Defending the Glory of God
Straight to Jesus Why Mary ?
1. Why go to Mary when I can go straight to Jesus ? After all doesn’t the Bible say that Jesus is the One Mediator between God and man ?
The source of goodness is God and God alone. And Jesus is the only way to the Father, John 14:6. This true teaching is constantly repeated during the course of the year in the Sunday liturgies. The question is, “Does Jesus want to work through others who by His grace co-operate with Him as His secondary co-mediators ?”
[ The prefix “co-” means “with” not “equal.” See One Mediator]
Some Catholics will point out that Sacred Scripture implores us to pray for others (1 Tim 2:1-3, Heb 13:19.). And this is helpful. It shows the illogic of those who misunderstand the One Mediatorship of Jesus Christ and wrongly think that it forbids the asking for the Saints to pray for them and it also shows the illogic of those who would suggest that His One Mediatorship denies that He can work through others as secondary co-mediators.
However, that limited response does not directly address the first question and explain what is wrong in the mindset of so many who ask the original question. Nor, does it explain why a person would not be better off in just forgetting about Mary and the other Saints so that he might “concentrate exclusively on Jesus Christ when he is praying.” Consequently, a more direct response to the question is needed to help our separated brothers and sisters in Christ so that they might understand why it is extremely beneficial for us to ask the Saints in Heaven to pray with us to Jesus.
In going to “Jesus only” Protestants sometimes think of the situation as being as follows: imagine Jesus sitting over here in this corner and Mary as being over there in that corner. Why go out of your way to Mary when you can go straight to Jesus ?
However, Jesus is not part of His creation, nor is He restricted by it. There are many ways to Jesus for the simple reason that everything that is true - when correctly understood - points us to Jesus. Everything that is beautiful points us to Jesus because He is the Creator of it all. Everything that is good points us to Jesus. Jesus is not just over there in that corner of creation He is all around us as He holds His creation in existence. Therefore, there are *many different ways* to Jesus. Of course, none of them contradict each other. They are all good. They are all true.
We certainly want to address the original question of “Why should I go to Mary when I can go straight to Jesus?” However, first I would like to suggest an even better question. What “I” do is important, but what God does is infinitely more important. After all He loved me before I ever loved Him. So, I propose the more humble question “How does Jesus come to me ?”
As for me, Jesus has never appeared in His resurrected body telling me to do this or that. He did not reach down from heaven and hand me the Bible. He did not even write the Bible, but by His will it was written by others. The collection of its many different books into one volume and its translation from Greek and Hebrew into my native tongue and its preserving and passing down through the ages to me and its interpretation has come to me through the work of many different people.
Even when I think of God “speaking to me directly” I need to realize that He is doing so through my own person, that is my own mind, since He does not appear to me in His resurrected body.
God comes to me through many other people as well. He comes through the evangelist, the Bible teacher, the preacher, everyone who aids me in mind, body, or soul. He even comes to me through the person who lifts me up with a loving smile when I am feeling down.
A good Christian would never worship part of God’s creation, but he also would not reject how Jesus works through His creation either.
Therefore, the original question becomes, “Do I want to reject Jesus and the help that He wants to give to me through His many holy saints especially those in Heaven whom He has purified (Rev 21:27), or do I want to open myself up to co-operate and receive Jesus’s grace that He wills to give to me through others ?” If I want to receive Jesus in every way that He wants to come to me, I must seek out His help in every way that it comes to me including that help of His that comes through others and especially that help that God wills to give through those in Heaven.
Can you imagine an early Christian saying to the preacher, to the evangelist, to the teacher, to Matthew, to Mark, to Luke, to John, “No thank you. Jesus is my only mediator and that must mean that He wants me to ignore your help.”? How terrible that would be. And, now God’s Saints in Heaven are purified by His grace. Revelation 21:27 “ . . . but nothing unclean will enter it [Heaven], nor any (one) who does abominable things or tells lies. Only those will enter whose names are written in the Lamb’s book of life.”
Therefore, God can work through the Saints in Heaven in even more profound ways because their hearts and souls have become purified from all sin. James 5:16 “The fervent prayer of a righteous person is very powerful.” And therefore, it would be very foolish for us to not avail ourselves of their help, or if you prefer, the help that God wills to give us through them and by their co-operation. 1 Corinthians 12:20-21 “But as it is, there are many parts, yet one body. The eye cannot say to the hand, ‘I do not need you,’ nor again the head to the feet, ‘I do not need you.’ ”
Would the Bible be richer and more focused on God if it only mentioned God’s name and the references to St. Paul, St. Peter, St. John, King David, Moses and Abraham were all etched out ? Of course it would not. We can know God better by knowing how He and His grace were made manifest in their lives. Even those sins listed in the Bible when shown in their full context of God’s plan helps demonstrate the mercy and forgiveness of God. And even more so do those moments when the Saints received and acted upon God’s grace enable us to get to know God better. They point to and lead us to Jesus Christ.
1 Corinthians 11:1
“Be imitators of me, as I am of Christ.”
And by growing in love with the Saints we are able to love God better.
1 John 4:8, 16
To ignore Mary is to reject many of the things that God wants to do for us through her. She is His most pure vessel.
41, 42, 45
Therefore, Mary is full of grace. She is the most blessed person of God’s creation. God has blessed her the most because she is the one who has co-operated most fully with His grace. In the parable of the talents Jesus explains how those who receive and act upon His grace will receive even more.
Therefore, to receive Christ in the fullest way is to receive Him in all the ways that He comes to us. It is to receive Him and His love made manifest in others and to grow in love with God first and also to grow in love for all those in the body of Christ.
Saint Louis Marie de Montford showed how True Devotion to Jesus Christ is enhanced and most fully expressed when we go to Jesus while assisting ourselves of the help that Jesus wants to give to us through Mary. He summarized it well when he pointed out that there is no shorter way to Jesus than the route were we avail ourselves of God’s help that we receive through Mary. There is no easier road than the one with Mary. God works through her to help us grow more deeply in love with Him. There is no surer road to Jesus than the one through Mary. Understanding Mary helps us to understand who her Son is. And of course understanding Jesus helps us to understand her too. In fact, it is not unusual that those who ignore Mary often misunderstand how Jesus is truly God and truly Man. Jehovah Witnesses, Mormons, and Oneness Pentecostals and even some Protestants fail in this regard.
While we do seek out God, it is important to remember that it is He who has pursued us first. “No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draw him, and I will raise him on the last day.” John 6:44
And God often comes to us through others. God gave Mary a very special role in our salvation. Mary is God’s most pure vessel. And for that reason He chose her to be His mother. And it is worth noting that He chose to work His first miracle at her request in John chapter 2 when the text seems to imply that He would not have done so had she not interceded on behalf of the bride and groom at the wedding at Cana.
So, in conclusion, the correct response to the question of why should we go to Mary when we can go straight to Jesus? is that there is no straighter way to Jesus than through Mary, or stated in another way, there is no straighter way to Jesus than by availing ourselves of the help that Jesus wants to provides to us through Mary.
Also, see the article
Also see the Power Point presentation of how the prayer