My Spirit Rejoices in God My Savior

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I will greatly rejoice in the Lord,
and my soul shall be joyful in my God:
for he hath clothed me with the garments of salvation:
and with the robe of justice he hath covered me,
as a bridegroom decked with a crown,
and as a bride adorned with her jewels.
Isaiah 61, 10

And Mary said,
“My soul magnifies the Lord,
and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior,
for he has regarded the low estate of his handmaiden.
Behold, from henceforth shall all generations call me blessed;
for he who is mighty has done great things for me,
and holy is his name.”
Luke 1, 46-49
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The Catholic Church has always taught that God alone infallibly knows who His elected are and who have been predestined to glory. And although Catholics believe that Mary’s salvation must have been assured, especially since she was predestined to be the Mother of God and, by a singular Divine favour, was preserved free from contracting the stain of original sin in view of her Son’s foreseen merits, our Blessed Lady couldn’t possibly have presumed that her individual salvation was guaranteed just by pronouncing her Fiat (Lk. 1:38). This is evident by the fact she conceived Jesus because of her poverty of spirit and deep humility. In her Canticle of Praise, Mary owns that God has looked upon the lowliness (humble estate) of his handmaiden (Lk. 1:48).

Being shielded from the effects of original sin, notably the pride of life, Mary didn’t have the disposition to be so presumptuous. Unless Jesus had told her at some point that she would be with him body and soul in heaven, her personal salvation was something she purely hoped for and worked out in “fear and trembling” (Phil. 2:2). Thus, she would understand that she should never cease to pray for all the graces she needed to persevere to the end and attain what she hoped for. God never ceased to be her source of strength and song. Mary’s trust in God’s promises was never misplaced in any way either. Nor did she ever fear that God might prove to be unfaithful in their covenant with each other. If any of the two could ever be unfaithful, it would surely be her.

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Behold, God is my salvation;
I will trust, and will not be afraid;
for the Lord God is my strength and my song,
and he has become my salvation.
Isaiah 12, 2

Because of her faith, however, Mary trusted God with all her might and had complete confidence in His promises throughout her entire life once she was mature enough to know and personally relate with Him. God was her salvation because she trusted Him with steadfastness in faith. And so, she had no cause to be afraid, having found favour with God for doing His will by trusting His goodness and mercy (Lk. 1:30). What the Lord’s handmaid was sure of was that God would never disown her if she never disowned Him (2 Tim. 2:12).

Thus, Mary must have prayed constantly for the plenitudes of grace she received, so that she finally would be united with God in His heavenly kingdom. It was more God’s faithfulness than her own faith in God that she had confidence in. God could never withhold from Mary the many graces she asked for in prayer. If her heart did not condemn her, Mary knew that she would reap the fruits guaranteed by God’s goodness and righteousness. In faith, she was assured that she would receive countless blessings from God if she obeyed His commandments and did what pleased Him (1 Jn. 3: 21-22). Only then could she declare in the imperative mood: “My spirit rejoices in God my saviour!

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Indeed, Mary must have concurred with her Son that she was more blessed for having heard the word of God and keeping it than for being his natural mother (Lk. 11:28). She couldn’t have rejoiced in God her saviour if it hadn’t been for her faith working through love (Gal. 5:5-6). Mary had in fact rejoiced when she declared to the angel: “Be it done to me according to your word” (Lk. 1:38). She was more disposed to please God rather than please herself by receiving the blessing of being the mother of God incarnate. Not even spiritual pride (an effect of original sin) could touch her.

Moreover, in charity and grace, Mary was no less mindful of the world’s redemption than she was of her own. Her Lord and Saviour wasn’t only personally hers, but just as importantly everyone’s. She joyfully proclaimed her Magnificat immediately after her kinswoman Elizabeth had praised her for having believed in the word of God for the spiritual benefit of the whole human race (Lk. 1:45). The two of them could rejoice in the formal redemption of Israel and the entire world. That both Mary and Elizabeth were celebrating the final assurance of their own personal salvation wasn’t the case.

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O LORD, you are my God; I will exalt You,
I will give thanks to Your name;
for You have worked wonders,
Plans formed long ago,
with perfect faithfulness.
Isaiah 25, 1

If it hadn’t been for her Immaculate Conception, we can be sure that if Mary boasted in anything, it would have been in her weaknesses that required the aid of divine grace for the influence of her divine Son to impel her (2 Cor. 12:9). Of course, she was liberated from contracting the moral ill-effects of original sin, but she was still free to say No to God in her innocence just as Eve was before her fall from grace. So, it was by her co-operation with the abundance of grace God bestowed on her that our Blessed Lady merited to be the mother of the Divine Messiah and the gift of salvation for all humanity in the incarnation. She first had to conceive Jesus in her heart, as St. Augustine puts it, before she could conceive him in her womb.

Grace preceded Mary in her collaboration with God in His work of redemption; so, unless she united her spirit with the Spirit of God by acceding to His prompting, there could be no salvation for her or anybody. Mary must not receive the grace of God in vain if His work were to be accomplished first in her before it should be in the world by His Anointed One (2 Cor. 6:1). Fortunately for us, as well as for Mary, she sought to exalt God when she pronounced her Fiat. This was more important to her than any eternal reward she might receive because of her faith. Her love of God was impeccable, which gave her just cause to rejoice in her salvation. From this love flowed her love of fallen humanity which God honoured to her credit before He would become man.

As a maiden of true faith, Mary joyfully received the words of the angel in the depths of her heart, for she saw that what God graciously desired for the lasting happiness of mankind would redound to the glory of His love and mercy. She said Yes to the angel in a spirit of thanksgiving, ever-mindful of how faithful God was in keeping His promises, albeit the ungratefulness and unworthiness of fallen man. Mary’s spirit had rejoiced in God her saviour, who alone could have wrought wonders beyond all human understanding outside the sanctifying light of faith. Mary understood all too well that the redemption of humanity was certain provided she be faithful to God in return. All that was asked of her was that she align her spirit with the Spirit of God so that the Divine work be made complete as promised.

