MARIOLATRY AND TRUE HONOR
"Hail, thou that art highly favored, the Lord is with thee" Luke 1:28
These were the words which Gabriel employed when, sent from God, he came to Nazareth, to tell Mary the awful and tremendous secret of the part she was chosen to take in the Divine activity of human redemption. Thus the angel greeted her in the terms of respect, born of his apprehension of the greatness of the sacred sorrows and joys which were to be her lot. Moreover, his words reveal the fact of her character and fitness for the high honor; she was a woman "endued with grace," and one with whom the Lord was in COMMUNION.
The Christian Church generally has, in the process of time, fallen into two attitudes toward the Virgin Mother, one of which is utterly wrong, while the other is mistaken.
- The first is that of the Roman Church, which has placed her between humanity and the Son of God. This is IDOLATRY, and its effect has been disastrous. She is not the Advocate and Mediator between God and man, that One is the Man Jesus (1 Tim. 2:5). Mary was “highly favored” (Luke 1:28). The phrase highly favored comes from a single Greek word, which essentially means “much grace.” Mary received God’s grace just as we do for our work He has for us.
- The second is that of Protestantism, which, in a warranted re-bound from Mariolatry, has forgotten to hold the mother of our Lord in the esteem which is due to her.
Mary was a member of the sinning race, and needed and shared in the redemption which was provided by her Son; but the HONOR conferred on her was of the HIGHEST, and our thoughts of her, and our language concerning her, should at least not lack the dignity and respect manifested in the words of Gabriel. Hers was the crown and glory of all Motherhood, and we should forever think and speak of her reverently.