Are we to worship Mary?
Why then do Catholics revere her? (Daniel, Accra)
Catholics have never claimed to worship Mary. Neither have they advocated for her worship! In fact, worship and adoration belongs to the Triune God alone, who is Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
Worship is an act of religious devotion usually directed towards a deity- God
A simple definition of “Reverence” is the honor or respect that is felt for or shown to (someone or something).
That is how come we even call our religious leaders “Reverend….”. When we call them Reverend, we obviously are not worshipping them, are we?
We also have revered places where we worship like our chapels (which have been reserved or set aside for worship) and grottoes where we go and pray.
What Catholics do is to honour and revere Mary, as well as the Saints. This is not the same as worship!
But why should we honour and revere Mary? Is she not just a creature like other people?
We do because God himself honoured her first!
How did God honour her?
1. By choosing her to be the mother of our Saviour. God could not have come to dwell in an impure person. He would have carefully chosen, prepared and sanctified that person in order to have a fitting dwelling place. “The Holy Spirit will come upon you and the power of the Most High will overshadow you…” (Luke 1:35,36)
2. Through the words of Angel Gabriel – “Hail Mary, full of grace. The Lord is with you…” (Luke 1:28ff).
3. Through the words of Elizabeth, who was filled with the Holy Spirit, “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb.” (Luke 1:41ff)
4. Mary herself, filled with the Holy Spirit, prophesied, “From now on, all generations shall call me blessed, for the mighty one has done great things for me.” (Luke 1:48,49).
5. Above all, Jesus gave her the honour of being our mother while he was on the cross, “Behold your son…. Behold your mother.” (John 19:26-27).
It should be clear that Catholics do not worship Mary! They only honour and revere her. And they can do this simply because God himself honoured her first! How can we refuse honour to whom God himself honoured?
You cannot hate goat meat but enjoy goat meat soup. That is why I agree strongly with St. Maximilian Kolbe that, “If anybody does not wish to have Mary Immaculate for his mother, he will not have Christ for his Brother.”
Let me conclude with the popular saying that, “Who Jah bless, no one curse!
God bless you.
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