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And it will be said in that day,
“Behold, this is our God
for whom we have waited
that He might save us.
This is the LORD for whom we have waited;
Let us rejoice and be glad in His salvation.”
Isaiah 25, 9

Mary did not simply rejoice in her salvation, though she had good reason to, seeing that it meant enjoying eternal life with God in heavenly bliss. But despite how joyful she must have been with the prospect of this great blessing – the Beatific Vision – presented before her, Mary rejoiced first and foremost in the Divine Messiah himself from the depths of her soul in faith and love. That she should have been chosen to bring the living Source of salvation into the world as a daughter of Zion was cause enough for her to be overjoyed in God’s mercy and love. For this, Mary was thankful that God should look upon her humble state as to manifest His infinite glory in a fallen world. Yet, our Blessed Lady understood, that before the Holy Spirit should come upon His chosen bride and cover her with His shadow, she had to have adorned herself with the jewels of divine grace by allowing it to supernaturally transform her heart and mind in the depths of her soul; she would have had to array herself with the garments of salvation by “putting on” the holy child she might bear (Rom. 13:14), and only then could she become His mother.

Hence, what was most important to Mary was that she loved God with all her heart, mind, strength, and soul for the glory of His holy name despite the personal sacrifices she might have to make in union with her divine Son. She rejoiced in the One whom she must array herself in, if He were to bring the gift of salvation to the world through her. And she rejoiced in the marvelous work God accomplished in her by His grace. The Lord had done great things for her in His mercy, for which she should be thankful and glad. Mary’s salvation initially depended on the One who was the living source of all the graces she had received so that she could be saved. Our Blessed Lady humbly owned there could be no salvation for her or anyone else without the Divine initiative.

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Your cheeks are lovely with ornaments,
Your neck with strings of beads.”
Song of Solomon 1, 10

The apostle Paul teaches us that our “perishable body must put on the imperishable, and this mortal body put on immortality” (1 Cor. 15:53). Only then can our redemption and resurrection from the dead be personally realized. Mary saw herself in God’s plan as a woman who should be removed from sinful humanity, as Israel was separated from the surrounding pagan nations, if the formal redemption of the world were to be accomplished by the promised Messiah through the untilled soil of her virgin womb. Mary’s spirit could rejoice in God her saviour, since it conformed to His Spirit and the Spirit of the Son whom she would bear. Not unlike the holy Child she would be the mother of, Mary made no provision for the flesh or gratified any vain desires that would offend God; she had a compassionate heart, she was kind, humble, meek, and patient; holy and beloved by God because of her faith in charity and grace (Col. 3:12). Her interior disposition attested to what it meant to be saved. Mary rejoiced in God’s salvation by her virtuous living. A wicked spirit has no cause to rejoice.

The Incarnation happened and, as a result, the world’s redemption and hope of salvation because Mary was “robed in a mantle of justice” through the plenitudes of grace she was endowed with and never spurned at any time in her life (Lk. 1:28). Mary’s spirit rejoiced in God her saviour by being one in spirit with Him and like Him through His grace. So, unless Mary had led a life of obedience to the will of God, by shedding what was perishable in the flesh and putting on what was imperishable in the Son whom she would bear, she could not be God’s chosen and beloved handmaid. By living a life in the flesh and in disobedience to God together with fallen humanity, she could not rejoice in the One who was the world’s salvation, since she could only then reject the One in whom she would have no joy. The Divine Word chose to come into the world and become man on condition that the woman whom He chose to be His mother would find no joy except in Him.

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And my soul shall rejoice in the LORD;
It shall exult in His salvation.
Psalm 35, 9

Mary’s spirit rejoiced in God her saviour because her soul magnified the Lord. The supernatural quality of Mary’s soul proclaimed His glory in a fallen world. She embodied in her person what it takes to be saved and enjoy eternal life with God. Mary never presumed that her personal salvation was guaranteed, but the state of her soul attested that it was, provided she should persevere in God’s grace. If her heart did not condemn her, Mary had confidence before God. Mary’s spirit could rejoice in God her saviour, for it was perfected in love of God and neighbour. The Holy Spirit overshadowed Mary because of her perfect love which conformed to the love God has for all His created children. This pleased God (1 Jn 3:21-22). By joyfully pronouncing her Fiat, Mary essentially begged God to come into the world as its salvation. Her prayer was answered, since her spirit rejoiced in what pleased God, “that everyone might be saved and come to the knowledge of the truth” (1 Tim. 2:4). Mary’s spirit was united with the Spirit of God; her joy was what pleased God and what he desired of her.

In faith and love, Mary rejoiced in what should be to the glory of God’s goodness and righteousness. Nor could she bear to imagine the desolation of never ever seeing God face to face in His heavenly kingdom. Mary did not exalt in only her salvation, but also in the salvation which only God could offer all humanity in His love and mercy. She rejoiced in God’s benevolence for the salvation of the world. And what God offered Mary was something she couldn’t possibly resist, having been supernaturally transformed by His grace, as to be worthy to bear His salvation in the promised Messiah. She rejoiced in her Son Yeshua, which in Hebrew means “God is salvation”. Meanwhile, Mary desired for the world what she desired for herself, for she knew that no soul could find true happiness separated from God. She desired God more than anything else. The salvation of her soul meant nothing if it did not entail eternal life with God and seeing Him face to face. The hope of the Beatific Vision gave Mary’s soul cause to rejoice in God her saviour (Ex. 24:11).

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She was pregnant and was crying out in birth pains and the agony of giving birth…
And the dragon stood before the woman who was about to give birth,
so that when she bore her child, he might devour it.
Revelation 12, 2-4

With Mary’s joy would come sorrow, without which there could be no heavenly bliss in God’s presence. The greatest trial our Blessed Lady ever faced in her pilgrimage of faith must have been when she stood at the foot of the Cross. She could have felt as abandoned by God as her Son might have had in his humanity, if he weren’t a Divine person, as she witnessed his humiliating and cruel death at the hands of ungrateful sinners, who certainly didn’t deserve God’s love and mercy. Yet Mary remained steadfast in her faith together with her Son in his steadfast obedience to the will of the Father. Here lies the paradox of faith: Concomitant with Mary’s sorrow was her joy in having to face this terrible trial for the salvation of all souls, including her own. Her soul joyfully exalted in God’s salvation even when it was pierced by immense sorrow, and because of her shared agony (Lk. 2:34-35). To live and reign with Christ one must suffer and die with him.

