24 Mar Transcribed talks on Mother Mary – Mother Mary, the new Rachel – Fr Joseph Edattu VC
For those of you who have followed the Divine UK live streaming, you have already heard so many talks about the biblical truths of Mother Mary. We have discussed many things about Mother Mary, especially about Mother Mary as the new Eve as opposed to the Old Testament Eve. And so, we will continue to see how Mother Mary has been pre-shadowed throughout the Bible.
Typologies: Shadows of the New Testament in the Old Testament
Firstly, why do we need to read the Old Testament? Because the Old Testament and New Testament are closely connected and so it isn’t a surprise that we have been given both the new and the old testament. When we speak about sacred scripture, the holy bible, it does not only involve the New Testament but also the Old Testament; they are both sacred, holy and precious. The Old Testament is precious and holy not only to the Jewish community, but also for Christianity and is why our church fathers have given this Old Testament to us, as Saint Augustine of Hippo once said “The New Testament is concealed in the Old Testament and the Old Testament is revealed in the New Testament.”
What does it mean by to be concealed? It means hidden. And so, the New Testament can be seen as a shadow in the Old Testament. That is why there is a branch in theology called Shadows of the New Testament in the Old Testament or Typology. There are so many typologies in the Old Testament which are of the New Testament and we have discussed about many of these typologies (Shadows of the New Testament in the Old Testament) in our previous classes. If you haven’t already listened to the previous talks on Mother Mary, on the Divine UK channel, then it may help for you to watch them for you to better understand the current topic.
Challenge your faith to seek the truth
There is much confusion about Mother Mary around the world especially from other denominations. There are many people who criticize the apostolic churches, who’s tradition is of 2000 years. These apostolic churches are being attacked by new generational churches with regards to Mother Mary, Confession, Holy Eucharist, and so forth. There is so much criticism taking place against the apostolic churches due to their strict tradition, even though it was handed down by Jesus himself, unlike the new generation denominations which sprouted only in the last century.
So what we must understand is that we need to search for the truth. I’m not insisting you to just believe the words I am going to say or the bible verses I will use, but I want you to challenge you faith, question your faith and find the truth. Don’t surrender your brain in front of anyone. This is the same frame of mind we need when we begin to study the bible. Start impartially by searching for the truth and then only will you come to know the truth.
There is not much written about Mother Mary in the New Testament. We only know the infancy narrations of Jesus, what happened to Mother Mary regarding the annunciation, visiting Elizabeth, going to Bethlehem, travel to Egypt and back and being lost in the temple.
These are some of the references about Mother Mary that we read in the Bible. We don’t know much except for this and the occurrence under the cross and during the Pentecost experience. After that, the bible does not mention anything about her but we do have a lot of information from tradition. Many people are skeptical of tradition and so for today’s topic I will only be focusing on the bible. Nevertheless, I would like to point out that traditions are valid and are equally as valid as the bible.
Using the Old Testament to Understand the New Testament
If we don’t understand anything in the New Testament in the true sense, then we must read the Old Testament. That is why our church fathers said “Go and read the Old Testament”. For example, if there is no Old Testament and only the New Testament was given to Christianity as the sacred scripture then this poses a question- Who really is Jesus Christ? If there is no Old Testament then who is Jesus Christ? Why did he come? Who is he? Where did he come from? All these questions would not have an answer if there is no Old Testament.
Sometime back I asked one person, for curiosity’s sake, to tell me who Jesus is if we only had the New Testament and not the old. They replied saying that Jesus is the Messiah. But then I asked, “What is Messiah? Where does this word Messiah come from?” The word “Messiah” comes from the Old Testament because they were expecting a Messiah. Suppose you removed the Old Testament, the word Messiah would not appear in the New Testament and so you would have to remove that word. Then he said “Jesus is the Savior”. And then I said “Savior for what?” [and he responded] “Savior from sin” [and I said] “Where is sin?” Original sin again goes back to the Old Testament.
