Mary’s role in the Church is that of first member and model of the Body of Christ, the Church, by virtue of her being the mother of God Incarnate, of God-made-Man. She is our mother in God’s adopted family the Church by virtue of being mother of Christ whose Body we are (as Jesus told “the beloved disciple” that Mary was his mother – John 19:27), but she is also the first believer in Jesus, the first disciple of Jesus, the first member of the Body of Christ, who goes before us every place we go, such that what the Catholic Church believes about Mary is also true of all members of the Body, albeit in a somewhat different way since she is uniquely related to Jesus as His true mother and source of His human nature.
One doctrinal consequence of Mary’s position in the Body of Christ as first member is that both Eastern and Western Christian Tradition identifies her as the “neck” of the Body of Christ which joins Christ the Head to the other members of His Body the Church, she is the channel or Mediatrix of all the graces which the Holy Spirit distributes from Christ the Head into His Body the Church which is animated by the Holy Spirit (all members of the Church His Body likewise in the Holy Spirit mediating these graces out to the world). The so-called “Marian doctrines” then ultimately are not about Mary, they are about the Incarnation and the Body of (Mary’s son) Christ, and about the relationships between the God-Man Jesus, His human mother, His Divine Father, and His human body the Church that the Mystery of the Body of Christ implies. Thus Scriptural and theological reflections which are not prejudiced against Mary (as Protestant reflections are) lead to a much deeper and richer and more completely Scriptural understanding of the Trinity, the Incarnation of the Second Person of the Trinity, and the Church, which is the Body of God the Son Incarnate.
After discussing all these things in more depth, this book will demonstrate how the Mother of the Messiah (Mary) is in the Bible from Genesis to Revelation (having an important role in Salvation History), and will then go over some of the traditional and magisterial foundations not already covered for Catholic Mariology and for this doctrine of “mediatrix of all graces” which is not yet a dogma (essential doctrine) of the Catholic Christian faith, but which is strongly related to other Catholic dogmas starting with the Dogma of the Incarnation (enfleshment) of God the Eternal Son in Jesus Christ the God-Man (that central Catholic dogma which all fundamentally orthodox non-Catholic Christian churches took with them when they left the Catholic Church in history). It is my hope that readers from all Christian churches will see that properly understanding Mary, the first believer in Jesus and the first member of the Body of Christ the Church, is a major key for every believer in Jesus to fully understand their own role as Christians, and their own great dignity as members of that Body of which Christ Jesus is the Head.
© 2005, 2009 Peter William John Baptiste SFO