The woman saw that the tree was good for food, pleasing to the eyes, and desirable for gaining wisdom. So she took some of its fruit and ate it; and she also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it. (Genesis 1: 6)
Did you ever wonder why we (meaning Catholics) venerate Mary? (not worship...we do not worship Mary...no matter what some Protestants may have been told) I think if you asked most Catholics, they really couldn't give a good answer.
The above Bible passage is a continuation from my previous post. It's Eve's response to Satan as he tempts her with the Tree of Knowledge. She looks at the tree and even though God tells her not to eat it, she eats it anyway.
Then she gives it to her husband to eat too.
And then man falls.
Note that Man falls through Adam's sin and not Eve's. Paul affirms in the New Testament that Adam's sin is what caused the downfall of man and not Eve's response to Satan. It's only after Adam eats of the fruit that they realize that they were naked.
(Side Note: They were always naked! When they ate from the fruit, it's the first time that they took their eyes off of God and on to themselves...and felt shame.)
Unfortunately, it was Eve's initial, "NO!" that led to Adam's sin which led to the Fall.
- In the sixth month, the angel Gabriel was sent from God to a town of Galilee called Nazareth, to a virgin betrothed to a man named Joseph, of the house of David, and the virgin's name was Mary. And coming to her, he said, "Hail, favored one! The Lord is with you." But she was greatly troubled at what was said and pondered what sort of greeting this might be. Then the angel said to her, "Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. Behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall name him Jesus. He will be great and will be called Son of the Most High, and the Lord God will give him the throne of David his father, and he will rule over the house of Jacob forever, and of his kingdom there will be no end." But Mary said to the angel, "How can this be, since I have no relations with a man?" And the angel said to her in reply, "The holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. Therefore the child to be born will be called holy, the Son of God. And behold, Elizabeth, your relative, has also conceived a son in her old age, and this is the sixth month for her who was called barren; for nothing will be impossible for God." Mary said, "Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord. May it be done to me according to your word." (Luke 1: 26-38)
Today, March 25, is the Catholic Feast Day of the Annunciation. If you're Protestant and you're not sure what that means, it's the day that the Archangel Gabriel announced to Mary that she has found favor with God and will bear His Son. This is the logical day to celebrate it as it's nine months before Christmas Day.
Imagine how Mary must have felt. She was probably around 13 years old...although the age doesn't really matter. Single but betrothed and a virgin. And an angel appears to her and says you're gonna have God's Son. Her whole life was about to change. She lived in a small town. People were going to talk. Perhaps snicker at a pregnant young girl. Rumors were probably going to spread. And she had no clue as to how Joseph was going to respond to all of this.
What's her response?
"Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord. May it be done to me according to your word."
(Side Note: Her "How can this be..." is not a question of disbelief of God as Zechariah did, "How shall I know this?" for which he was struck mute. Hers is more of a "What's it gonna take to make this happen..." statement. At least that's how I've been taught it.)
And at that moment, her "Yes!" sets the foundation for the restoration of mankind.
Her "Yes!" was necessary to fix Eve's "No!"
So as Man falls through Adam's Original rejection of God (caused by Eve's "NO!"), Man is redeemed through Jesus Christ's obedience to God (caused by Mary's "YES!").
This is why Catholics hold Mary in such high regard. We call her the "New Eve" as Jesus Christ is called the "New Adam."
This is the understanding of the Catholic Church today and it's the understanding of the early Church Fathers all the way back to the first century.
We need to hold her as a model. We need to live a life like hers. When we hear what God wants from us--no matter how much it affects us...no matter how inconvenient it may be.
We need to say "YES!"
The Hail Mary
Hail Mary! Full of Grace! The Lord is with thee! (Luke 1:28)
Blessed are thou amongst women
And blessed is the Fruit of thy womb, Jesus (Luke 1: 42)
Holy Mary, Mother of God,
Pray for us sinners,
Now...and at the hour of our death.