If we removed the Old Testament, there would be no original sin and there would be no waiting for a Saviour. Moreover, there would be no second person in the Holy Trinity if you remove the Old Testament. And so, there are so many things that would cause trouble if we didn’t read the Old Testament. That is why we also have the Old Testament as sacred scripture. If you really want to know who Jesus is then you have to read Old Testament. You must believe in the Old Testament because of the many shadows of the New Testament in the Old Testament. God even told Moses He would give him a prophet just like Moses.We have heard the talk on the comparison between Moses and Jesus. There are slopes and many connections between Moses and Jesus in the Old Testament and New Testament. When Moses was born, so many children were killed; when Jesus was born so many children were killed. Moses was brought up in Egypt, Jesus was also brought up in Egypt for some time. And so, there are many parallelisms. If you would like to know more, these talks are also available on the Divine UK Channel. This includes the Old Testament Eve and the New Testament Eve (Mother Mary) and the Old Testament Adam, the first man, and the New Testament Adam, that is Jesus, the new man.
Ark of the covenant- what is it?
In Hebrews Chapter 9: 3 we read, “Behind the second curtain was a tent called the Holy of Holies”. Here, Hebrews is writing about the Holy of holies in the Jerusalem temple.
“In it stood the golden altar of incense the ark of the covenant overlaid on all sides with gold in which there were a golden urn holding the manna, and Aaron’s rod that budded, and the tablets of the covenant;” [Heb 9:4 (NRSV)]
Three things are present in the Ark of the Covenant. Firstly, the manna which is the symbol of the New Testament manna-Jesus. Secondly, Aaron’s rod that budded, symbolizing true priesthood, which in the New Testament, is known as Jesus, the true priest. And thirdly, the tablets of the old covenant, symbolizing the new covenant- Jesus. And so, the three things in the ark of the covenant are all symbols of Jesus Christ.
If these three things are the symbols of Jesus then what is the symbol of ark of the covenant? The ark of the covenant symbolizes Mother Mary in whose womb Jesus was born. That is why the church fathers called Mother Mary the New Ark of the Covenant. We also read from 2 Maccabees, when Babylon and the exile happened, the Israelites were attacked by Babylon. Jeremiah took the ark of the covenant and hid the ark of the covenant in Mount Nebo. Nobody knows the place where it is hidden, even to this day. But Jeremiah prophesied saying “One day, this ark of the covenant will be revealed to humanity”. And when is that day? When the Messiah comes.
When the Messiah comes, the ark of the covenant will be revealed to everyone. This is the promise. In 2 Maccabees: 2:4 we read where the ark of the covenant is hidden:
“It was also in the same document that the prophet having received an oracle ordered that the tent and the ark should follow with him and that he went out to the mountain where Moses had gone up and had seen the inheritance of God. Jeremiah came and found a cave dwelling and he brought there the tent and the ark and the altar of incense. Then he sealed up the entrance. Some of those who followed him came up intending to mark the way but could not find it. When Jeremiah learned of it he rebuked them and declared “The place shall remain unknown until God gathers his people together again and shows His mercy”.
So this place of the ark of the covenant, will be hidden until two things happen: the Messiah comes, and when the mercy of God is revealed. Jesus is the mercy of the Heavenly Father. So when mercy is revealed and the Messiah is revealed, the ark of the covenant also will be revealed.
And what will be the sign of ark of the covenant? In 2 Maccabees 2: 8 we read, “Then the Lord will disclose these things and the glory of the Lord and the cloud will appear”
The cloud of God, the glory of God- meaning the ark of the covenant. During the Annunciation, when the Angel Gabriel visited Mary, Jesus was conceived in the womb of Mother Mary. Here the mercy and Messiah is revealed. The angel then said “the glory of God will overshadow you” meaning the ark of the covenant was revealed through Mother Mary. So Mother Mary is the ark of the covenant and inside Mother Mary, was the New Testament, real priesthood, real manna and real covenant- Jesus.
The New Ark of the Covenant- Mother Mary
After the death of Jesus and Pentecost, we don’t hear about Mother Mary. Mother Mary just disappears from the Bible just like ark of the covenant suddenly disappeared during the Babylonian exile. In the same way, Mother Mary also disappeared after the Pentecost experience. Now, where are we? Where do we meet? Where do we see ark of the covenant according to the Bible?
In Revelations 11:19 we read,
“Then God’s temple in heaven was opened, and the ark of his covenant was seen within his temple and there were flashes of lightning, rumblings, peals of thunder, an earthquake and heavy hail”.
The Lord’s ark of the covenant is now in the temple in Heaven as envisioned by John.
Revelations Chapter 12:1 continues,
“A great portent appeared in heaven: a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars”.
