Abraham is the father of all believers. There was a closed cockpit door between God and Abraham behind which God spoke, and Abraham believed, trusted and did everything God told him to do.
Abraham did not live to see or experience the promise God made to him.
He was prepared to stand at the altar of sacrifice using will and logic to reason that were he to give up Isaac, God could bring his son back to life. Yet he was thankful, even relieved, with the lamb God provided.
This closed door; the veil of Moses and the inner sanctuary, which only the high priest could enter only once a year, mark the Old Testament.
Bereft of the Life imparting Spirit of God, Israel, in the Old Testament, could only know of God.
Know of God
We can “know of” people and things, or we can “know” them. When we fly, for example, we only know of the pilot and the aircraft. We do not know the pilot or the aeroplane in any significant way. We sit, assured of the fact that the plane is in competent hands and will take off and land at our destination.
For both Jew and Gentile, Christian and non-Christian, Abraham is the father of all who know of God and live in this belief. Anyone who lives an upright life guided by his conscience without awareness of the OT Law, or the NT dispensation, in this manner, believes and knows of God.
At the same time, imagining that following the rules of the Law and sacrificing animals was sufficient (the OT version of Sola Scriptura), the Pharisaical Jews missed the bus on obedience and mercy. They forgot it was not the Law which brought them out of Egypt and set them free.
They depended on their human efforts of obedience/adherence to a Law, which couldn’t impart Life, and so forsook God that the Law itself became a curse for them. They too knew of God without knowing Him at all.
Today we need not sacrifice animals in lieu of our sins, nor be careful how many steps we walk on the Sabbath. We don’t need the Law to make us clean, pure, and ready to approach God.
Today God is in each of us who have faith in Christ are sealed thus with the Holy Spirit.
How Mother Mary is Different
Mary is the mother of Receivers, all those who know God.
Mary’s son Jesus Christ, our Lord and Saviour, opens the cockpit door, rips apart the veil, and takes us in as Co-pilots. In Christ, we are no longer passengers trusting and believing in a pilot we only know of.
We now become Co-pilots, experiencing the same thing that Mary, who was the first to enter the cockpit, and Jesus who first flew the aircraft, experienced.
Abraham was a passenger at the altar of sacrifice, Mary a Co-pilot at the foot of the Cross.
While Abraham waited on God’s promise, Mary stood at the altar of sacrifice and knew with God the benumbing pain of love. She knew God in her person in a way no other person will ever know.
Her womb was the tarmac for the gift of God to land, and the fruit of her womb is the runway for all mankind to take off.
What Satan robbed in Eve, God restored in Mary. Dead in sin, Eve became the mother of all the living (Gen 3:20). Full of grace, Mary became the mother of all those alive to God… born, like Christ in her, from above.
From Adam and Eve came a life thirsting for luxury, indulgence and vanity.
From Mary comes the pain of shame, ostracization, bearing up with unjust decisions and losing that which is dear and precious. She watched helplessly, and in silence, as unjustly whipped, bruised, nailed, He bled to death in front of her, giving up His life for those who had let Him down.
Where Abraham complained about the delay in God providing him with a son, she returned, after shutting the tomb, once again to prayer, worship and thanksgiving.
Abraham is the father of all those who know of God and believe. Mary is the mother of all those who know God and receive.
The Bible states that God saw how great mans wickedness had become and was grieved. Seeing that every inclination of the thoughts of man’s heart was only evil all the time God’s heart filled with pain. (Gen 6:5-6)
Surely, every human knows what it feels like to grieve; how it is when our hearts are full of pain? It is what we feel when someone lets us down and that’s how God felt.
Grieved and with a heart full of pain God wanted to do exactly as most of us would—wipe out that relationship and have nothing more to do with the person. (Gen 6:7)
Yet, He did not.
He took the form of man and came in the flesh into this sinful world to rescue us from evil. He absorbed evil in His being and destroyed it.
When we only know of God, we tend to resist evil and retaliate in the name of protecting justice or establishing peace. We have no difficulty in using unjust means of violence to establish justice. Yet in reality, we resist evil only so we will not need to suffer the pain and shame that evil seeks to inflict on us.
The man, Jesus, who died on the cross, did so because he did not retaliate against the gross injustice and unfairness of evil men. Had He retaliated and fought for what was right as we see it) there would not have been a Cross, Christianity or Salvation. The Jews rejected the Messiah because they were waiting for someone who hits backs, displays physical strength and teaches the wrongdoer the right lesson.
Mary, like her son and her God, absorbed in her person silently and willingly the evil that was unfolding in her presence and gave thanks to God.
Knowing God enables us to absorb in our person the surrounding evil.
The way of the world is to resist and retaliate in the name of fighting for your rights, peace, or justice, but surely, it is not the way of the Kingdom of God.
Be imitators of God therefore and just as Christ gave Himself up for us, be a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God. (Eph 5:1)
The kingdom of God was not available in the times of Abraham, Moses, David and John the Baptist. Yet, Jesus said, “ There was no man greater than John the Baptist, but the least in the kingdom of God would be greater than John. “(Mt 11:11)
The coming of the Kingdom of God altered our statuses dramatically.
OT status = knowing of God.
NT status = knows God.
OT status = Single; promised and waiting.
NT status = Married; sealed with the Holy Spirit.
What is your current status? Does your faith call out to you to fight all battles and compel others to do right, or does it call you crucify your flesh so you appear helpless and meek? Are you busy chopping off heads and ears, putting everyone in their place, or have you stood in silence, shut the tomb, and returned to praise, glorify and thank God?
Though the kingdom of God is here, we can still live as though we were in the Old Testament. We can still live as though we only know of God…
Knowing God Means Doing as He Did
Jesus Christ suffered and died that we would have eternal life. “Now this is eternal life: that they may know you, the only true God and Jesus Christ whom you have sent.” (Jn 17:3)
The children of Mary enter the cockpit and learn to do as the pilot does. Passengers can complain and criticise while the pilot flies. With the cockpit door open and the rudder in our hands, however, we are no longer passengers and our call is to master flying.
You may find in your personal aeroplane that the cockpit door is closed and your passengers who trusted and believed in you from behind closed doors feel let down and hurt. Remember, God calls us to open that closed cockpit door in the same way that our Lord opened it for us.
We need to absorb in our beings, silently and gracefully the machinations of evil, and while we thus master flying, others too will learn to fly.
Retaliating to evil only dilutes and reduces us while absorbing it in our being strengthens Christ in us. We are God’s people, set apart to live according to God’s ways. How we respond to evil, defines whether we live by the ways of the world or the way of the Spirit.
Prepared and Strengthened by Mary
Prayer restores man to God’s likeness and enables him to share in the power of God’s love that saves the multitude. (CCC 2572)
We fall, we fail and we grieve the Holy Spirit of God. God restores us through prayer to the grace provided in Christ.
God needed Mary to present Christ to humankind. He did not need Abraham, Moses, David or John. We too are taught today not to call upon Abraham as our father for we have only one Father who is in heaven.
As God needed and used Mary to present Christ, we need Mary to receive and nurture Christ. God has not used and discarded Mary after use. It is fallen man’s nature to use and throw.
For the benefit of humankind, God needed and used Mary. For our benefit, He continues to utilise her.
God anoints Mary, the Ark of the Covenant, to bestow many blessings on mankind. The graces are Gods own but we receive it through her, just as Jesus is God’s own Son but whom we received through her.
Amid all other forms of prayer, a daily Rosary and genuine devotion to Mother Mary serves every Christian well.
We, who received the greatest blessing of all—Jesus Christ—through her womb, will be foolish to imagine that in heaven today she is barren.