Mary's soul, that the thoughts of many hearts, who were these many hearts? You and I, the same ones that Simeon just said Christ was going to die for... Mary is also going to suffer for, and we see that fulfilled with Mary at the foot of the cross in John chapter 19 verses 26 and 27 where she does suffer with Christ and there Christ says to John behold your mother... John is there in the place of all of us. It's not just John...we get that in Revelation in 12:17...he says that Mary this woman, very significant term there, the woman that Jesus refers to in John chapter 2 and John chapter 19, eight times John refers to her in Revelation 12 and there in verse 5 she gives birth to Jesus and in verse 17 she gives birth to all of us. We see Mary's ongoing role in the cosmic plan of salvation laid out in Revelation 12 for you, Robert."


Copyrights:

Catholic Answers, "Open Forum for Non-Catholics" (San Diego: Catholic Answers, 2015)

Editor's note: This is an excerpt of the answer provided. For the complete response download the podcast.

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Show air date: March 2, 2015

Name of show: Open Forum for Non-Catholics

Guest comments by: Tim Staples

Question appeared in show: 15:54


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