So here we can see two things in Heaven: the ark of the covenant and the woman. The ark of the covenant and the woman are shown together in order to tell us who Mother Mary is. It shows us that the ark of the covenant in the Old and New Testament is indeed Mother Mary.
Significance of the ark of the covenant
There are so many pre-shadows in the Old Testament of both Jesus and Mother Mary. That is why in the Old Testament you can see Moses, Joshua, all of them, prostrate in front of the ark of the covenant. They honor the ark of the covenant, they carry the ark of the covenant for procession. The whole Israel Exodus is a procession from Egypt to the Promised Land, carrying the ark of the covenant in front, and everyone following the ark of the covenant. When the ark of the covenant stops, everyone stops. When ark of the covenant starts- everyone starts. Everybody in fact followed the ark of the covenant.
By following the ark of the covenant, who were they following? God himself. In the New Testament, the ark of the covenant is Mother Mary, given to us by God, and also our Lord Jesus Christ from Mount Calvary. And so we must understand that there is lot of symbolism.
Importance of Mother Mary in Christian Life: Parallelism of Joseph and Jesus
There is one more symbol (shadow) this topic will touch on, for you to really understand the importance of Mother Mary in Christian life. If one desires to know who Mother Mary is then on must look into the Jewish religion because Christianity is in fact a continuation of the Jewish religion. Therefore to see who Mother Mary is, then you need to read the Old Testament, which is the Jewish religion. For that I will give a small parallelism between Joseph and Jesus- Old Testament Joseph and New Testament Jesus. Joseph was also a pre-shadow of Jesus, just like Moses was. We even see Isaac, in some ways, as a pre-shadow of Jesus and even Esau.
We know from Genesis 37:26-27, that Joseph was sold to the Gentiles- “Judah asked his brothers ‘what will we gain by killing our brother and covering up his death? Let’s sell him to the Ishmaelites”. Similarly, in the New Testament we can see Jesus was also sold to the Gentiles- Gentiles being the Romans. The second parallelism we see is in Genesis 37:28 where Joseph was sold for 20 silver coins and in the New Testament we see Jesus was sold for 30 silver coins in Matthew 26:15. The only difference you can see 20 silver coins and 30 silver coins, otherwise, we see the same prefiguration here.
Furthermore, Joseph was betrayed and sold by one of his 12 brothers (12 brothers including Joseph). Likewise, in the New Testament, one among twelve betrayed Jesus- Matthew 26: 16. Moreover, Joseph was abandoned by his brothers. All his brothers abandoned him, nobody wanted to protect him, no one wanted to save him, all of them abandoned him. In the New Testament, Jesus considered his disciples as his own brothers and all his brothers, 12 of them, abandoned him.
Joseph went to prison, Jesus was also taken to prison. Joseph was condemned with two men in the prison and Jesus carried the cross to Mount Calvary with two condemned men. Jesus also was with two condemned men. And what happened to these two condemned men? In Joseph’s case, one condemned man was saved, the other one was destroyed and killed. In the New Testament, one of the two of the
condemned was saved, and the other one was destroyed. So you can see the parallelism here again.
There is another parallelism. Joseph was 30 years old when he entered into Pharaoh’s service. Similarly, Jesus was 30 years old when he started the service of His Heavenly Father. Joseph was 30 years when he started the ministry of his king. Jesus was 30 years when he started his ministry of his Father the King of the whole Universe. Furthermore, Joseph was exalted to the right hand of Pharaoh to rule over the country, “See I have set you over all the land of Egypt” (Genesis 41:4)- he was sitting at the right hand of the King of Egypt. And then we read Jesus too was exalted to the right hand of the Father to rule over the whole world.
The next parallelism: Joseph saved the Israelites and Gentiles from death by feeding them with life giving wheat. What did Jesus do? Jesus saved the Israelites and the Gentiles (us)
from spiritual death and death of sin, by giving them the life giving bread.
And so, these are the most important symbols and pre-shadows you can see.
The connections between Rachel and Mother Mary
So, who was the mother of Joseph? Rachel, the beloved wife of Jacob. Jacob had two wives, Leah and Rachel however he did not want to marry Leah but Rachel and so she is known as the beloved wife of Jacob and Joseph was her first born.