​Mary knew that the Passion of her Son was all for a greater good, that God would never renege on His promised inheritance. At the foot of the Cross, God faithfully upheld His end of the covenant by establishing His handmaiden’s second maternal role. It was through her agonizing sorrow – the sword that pierced her heart – that Mary gave birth to the countless sons and daughters of all nations who would form the mystical Body of her Son, which is the Church, upon his resurrection and ascension into heaven, where he established his authority and everlasting rule after casting out Satan and his angels from heaven (Rev. 12:5, 9-11).

When Mary gazed upon her suffering and dying Son with a loving mother’s terrible anguish, she understood that the testing of her faith produced endurance; and by letting her endurance have its full effect, she would become mature and complete in her faith, lacking nothing, which being associated with her Son in his redemptive work required. God would be faithful in keeping His promise if she was faithful to Him. Mary rejoiced in God her saviour because of her faith in God’s faithfulness, despite this difficult trial.

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Golgotha was indeed the climatic point in Mary’s journey of faith, but even on this heart-rending occasion, her soul continued to magnify the Lord and proclaim His glory. Mary’s spirit could rejoice in God her saviour, for the salvation of all humanity demanded that our Blessed Lady suffer for the sins that had offended God, whom she wished to propitiate on behalf of all ungrateful humanity because of her perfect love for Him. The interior suffering that was imposed on her she gladly accepted, not only because of her love of God, but also because of her love and compassion for fallen mankind.

Our sorrowful Mother’s merciful spirit resembled the compassion God had for all His created children. Without Mary’s willing collaboration with God in and through the Holy Spirit, the temporal reparation she was called to make would be left undone. Without it, her divine Son would not make eternal reparation and be the expiation for the sins of the world (1 Pet. 1:3-7). Mary could rejoice in her suffering, since it was united with the suffering of her beloved Son for the salvation of humanity. She drew all her moral courage from him.

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Our Blessed Lady possessed a love for the world that emulated the love her divine Son had in his humanity. The divine image that she was created in reached full perfection as she stood beneath the Cross under the weight of her sorrow. Because of her supernatural love for God and humanity, Mary could rejoice in His salvation, but not without rejoicing in her interior suffering. Jesus made suffering the necessary means of redemption, that is being willing to suffer out of love of God for sin which offends Him and has ravaged mankind, so that the equity of justice between God and man may be restored. The apostle Paul rejoiced in his suffering for the sake of his flock and the glory his sheep might attain because of it (Col 1:24).

Our Blessed Lady possessed a love for the world that emulated the love her divine Son had in his humanity. The divine image that she was created in reached full perfection as she stood beneath the Cross under the weight of her sorrow. Because of her supernatural love for God and humanity, Mary could rejoice in His salvation, but not without rejoicing in her interior suffering. Jesus made suffering the necessary means of redemption, that is being willing to suffer out of love of God for sin which offends Him and has ravaged mankind, so that the equity of justice between God and man may be restored. The apostle Paul rejoiced in his suffering for the sake of his flock and the glory his sheep might attain because of it (Col 1:24).

In agony, Mary gave new birth to mankind. Adam’s trespass resulted in the condemnation of humanity; so also the righteous act of her Son, the second Adam, resulted in justification and new life for all (Rom. 5:18), but on condition that his mother Mary, the second Eve and helpmate, suffer in union with him by offering the fruit of her womb back to God to complete and perfect his super-abundant peace offering of reconciliation.

God’s plan of salvation required Mary’s full moral participation, since the Fall involved both genders and, therefore, could not be totally undone without full reciprocation. Mary’s willingness to suffer on Calvary, because of sin, was her loving response to God’s will in union with her Son, which eradicated Eve’s unfaithfulness to God and her transgression because of her inordinate love of self. Mary vindicated Eve by acting in an alternate way. She denied herself to the point of dying to her maternal self, thereby becoming the spiritual mother of redeemed mankind.

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On that day it shall be said to Jerusalem:
“Fear not, O Zion;
let not your hands grow weak.
The Lord your God is in your midst,
a mighty one who will save;
he will rejoice over you with gladness;
he will quiet you by his love;
he will exult over you with loud singing.
Zephaniah 3, 16-18

Mary was more of a mother to Jesus and further blessed in this capacity (Lk. 11:27-28). Subjectively, her love of God and compassion for fallen humanity had redeeming value. Her obedient act of faith pleased God because of the supernatural quality of her soul. Grace preceded Mary, and so she could merit the grace her Son produced by his self-immolation for fallen humanity by right of friendship with God. Our Blessed Lady could rejoice in God’s salvation, for she understood and accepted what was required of her for His salvation to be perfect and complete.

Mary’s spirit rejoiced in God her saviour, for our Blessed Lady was “buried with Christ” at the hour of his Passion. Mary stood beneath the Cross dead to the world with all its vain allurements. She sacrificed her maternal rights when she offered her beloved Son back to God for the salvation of the world. The hope of our salvation, which only Christ could initially produce by his merits alone, was completed, however, by the Blessed Mother who crucified her flesh and died to self in union with her Son’s Passion, so that everyone might be saved (Col. 1:24; Eph. 3:13).​

Beneath the Cross, Mary raised her heart and mind to things that are above this world, as our Lord was raised in spirit when he was lifted high on the Cross through his obedience to the will of the Father so that we might share in his glory, provided we die with him in spirit (Col. 3:1-4). God honoured Mary’s interior sorrow as a temporal means of reparation for the sins of the world, and thereby He exalted His faithful and loving handmaid by designating her Mother of the Church (Jn. 19:26-27).

