With Mothers Day approaching this Sunday, I can’t think of a better time to reflect on what our Mother means to us. I mean Mary, of course, the Blessed Mother.
Very recently I became relentlessly re-quoted by two friends because I kept repeating “but Mary is the new Eve” during a discussion about Mary. It just seemed like that connection could close the discussion from any angle.
How many of us think about it this way? We call Jesus the new Adam, which in itself is a very amazing concept. But do we make the connection between Mary and Eve? Let me highlight a few points in hopes it helps us see why Mary is our mother.
In chapter 19 of John’s gospel, we hear the following:
“When Jesus saw his mother and the disciple there whom he loved, he said to his mother, ‘Woman, behold, your son.’ Then he said to the disciple, ‘Behold, your mother.’ And from that hour the disciple took her into his home.”
Tradition tells us this Scripture is Jesus saying Mary is our mother, the mother of all humanity. Really? Yes. Here’s the thing, if Christ’s salvific work truly makes “all things new,” then it makes sense for us to be gifted a new mother.
Eve was our first mother. We inherit original sin because she said “yes” to Satan. But through baptism, this sin is washed away. We join a new family. And Mary is our new mother.
Eve, who said yes to eating the forbidden fruit, ushered in sin, pain, suffering, and death. Mary, who said “yes” to the angel Gabriel, was the bearer of the Fruit (Jesus – “Blessed is the Fruit of thy womb”) who brought light into the world, conquered sin and death and allows redemption, salvation, and eternal life. Our world is still a fallen one (pain and suffering exist); but light prevails. We must remain in the light and avoid the darkness. Ask mom to help.
Seeing Mary as the new Eve reveals many truths about our faith. It tells us she is the Immaculate Conception, theotokos (Mother of God) and Ark of the New Covenant (Immaculate Heart). It all makes sense if she is the new Eve because the new Eve is sinless (full of Grace) and she is the perfect mother whereas Eve failed.
Upon celebrating Mothers Day, don’t forget Mary. Send her a card (rosary), have a little talk to thank her, and ask to be wrapped in her mantle (a warm, loving embrace).