If Jesus is the New Testament Joseph, this means that Mother Mary is the New Testament Rachel. The meaning of the word Rachel means female lamb and so that means Mother Mary is the new Rachel, the female lamb who gave birth to the Lamb of God. And so, you can see many connections here.
Furthermore, Rachel had two sons and we can also understand this further by looking at the connection between Mother Mary and Rachel. Firstly, Joseph was the first born of Rachel and Jesus is the first born of Mother Mary. Benjamin is the second born son of Rachel. We read in Genesis 35:18 “As her soul was departing (for she died), she named him Benoni; but his father called him Benjamin”. When Benjamin was born Rachel named him Benoni which means “son of my sorrow”. But his father did not like that name so Jacob changed the name to Benjamin ‘son of my right hand’. So originally, Benjamin was called Benoni by Rachel during the moment of her sorrow. In the same way, the New Testament Rachel, Mother Mary’s, first born is Jesus. There is also a second born, John. Under the cross Jesus said “here is your son”. And so, at the moment of Mother Mary’s sorrow, just like Rachel’s, Mother Mary also received a second son, John. Therefore John is the symbol of the New Testament Israelites, the New Testament disciples whom Mother Mary gave birth to on Mount Calvary, in her extreme sorrow.
This is why the church fathers believe Mother Mary never had birth pangs when she gave birth to Jesus, but she went through birth pangs when she gave birth to the New Testament disciples, John, under the Mount Calvary. Her birth pang was not the birth pang of every woman- her birth pang was in her heart. This is the birth pang Simeon prophesied as he said “a sword will pierce through your heart”. This sword piercing experience is the birth pang she experienced on Mount Calvary, just like Jesus, who experienced birth pang when He gave birth to the Kingdom of God on Mount Calvary. That is why there are 2 hours mentioned in the New Testament. The hour of woman means the birth pang of woman. Jesus called his own crucifixion my hour. That is why at the wedding at Cana, Jesus told Mother Mary “my hour has not come”. What is this? This hour is nothing but the crucifixion, the pain.
In John 2:4 we read Jesus saying “Woman what concern is that to you and to me? My hour has not yet come”. Why did Jesus call Mother Mary Woman? If you would like to know this, it is covered in the talk Mother Mary as the New Eve and you can watch this to better understand why Jesus called Mother Mary Woman.
In Luke 22: 53 we read, “When I was with you day after day in the temple, you did not lay hands on me. But this is your hour, the power of darkness!” His passion is called ‘hour’. Jesus calls his own birth pangs of giving birth to the Kingdom of God on earth, His ‘hour’, just like a woman’s hour means when she is experiencing birth pangs.
In John 19:25-26 we read when Jesus told Mother Mary to receive John as her son, “And that is what the soldiers did. Meanwhile, standing near the cross of Jesus were his mother and his mother’s sister Mary the wife of Clopas and Mary Magdalene. When Jesus saw his mother and the disciple whom he loved standing beside her, he said to his mother, “Woman, here is your son.”
John’s name was not mentioned, instead he was written as the disciple whom he loved- beloved disciple, beloved of the Lord. So, in the Old Testament, Benjamin is the pre-shadow of John. The second child of Rachel is Benjamin and the second son of the New Testament Rachel, Mother Mary, is John.
In Deuteronomy 33:12 we read, “Of Benjamin he said: The beloved of the Lord rests in safety- the High God surrounds him all day long- the beloved rests between his shoulders”.
Here, God calls Benjamin as the Beloved of the Lord. In the New Testament, John, the second child, is the symbol of the New Testament people; he is the symbol of all the disciples of Jesus and Christianity as a whole. Furthermore, the bible calls John the Beloved of the Lord. If Benjamin is therefore the pre-shadow of John, Joseph is the pre-shadow of Jesus and if Rachel is the mother of Joseph and Benjamin, then surely Mary is the mother of both Jesus and John. If so, she is the mother of all the disciples and she is our mother too.
In Gospel John 19:26-27 we read, “When Jesus saw his mother and the disciple whom he loved standing beside her, he said to his mother “Woman here is your son. Then he said to the disciple “Here is your mother” And from that hour the disciple took her into his own home. Afterwards it is written from that hour, the disciple took her into his own home. Why is this hour mentioned? Because that is the hour of Mother Mary. From that hour she became a mother of one more child, John. The ultimately means the whole church and represents all the disciples.