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The Incarnation happened because Mary did not doubt God. She wasn’t like “the wave of the sea, driven and tossed by the wind, being double-minded and unstable in every way.” And, so, she could expect to “receive anything from the Lord” both for her and the human race (Jas. 1:2-8). Her spiritual work of mercy completed her faith by animating it. Our Blessed Lady couldn’t have appeased God’s justice and make temporal satisfaction to God for the sins of the world if her faith had been nothing but a mental construct. Mary could rejoice in God her saviour only by possessing a living and active faith (Jas. 2:14-25). Her faith anticipated the faith of the Church: a faith that sought what she could do for God rather than what God could do for His bride. The Holy Spirit descended on the Apostles and the disciples of Christ who were gathered in the upper room on the day of Pentecost days after his ascension (Acts 2:1-13). But first, the Holy Spirit had to come upon and overshadow the Blessed Virgin Mary because of her faith (Lk. 1:35, 38).

The Incarnation alone should not redeem fallen man, though it could more than sufficiently by God becoming man and being born in a lowly manger on a cold night. The Annunciation had to be the starting point in Mary’s pilgrimage of faith as the mother of the divine Redeemer who chose to suffer and die an ignominious death for the world’s salvation. After all, suffering and death are concomitant with sin. The completion of God’s plan of salvation called for Mary’s perseverance in faith and unshakable trust in God, just as our own salvation depends on the quality of our faith when having to be tested through the trials God sends us (1 Pet. 1:7).

Jesus chose to die on the cross with his mother kneeling before him in anguish, for if we hope to be saved, we must take up our crosses after him (Mt.16:24; Mk.8:34; Lk. 9:23). Only then, should we have cause to rejoice in our salvation together with our Blessed Mother. Without suffering and having to die to self in this imperfect world, we could never show our love for God by choosing to make sacrifices to Him for our transgressions. His faithful handmaid chose to suffer for humanity because of her love for Him. This act of worship she offered God who was grieved by sin was paradoxically an expression of her joy in God’s salvation.

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I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live,
but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live
by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me.
Galatians 2, 20

God would never have chosen Mary to be the mother of His Son if He knew that she would prove to be unfaithful at the hour of His Son’s perfect obedience to His will. Her spirit must rejoice in God her saviour, which could be expressed by nothing less than Mary accepting her sorrow and uniting her interior suffering with the suffering of her Divine Son for the remission of sin. Christ used suffering as a means by which he merited the grace of redemption for the entire world. He sanctified suffering by his Passion. What was once an evil effect of original sin and a condition of it had been given a “quasi-sacramental” value, by which we might be saved if offered to God in union with our Lord and Savior (cf. Dom Bruno Webb, Why Does God Permit Evil?). God was temporally appeased by Mary’s suffering, for her Son lived in her while she willingly suffered in union with him for the sins of the world. Since the Annunciation, the life Mary led as the mother of our Lord wasn’t merely the natural life of a mother, but a life lived by faith in her divine Son and what he came to accomplish for us all. The mother of our Lord lived her faith by putting it into action for the salvation of souls. Her exile into Egypt together with the infant Jesus was her first great act of sacrificial love and spiritual worship of God. Mary made temporal satisfaction for sin in union with her Son long before Calvary arrived.

As the second Adam and new Head of humanity, our Lord merited grace for us, so that by our suffering in union with him, grace can be transmitted to us and even to others. By Mary’s willingness to suffer in union with her Son, our Lord suffered in her to complete his act of redemption. Thus, her suffering had supernatural value and could merit an increase of the grace of sanctification or justification on behalf of the world in and through the merits of her divine Son. Our Blessed Lady understood this by the sanctifying light of faith, and she knew by the Holy Spirit’s gift of knowledge, that she had no cause to rejoice in God her Savior unless she were willing to suffer for God her “spiritual worship”. Her salvation, not unlike ours, meant offering herself as a living sacrifice to God holy and pleasing to Him (Rom. 12:1-2). Mary’s spirit (pnuema) had rejoiced in God her saviour by the life she had led in faith in her Son as his mother. She was more or truly (menoun) a mother to him in this respect (Lk. 11:27-28). Mary’s Divine Maternity was a sublime form of discipleship. Catholics have long praised her as Queen of Apostles.

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A faithful saying: for if we be dead with him,
we shall live also with him;
if we endure, we will also reign with him.
2 Timothy 2, 11-12

Fortunately, for both her and mankind, our Blessed Lady never doubted God, not even on Golgotha; since, as she knelt and gazed upon her dying Son, she fervently prayed for the graces she needed to endure her interior suffering in union with his suffering. By her perseverance in faith, Mary accepted God’s will, that her heart should also be pierced, if her Son was to redeem the world and reconcile it to God (Lk. 2:34-35). That Our Lady of Sorrows should cradle her beloved Son’s lifeless body in her arms because of man’s sins against God was a condition of the salvation she rejoiced in. Her spirit rejoiced in God her Saviour up to this culminating moment, albeit the pain and the loss. She possessed a faith that pronounced “Christ crucified” (1 Cor. 1:23) and “died with Christ” so that she and all humanity could hope to live eternally with her divine Son in heavenly glory (Rom. 6:8). Our Blessed Mother suffered and died for us all “with the Redeemer,” and so we rightly hail her as our co-Redemptrix.

Mary rejoiced in her suffering and found consolation in it because of the suffering her beloved Son was willing to endure in his love for humanity and its salvation. Mary rejoiced in God her saviour, the Father’s suffering servant, by reciprocating her love for her Son who was wounded for our transgressions. She could return her love only by willingly suffering with him for all the sins which had offended God. Her virtue of faith gave cause to her soul’s rejoicing in God her savior amid the piercing sorrow. This was a faith informed by love in charity and grace, the faith we need to be saved: faith put into loving action in union with Christ’s work of sacrificial love.

Our sorrowful Mother understood what the Apostles hadn’t until Pentecost, that she could rejoice in being alive with her Son in the Resurrection only by dying to self and being buried with him in his death through suffering. Hence, despite her sorrow at the foot of the Cross, Mary had cause to rejoice and be glad in God’s salvation – that is in what it must take for us to be saved. Mary perceived, by the sanctifying light of faith, as she looked upon her suffering and dying Son, that our salvation may be attained only if we suffer and die to self and to this world in obedience to God in union with Jesus in perseverance to the end (Rom. 6:5-8). Jesus did not come into this world only to save us, but also to show us what we must do if we hope to be saved in and through his merits.

“Let us not be astonished that the Lord, who came to save the world, began his work in Mary, so that she, by whom the salvation of all was being readied, would be the first to receive from her own child its fruits.”
St. Ambrose of Milan, In Lk. II, 17
(ante A.D. 397)

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Sing and rejoice, O daughter of Zion,
for behold, I come and I will dwell in your midst,
declares the Lord.
Zechariah 2, 10
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Salve Regina!

Rejoice Heartily, O Daughter Zion

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 Sing aloud, O daughter of Zion; shout, O Israel!
Rejoice and exult with all your heart,
O daughter of Jerusalem!
The Lord has taken away the judgments against you;
he has cleared away your enemies.
The King of Israel, the Lord, is in your midst;
you shall never again fear evil.
On that day, it shall be said to Jerusalem:
“Fear not, O Zion; let not your hands grow weak.
The Lord your God is in your midst,
a mighty one who will save;
he will rejoice over you with gladness;
he will quiet you by his love;
he will exult over you with loud singing.
Zephaniah 3, 14-18

And Mary said,
“My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord,
my spirit rejoices in God my saviour,”
for he has looked with favour on his lowly handmaid.
From henceforth, all generations will call me blessed;
for He who is mighty has done great things for me,
and holy is His name.”
Luke 1, 46-49
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The Hebrew name Tzion (ציון), or as translated “Zion”, appears over 150 times in the Bible. Interchangeably these verses refer simply to “Zion”, to a “Mount Zion,” “the daughter of Zion,” and “virgin daughter of Zion”. Zion is first mentioned in 2 Samuel 5:7: ‘David captured the fortress of Zion, which is the City of David.’ Zion was originally an ancient Jebusite fortress which David captured, allowing the Israelites to take possession of Jerusalem. The royal palace and the temple were subsequently built there, as Zion or Jerusalem, became the seat of power in the kingdom of Israel (Judah after the schism) and the chief site of worship. Thus, Zion is called “the City of David” and “the City of God”. The metaphorical term extends to the Temple (Synagogue) and God’s kingdom on earth.

The name Zion basically means “fortification” and carries with it the idea of being “raised up” as a monument and a sign of God’s presence among the Israelites and His rule on earth. As a fortress, it served as a place of refuge and protection for the Israelites from their enemies. Situated on top of a hill on the southeast side of Jerusalem, Zion was the strongest and safest place in the city for its inhabitants who would take shelter there. Inviolable from David’s time, through the reign of the righteous Davidic kings, no enemy ever entered this fortress which had been established by God’s providential design.

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From a spiritual perspective, it is here God protects His virgin daughter from the rape her enemies intend to commit upon her; He keeps her pure in good measure from the gross idolatry wherewith the people of the surrounding pagan nations are defiled, viz., spiritual whoredom. God has removed His chosen people from their original prostitution in the world and has consecrated them to be his very own in holiness by establishing His covenant with them, which He shall faithfully keep despite their occasional infidelity. God’s covenant with His chosen people is perpetual. With the people’s transgressions against His laws and established precepts comes Divine chastisement as forewarned. Yet, on Mount Zion, the faithful remnant of Israel shall never be conquered and destroyed by their enemies under God’s gracious protection.

​​From Zion is where the word of God dwells and comes forth. ‘For out of Zion shall the Torah come forth, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem.’ (Isa. 2: 3). It is in the temple where God dwells and from whence His word is proclaimed and His laws are prescribed. Those who hear the word of God and observe it are like Mount Zion, which shall never be shaken (Ps. 151:1). The name Zion also refers to God’s chosen people and faithful servants from whom the promised Messiah shall come forth and rule all nations in righteousness and justice with a rod of iron.

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We see in Mary’s Canticle of Praise or the Magnificat that the first Jewish converts to the Christian faith in Apostolic time perceived Mary to be the personification of Daughter Zion. And for them, Mary was much more than a metaphor or an abstract figure representing a corporate entity and nation. She was the mother of their Lord (Lk. 1: 43), the Woman of Promise in the flesh of whom her Divine offspring was made (Gal. 4:4). They could relate to Mary on a personal level as much as they could with her divine Son and thereby deeply appreciate her contribution in His redemptive work (Lk. 1:45). She was someone they could personally relate to and love no less than they could the resurrected Jesus in their personal relationship with him, now that his mother had been gloriously assumed body and soul into Heaven.

​The parallel Luke draws between Mary and Zion, by echoing the Old Testament prophets and alluding to the Psalms, clearly shows that this Marian tradition of the infant Church in Palestine was a vibrant part of the faith as part of a Judaic legacy. In the first part of the Magnificat, Mary refers to her position with God in the order of grace. All four verses in Luke 1:46-49 parallel Old Testament passages pertaining to Daughter Zion.

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And Mary said,
“My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord,
my spirit rejoices in God my saviour,

 I will rejoice greatly in the Lord;
my soul shall exult in my God;
for he has clothed me with the garments of salvation,
he has covered me with the robes of righteousness.
– Isaiah 61, 10 (cf. Zech. 9:9; Zeph. 3:14

“for he has looked with favour on his lowly handmaid.

The Lord has taken away the judgments against you,
he has cast out your enemies.
The King of Israel, the Lord, is in your midst;
you shall fear evil no more.
– Zephaniah 3, 15 (cf. Lk. 1:28, 30)

But you, O Lord, will arise and have compassion on Zion,
for it is time to show favour on her;
the appointed time has come.
– Psalm 102, 13

“From this day, all generations will call me blessed;

At that time, I will bring you home,
at the time when I will gather you together;
yea, I will make you renowned and praised
among all the peoples of the earth,
when I restore your fortunes
before your eyes, says the Lord.
– Zephaniah 3, 20

I will perpetuate your memory through all generations;
therefore, the nations will praise you for ever and ever.
– Psalm 45, 17

“because the Almighty has done great things for me,
and holy is his name.”