How do we know John is the symbol of all the disciples? In Revelation 12:7 we read, “Then the dragon was angry with the woman, and went off to make war on the rest of her children, those who keep the commandments of God and hold the testimony of Jesus”.
When the dragon, the serpent, could not kill the first born of the woman, Jesus, the dragon became angry with the woman and went off to make war with the rest of her children. Who are the rest of her children? We are. This involves the disciples too. All those who keep the commandments of God and hold the testimony of Jesus are the ‘rest of her children’. We are the ones and John is the representative of all of us; he is the new Benjamin.
The Power of Rachel’s Cries for Her Children
There is one more important thing you will read from the Mishnah, which is very surprising. All the patriarchs: Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and Moses were all buried in a certain place but Rachel was buried in Bethlehem. According to Jewish history, when Jewish people were attacked by Babylon, all the people of Israel were going for exile in front of the tomb of Rachel.
There is a passage that goes to Babylon in front of the tomb of Rachel. Even to this day, the tomb remains. That is why in the Old Testament it is written Rachel was crying in Lamentations Rabba-Jeremiah 31:14. What is Lamentations Rabba? It is Mishna, a Jewish book (the Jewish commentary on Jeremiah 31). Just like we have bible commentaries, Jewish people also have Jewish commentaries written by famous Rabbis and one of the Jewish commentaries written is Lamentations Rabba Jeremiah 31:
So says the Lord: A voice is heard on high, lamentation, bitter, weeping. Rachel is weeping for her children, she refuses to be comforted for her children for they are not. So says the Lord: Refrain your voice from weeping and your eyes from tears, for there is reward for your work, says the Lord, and they shall come back from the land of enemy.
Now this is what is written about Rachel. When the Israelites were taken captive to Babylon, all the Israelites went to exile in front of the tomb of Rachel, which led to the cry of Rachel. In the Mishnah and the commentary of Jewish Old Testament, especially in the commentary called Eichah Rabbah, there is a special incident mentioned. Before I mention this incident from scripture, I will first explain. The story goes like this:
The Jewish commentary states that when Israelites were captured by Babylonians and they went to exile, Rachel was crying. In the heavenly place, everyone was watching to see what was happening on earth. In the same way, in the New Testament, when Jesus was preaching the Word of God on Mount Tabor, Moses and Elijah appeared to Jesus and spoke about what is happening on earth. They were so keen on knowing what is happening on earth. In the same way, in the Old Testament, all the patriarchs, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and Moses, were very careful and so protective about their children, the Israelites.
When Babylonians attacked Israel, they were captured by the Babylonians. Abraham was hurt, Isaac was hurt, Jacob was hurt, Moses was hurt. And what did they do? One by one they came in front of God and pleaded and said Please save them, please save them. God did not listen. Abraham cried- God did not listen. Jacob cried, Isaac cried-God did not listen. Jacob cried- God did not listen. In the Eichah Rabbah, the oldest manuscript available from the 5th Century, it is written:
Abraham: “Lord of the Universe. When I turned 100, you gave me a son”.
Here Abraham was pleading in front of God. This was after his death, in Heaven, in front of God. Abraham cried, “Lord of the Universe, when I turned 100 you gave me a son. When he acquired understanding at the age of 37, you told me to sacrifice him to you.”
This means Isaac was about to be sacrificed not when he was 12 or 16 years old but when he was 37 years old. That may be the reason why he was asked to carry the wood of the sacrifice on his shoulder, meaning he was old enough to do so. In all the dramas and movies we see a small boy going to the Mount Moriah to be sacrificed. However, it was not small boy but a 37 year old.
‘You told me to sacrifice him to you. I was cruel, did not spare him, and with my own hands, I tied him up. Will you forbear to recall this and to take pity on my children?’
Here Abraham is crying on behalf of Israel- “I was ready to sacrifice my own son for you. Now can you save my sons, my children from Babylon?”. So this is what Abraham prayed but nothing happened. After him, Isaac prayed:
“Lord of the Universe. [On Mount Moriah] when father told me: God will show the lamb to the sacrificed, I did not doubt your word and willingly gave myself to die on the altar, stretching my neck under the knife so I could be properly slaughtered. I gave my neck properly so that my father can kill me. Will you not remember this for my sake and spare my children?”