When the Lord restored the fortunes of Zion,
then we thought we were dreaming.
Our mouths were filled with laughter;
our tongues sang for joy.
Then it was said among the nations,
“The Lord has done great things for them.”
The Lord has done great things for us;
Oh, how happy we were.
– Psalm 126, 1-3

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And it shall come to pass that everyone who calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved. For in Mount Zion and in Jerusalem there shall be those who escape, as the Lord has said, and among the survivors shall be those whom the Lord calls.
Joel 2, 32

The early Hebrew Christians certainly understood the soteriological and eschatological significance of Mary’s designation. They regarded her as an intermediary of divine grace (Lk 1:44) and as a place of refuge from their enemy Satan, especially since she was at enmity with the Devil and had crushed his head by her perfect faith in charity and grace (Gen 3:15). Mary could be regarded as a spiritual fortress because of the power of her prayerful intercession (Jn 2:3-5) and opposition to the dragon which could not conquer her (Rev 12:13-14). Mary constantly observed the word of God and kept it (Lk 11:28), even to the point of giving her beloved Son back to God for the salvation of the world, despite the terrible sorrow she would have to endure by the will of God for the sins of the world in union with her offspring’s afflictions (Lk 2:34-35). God hears the prayers of the righteous (Jas. 5:17) and so, all the children of their heavenly mother can seek refuge in her supernatural merits and the power of her heavenly intercession for the actual graces they need to persevere in faith and conquer the Dragon and its wicked offspring once and for all in alliance with her.

It is through the desolation that Mary experiences at the foot of the Cross that she morally contributes to the deliverance of mankind from exile in sin and its restoration to friendship with God in collaboration with Him as His righteous spouse and handmaid (Isa 54:1-3; Lk 1:35, 38). And by having done so, Mary becomes the spiritual mother of all the living. All who believe in Jesus and keep God’s commandments are her sons and daughters (Rev 12:17), being the rightful heirs of a promised inheritance together with Mary and Jesus, the Son of Promise and the first-fruit of the royal inheritance: resurrection to eternal life with God (Gal 3:29; 1 Cor 15:22-23).

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For thus the LORD said to me, As a lion or a young lion growls over its prey, and — when a band of shepherds is called out against it — is not terrified by their shouting or daunted at their noise, so the LORD of hosts will come down to fight upon Mount Zion and upon its hill.
Isaiah 31, 4

Mary is at enmity with Satan, the prowling lion who is out to devour souls. The Devil is her adversary, as he continues to make war with her and her children (1 Pet 5:8-9; Rev 12:17). It is through Mary’s maternal patronage and powerful intercession in heaven that Christ protects his Church and all her inhabitants from the enemy who seeks to destroy her. The Devil shall never conquer those who seek refuge in Mary’s Immaculate Heart. God has established her to be the security and protection of the Church. Through the intercessions of our Blessed Mother, our eternal inheritance is virtually assured. She is Advocatrix of the Church. She who never succumbed to adoring the false idols of this world can by her just merits protect all the Church’s inhabitants from worshiping pagan idols and defiling themselves, if only they seek refuge in her Immaculate Heart for the graces they need to persevere in faith. Because of the power of Mary’s prayerful intercession at the right hand of her divine Son by the throne of grace, the faithful of the pilgrim Church on earth assuredly receive the actual graces they need from her Son to persevere in faith to the end and attain their salvation. The pilgrim Church on earth has much cause to rejoice in their salvation because of her mother’s merciful patronage which has been established by God.

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Sing and rejoice, O daughter Zion!
For lo, I will come and dwell in your midst,
says the LORD.
Zechariah 2, 10

Mary has cause to rejoice, for God has chosen her to conceive and bear His Son, who shall redeem the world and restore mankind to friendship with Him. And through her, God has chosen to execute His judgments on all His adversaries and those of His chosen people in all nations. God shall raise up the poor in spirit and cast the proud and mighty from their thrones; for through Mary, Christ shall be born to regenerate mankind unto God. People of all nations will renounce their idolatry by the saving power of God’s grace. They shall join God with purpose of heart in establishing His heavenly kingdom on earth. All nations shall be blessed in Mary, for the salvation of the world will come from her. Her virgin womb provides the pure, untilled soil for the Gentiles who shall hear the Word of God and be taught in His ways. In the hypostatic order of Christ’s incarnation through his blessed mother, God physically manifests His presence among us and dwells with us that we may learn of His ways, as to be eternally united with Him at the end of the course of our earthly existence.

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O that deliverance for Israel would come from Zion!
When God restores the fortunes of his people,
Jacob will rejoice; Israel will be glad.
Psalm 53, 6

Jesus (Heb. Yeshua or “God is salvation”) comes to us from Mary. The salvation of the world comes from her. Mary is the dwelling place of God the Word, “exempt from putridity and corruption.” From Mary, we receive the true manna come down from Heaven, He who has called himself the “Bread of Life” that lasts to life everlasting with God and has delivered us from the slavery of sin and the power of death (Jn 6: 32, 35-54; 11:25) Through Mary, our Lord has established the New Covenant of his blood poured out for all humanity to the joy of all Abraham’s faithful descendants, the true heirs of promise (Mt 26:28; Lk 22:20). And so, Mary has been clothed with purity instead of fine gold which can be corrupted, for in her, holy Divinity resides and comes forth for the redemption of mankind and its deliverance from subjection to the powers of darkness. From the time God restores Mary to His grace, by her Immaculate Conception, all mankind has cause to rejoice, for she has been blessed to be the mother of our Lord and Saviour. Humanity’s re-creation has begun with God’s creation of Mary in fulfillment of God’s promise to Abraham and the birth of Jacob.