Then Jacob prays:
“Lord of the universe for 20 years I toiled in Laban’s house and when I finally left it to return home, the wicked Esau met me seeking to kill my sons. I was ready to die in their stead yet you handed them over to their enemy like lambs to slaughter after I had toiled so to raise them? I suffered greatly to bring them up and now you will not remember this and spare my children?”
Here Jacob is also crying. After him, Moses also cried in front of God. Remember, all these people are patriarchs. “Lord of the Universe, was I not a faithful shepherd of Israel for 40 years?”
Moses was a powerful leader and he said:
“Was I not a faithful shepherd of Israel for 40 years? I ran before them like a horse in the wilderness, and when it came time to enter the land, you decreed that my bones would fall in the wilderness. And now that they are exiled you send for me so that I may lament and cry over them? Is this what the popular proverb means: “when it is good for the master it is not good for me, and when it is bad for the master it is really bad for me?”
So, this is what Moses prayed to save Israelites, but unfortunately, God did not listen to Abraham, Isaac, Jacob or Moses, according to the written Jewish commentary- Eichah Rabbah.
The Power of Rachel’s Intercessory Prayer
And so, whom did God listen to? All the patriarchs failed but suddenly a matriarch comes-Rachel. Written in the Jewish commentary we read:
Despite all their begging and cajoling, God does not change Israel’s fate. Instead Moses goes to visit the Israelites in Babylon, but admits to them that he cannot convince God to bring them back. Moses then returns to the patriarchs and tells them what he saw, and they all cry.
Abraham, Jacob and Moses all cried in the bosom of Abraham. Following this, Moses curses the sun for shining on the world while Israel is suffering, and then complains again to God that the punishment is too harsh– [this is what Moses said].
Then the climax of the Midrash, a Jewish book, is when Rachel involves herself. Rachel is considered as the matriarch of Israel. Israel has many patriarchs, but only one matriarch-Rachel. That is why it is importance to know Rachel.
Rachel is a very important person in the Old Testament . Even today, Jewish people go to the tomb of Rachel, especially Jewish women. They go to the tomb of Rachel to write down and place petitions in the her tomb because Jewish people believe that Rachel is the most powerful intercessor. More powerful than Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Moses. This is what Jewish people believed to this day.
In the Midrash we read:
“At that point, Rachel our mother jumped in front of the One Blessed be He saying ‘Lord of the Universe, it is known to you that Jacob your servant loved me very much and toiled for me for seven years in my father’s house and that when these seven years were complete my father planned to substitute my sister for me as a wife. I knew his plan and therefore was cast into a dilemma. I informed my husband of my father’s plot and gave him a sign to distinguish between me and my sister. But later I had a change of heart. I suppressed my desire for Jacob and conceived pity for my sister’s shame.”
Rachel knew the plot of her father and Rachel willingly suppressed her desire for Jacob and kept the secret, which was a big sacrifice from Rachel.
And then Rachel prays in front of God saying,
“I suppressed my desire for Jacob and conceived pity for my sister’s shame’
In the evening, when my sister was substituted for myself, I disclosed to my sister the signs I had given to my husband so that he would believe her to be me. I even crawled under their bed. When he talked to her she maintained her silence while I answered him lest he recognized her voice. I did her a kindness, nor was I envious of her nor did I expose her to shame.”
At the marriage bed at night, it was Leah that was lying down next to Jacob. When Jacob spoke, instead of Leah speaking, Rachel (who was lying down under the bed, spoke on behalf of Leah and protected her. This is all written in the Jewish commentary, the Midrash, the commentary of the Old Testament.
So, after Rachel pleaded in front of God, we see God’s response here:
Jeremiah 31:14 (Lamentations Rabba)
So says the Lord: A voice is heard on high, lamentation, bitter, weeping. Rachel is weeping for her children, she refuses to be comforted for her children for they are not. So says the Lord: Refrain your voice from weeping and your eyes from tears, for there is reward for your work, says the Lord, and they shall come back from the land of enemy. And there is hope for your future, says the Lord, and their children shall return to their border.
Mother Mary’s Intercessory Power
God promised Rachel that the people would return. That is why even today Jewish people consider Rachel as the most powerful intercessor in Jewish history and is known as the matriarch. In the same way, as Mother Mary is the new Rachel, she is also the matriarch of the New Testament and is more powerful than Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and Moses.
Mother Mary’s intercession is the most powerful. If Rachel is known for her powerful intercession by the Jewish people, despite them believing only in one God and not agreeing with any mediatorship of anyone, this shows how powerful Rachel is considered to them. To this day, Jewish women go to the tomb of Rachel, kneel, pray, write down their intercessions to be placed at her tomb due to the belief that Rachel is the most powerful intercessor.
If this is so, then why not Mother Mary? If you really want to know who Mother Mary is, you should read the Old Testament. If you really want to know how the Catholic Church lives and moves, how the apostolic church lives and moves, you should read what happened in the Old Testament. These are all well connected.
That is why, the more we understand Mother Mary, the better we understand the Lord. If you devalue Mother Mary, you devalue Jesus himself. If you degrade Mother Mary, you are directly degrading Jesus. [For Jesus]: If you make fun of my mother, it’s an insult to me. If you degrade her image, it is a degradation of my image. The more you encourage and appreciate my mother, I’m being appreciated. The more you value my mother, exalt her, I’m being exalted. This is the truth. That is what Mother Mary prayed in the Magnificat. We read in Luke 1:4, “my soul magnifies the Lord”. And so, the more you magnify Mother Mary, you magnify the Lord.
Blessed Virgin Mary- Mother of the Church
That is why the church even today, believes Mother Mary. When she was giving birth to Jesus, there were no birth pangs. Did you know that the Catholic Church really believes that Mother Mary did not have any birth pangs as she was giving birth to Jesus? Why? Because she was giving birth to Jesus. The birth pang of a mother happens while giving birth and during the delivery is when the mother experiences extreme pain. But in Mother Mary’s case, the birth pang came much later on at Mount Calvary when the second child was being born. But when Jesus was born, there was no birth pang.
The reason for this is written in Genesis 3: 16. Birth pangs was considered a result of the original sin: “To the woman he said “I will greatly increase your pangs in child bearing; in pain you shall bring forth children” And so, birth pangs was a consequence of original sin as it says “in pain you will give birth to the children”.
In Mother Mary’s case, she did not have original sin, therefore there was no birth pang. Not only that, there is a prophecy in the Old Testament which states that the mother of the Messiah would not experience any birth pangs. In Isaiah 66:7 we read, “Before she was in labor she gave birth; before her pain came upon her she delivered a son”. What does ‘before the pain came’ mean? She experienced pain but it was not at that time. When Jesus was born, there was no pain, but pain came on Mount Calvary. That is why when Jesus was surrendered at the church, in the temple, Simeon the prophet said “a sword shall pierce into your heart – you are going to experience the pain soon”.
That is why some church fathers believed that Mother Mary did not have any midwives when she gave birth. Some say not even Joseph was there because Joseph was busy searching for a midwife. In the deuterocanonical book or apocryphal books, it is written that Joseph was not there when she was giving birth and when Joseph came back, he saw her with the baby. That’s why in Gospel Luke Chapter 2:7 it is written: And she gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped him in their bands of cloth, and laid him in a manger because there was no place for them in the inn”. There is no mention about Joseph, no midwife; it was she who gave birth. She wrapped Jesus, she kept Him, she kept the baby in the manger; she did everything. She had a peaceful delivery, peaceful birth and everything was done by herself.
That is why Saint John Damascene, one of the church fathers wrote, “pleasure did not precede it, pain did not follow it according to Prophet Isaiah 66: 7”. What does this mean? For the birth of the Messiah, there was no pleasure of a sexual relationship that preceded it, therefore no pain followed it. Saint John Damascene wrote this down. Remember, a birth pang is known as the greatest pain of a human being and also the greatest joy of a human being at the same time. The greatest pain and the greatest joy at the same time.
When Mother Mary was under the cross, she experienced the greatest pain of losing her son but it was also her greatest joy as she received a big crowd of sons and daughters. She gave birth to a new child- the Church.
Mighty and powerful tradition
As you can see, there are many secrets in the bible. Once we start unlocking these one by one, you will start to fall in love with the church more and more and you will never abandon the church, even if there are attractive new churches emerging.
You are believing in such a mighty, powerful source of tradition which is coming straight from, not just from the New Testament, but from eternity, from the Old Testament. It’s a continuation of the Jewish religion and everything that the Jewish people in the Old Testament believed, is continued in the New Testament Church.