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The LORD is exalted, he dwells on high;
he filled Zion with justice and righteousness.
Isaiah 33, 5

Our God who saves takes His holy flesh from the Blessed Virgin Mary, whom God has separated from the rest of sinful humanity, as to be worthiest of being the mother of His Only-begotten Son. To glorify the Son who glorifies the Father, God makes Mary holy and pure by His sanctifying grace. God has set her apart and consecrated her to Himself to be His holy bride as He is holy in preparation for the coming of the divine Messiah (Lev 20:26; Lk 1:35, 42) By Divine election, Mary is pledged to be the mother of our Lord and Saviour. He first appears in his glory tabernacled within the pure womb of his most blessed mother, who by the grace of God has no affinity with sin whatsoever. God is glorified by His most perfect creation in the person of Mary, the mother of our Lord, when He enters and dwells in her sacred womb. From the sacred womb of Mary, the most holy Offspring comes forth “full of grace and truth” to regenerate mankind unto God for His glory (Jn 1:14).

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Let Mount Zion be glad, let the towns of Judah
rejoice because of your judgments.
Psalm 48, 11

Mary rejoices in God her Saviour, for He has looked with favour on His daughter’s humility. The Lord has done great things for Mary by removing the judgement he has passed on sinful humanity from her by restoring her to His grace upon the creation of her soul (Lk 1:46-49). She has no cause to fear God’s justice, for her love of God and neighbour drives out all fear which must do with punishment (Lk 1:30; 1 Jn 4:18). The spirit of the Torah or the natural law of love and freedom fills her soul and enriches her heart. Thus, God judges her to be worthiest of all women to be the mother of the Son. No pride and selfishness separate Mary from God’s love and His mercy. She rejoices in the love and kindness God shows her because He has judged her to be faithful and loving to Him, which is what she most desires. Mary stands opposed to the daughter of Babylon whose soul is corrupted by false idols. God’s faithful and loving daughter proclaims the glory of God in the depths of her soul where there is no place for the profane objects of dark worldly desires.

Our Blessed Lady has cause to rejoice in her salvation because her affections gravitate towards the righteousness of her Son. It is the covetous and the worldly minded who mourn, for their minds are set on perishable material things whose false glory is finite and shall eventually slip away from their grasps. Mary rejoices, for she desires nothing less than the things of God and the imperishable heavenly treasures that await her because of her love and fidelity towards Him. Mary is confident that God has blessed her as he does all His faithful servants who humble themselves before Him and refuse to offend Him by bowing to false idols, but rather wish to observe His will always, placing God – the source of all life and true happiness in His goodness and love – above all created and perishable things which offer no true and lasting joy.

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And all nations shall call you blessed:
for you shall be a delightful land,
says the LORD of hosts.
Malachi 3:12

Babylon or sinful humanity has fallen and lies in ruin because of God’s judgment against her. There is no fear of condemnation for those who humbly love God and obey His commandments. In faith, Mary knows this, and so she is encouraged to rejoice in her salvation and praise God for His goodness and kindness to her and all the humble and poor in spirit who find favour with Him (Lk 1:50-56). All generations of the Christian faithful shall rejoice with Mary for the blessings God has conferred on their Blessed Mother Zion from whose pure, untilled virgin soil of her sacred womb has sprung new life in God (Lk 1:48). The Church rejoices in the Gospel of Luke for the streams of the Divine mercy that have flowed as living water down upon the Lord’s chosen handmaid from His loving kindness. The Lord has done “great things” to her – the mother of the Divine Messiah, sprung from the pure virgin soil of her womb – and holy is His name (Lk 1:49).

Mary is blessed for having been chosen to be the mother of our Lord and Savior, but she is further blessed for having received the privileges of being the Mother of God, viz., her Immaculate Conception and Assumption body and soul into heaven. God has made her to be a delightful land that consists of all peoples from all nations who are regenerated unto God through her pure womb as brothers and sisters of her Son (Rom 8:29). The offspring of the free promised woman are the ones who sing her praise because of the spiritual gifts she has received from God (Lk 1:48-49). And by God’s graciousness towards her, Mary can nourish and protect the souls of her children provided they remain faithful to her divine Son.

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Out of Zion, the perfection of beauty,
God has shined.
Psalm 50, 2

Luke presents Mary as likened to the Kingdom of God. She is blessed (eulogemene) above all the women on earth no less than Israel is blessed above all the nations on earth, both being declared holy and consecrated to God. The kingdom of God dwells in her (Lk 1:42; Mk 11:10). This is because God has established His covenant with her and His Word dwells within and radiates her soul as a light for all peoples. From her, the word of God is proclaimed as a model for all mankind to follow. The temple of her body is made sacred by the quality of her sanctified soul. Mary’s interior state is ruled by the word of God who reigns in her life of faith and charity in grace. She is like “Mount Zion that shall never be shaken,” for the word of God abides in her soul.

The Spirit of God dwells within her, and so Satan has no dominion over her soul. The holiness and justice of Mary’s divine Son is reflected in her person. She is like God, for the Holy Spirit dwells in her and she abides in His love. Unlike the sinful pagans of this world, Mary does not try to be like God apart from Him and in His place. The light of the Holy Spirit shines from her soul. He bears witness to the perfect beauty of its divine constitution by His presence and work within her that ultimately redounds to His glory. Mary is God’s work of art, and thus we cannot praise the Artist without praising His artistic work. St. Augustine reminds us that “God is glorified in His saints”.

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And you, O tower of the flock, hill of daughter Zion,
to you it shall come, the former dominion shall come,
the sovereignty of daughter Jerusalem.
Micah 4, 18

By partaking of the divine nature, Daughter Zion is free from all the corruption that defiles the pagan world within the devil’s domain caused by dark human passions. Divinity shines forth from Mary’s soul, for God’s Holy Spirit dwells and rules within it. The kingdom of God is in Mary (Lk 1:42). She can withstand the onslaught of the wicked ways of the ungodly world, for she is God’s re-creation in grace. In her blessed state, she is mystically united with God who has endowed her with the fullness of His lasting sanctifying grace (Lk 1:28). Mary is at enmity with Satan and all his offspring who still belong to his kingdom and make war with her and her offspring. By her unwavering love of God and faithfulness, she crushes the devil’s head together with God (Gen. 3:15). Sheltered and inspired by God’s grace, Mary observes the word of God and keeps it throughout her life.

Satan can never conquer and rule over the Lord’s faithful handmaid and virgin bride as he has ruled over his subjected offspring who are enslaved in sin within his dominion. Mary possesses the innocence in the life of God’s grace that Eve lost for herself and her offspring. She is the free woman who God promised would crush the serpent’s head with her “immaculate foot” which shall help destroy its dominion on earth. In the order of grace, our most Blessed Lady immeasurably surpasses all the saints combined in holiness because of her intimate association with God in the hypostatic order of Christ’s incarnation. Jesus has chosen his mother to be his helpmate in the redemption and salvation of mankind, which requires that she be pure as he is pure in their shared humanity (1 Jn 3:3).

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The LORD sends out from Zion your mighty sceptre.
Rule in the midst of your foes.
Psalm 110, 2

Mary, daughter of Jerusalem and of the House of David, gives birth to the child “who shall rule all nations with a rod of iron” (Rev 12:5). “All kings shall fall down before him, and all nations shall serve him” (Ps 72:11). His sceptre of justice is his living and guiding word for the entire world to heed, the rod of rectitude that dashes all pride and wicked desires to pieces. From Mary, the Divine Word takes his humanity and assumes his sovereignty over his enemies who oppose his word. These are the offspring of the serpent who are equally at enmity with Jesus and his blessed mother. Rightfully established as King who shall rule over all earthly monarchs and powers, Christ shall be victorious over his enemies. He shall conquer the powers of darkness that rule in this world in opposition to him with his Queen Mother (Gebirah) standing by his side.

​By his laws, Christ shall pass judgement on all those who reject his word. The subjects of his spiritual kingdom are the ones who believe and abide in him by observing his word. They are blessed in the righteousness, peace, and joy of the Holy Spirit. Their souls are predestined to grace and through perseverance in grace predestined to glory, as the souls of Christ’s adversaries are destined for spiritual ruin because of their selfishness and moral corruption. Thus, from Mary’s pure womb, the living Word of God in the flesh has come forth to proclaim his truth and justice to humanity, establish his laws by Divine authority, and pass judgement on the world from his heavenly throne in righteousness and justice (Lk 1:31-33; Rev 19).

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What can I say for you, to what compare you,
O daughter Jerusalem?
To what can I liken you, that I may comfort you,
O virgin daughter Zion?
For vast as the sea is your ruin; who can heal you?
Lamentations 2, 13

Mother Zion has cause to lament because of her miserable state. In His justice, God has abandoned her because of the sins of her children by allowing her enemies to victoriously destroy Jerusalem and the sacred temple. In the wake of her ruin, Zion has been deprived of all that is related to public worship, including the institution of the priesthood, the sacrifices, and the solemn festivals. She is in terrible distress because of the desolation the Israelite’s have brought upon themselves by heeding the words of false prophets and worshiping the false gods of their neighbours. The dark cloud of God’s just anger has covered Zion for the unfaithfulness of her children.

No longer is she protected by God as she was when He led her out of Egypt and provided safe passage for her children across the Red Sea, manifesting His guardian presence in a cloud by day and a pillar of fire by night. With the destruction of all the habitations in Israel, including the sacred places, God no longer manifests His presence in the glory cloud (Shekinah) that once descended upon the temple and filled the sanctuary of the Ark of the Covenant. The children of Zion have alienated themselves from Him, and in their sinful condition, God is no longer manifested among them. It appears to the lost house of Israel that the God of their fathers has abandoned them. Zion weeps not only for their infidelity to God, but also in compassion for their despair.

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For she saw the wrath that came upon you from God,
and she said: Listen, you neighbours of Zion,
God has brought great sorrow upon me.
Baruch 4, 9

God has distanced himself from His daughter, for her children have distanced themselves from Him. Even the most fortified palaces, castles, towers, and citadels have been entirely laid waste by the wrath of God because of the grave sins of Israel. Zion is no longer that fortress which cannot be shaken because of the people’s infidelity. God has drawn back His right hand from the enemy, because even His appointed kings and princes of the House of David are defiled by sin. The light and splendour of Zion has gone out, since she no longer exalts in the glory of the Lord through her offspring. No ally and earthly power can rescue her from the hands of her enemy. Only by humbly returning to God in faith and appealing to His mercy can the Israelites be delivered from ruin and captivity by Divine intervention which shall give Mother Zion cause for renewed joy.

​The prophecies of Jeremiah, Baruch, and Malachi, pertaining to the misery and sorrows of Mother Zion, because of the apostasy and idolatry of her sons and daughters, find their secondary fulfillment in Mary’s sorrow at the foot of the Cross. Her interior suffering serves to make temporal reparation and satisfaction to God in His justice for the sins of the world. On Golgotha, she grieves for her sacred Son, King and High Priest, whose death is brought about by his enemies. Mary’s heart is pierced not only by the mockery and insults they hurl on her beloved Son as he is cruelly put to death, but also by the soldier’s lance that pierces the sacred temple of his body (Mt 27:38-44; Jn 19:33-34; Lk 2:34-45). Because of sin, God does not spare even that which is sacred to Him, rending the Mother’s heart in two. In His justice, “He who [is] without sin is made sin for us” as a propitiation for sin to make eternal satisfaction to God and appease His wrath (2 Cor 5:21). To redeem the world, God has allowed the unclean to defile that which is sacred and clean, all to the sorrow and anguish of our Blessed Mother beneath the Cross. But “destroy this temple” (of his body) and our Lord “will raise it in three days” (Jn. 2:19; Lk 24:1-7).

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Now, why art thou drawn together with grief?
Hast thou no king in thee, or is thy counsellor perished,
because sorrow hath taken thee as a woman in labour.
Micah 4, 9

Beneath the Cross, Mary is overwhelmed with sorrow and misery, for God has withheld His right hand and allowed the unclean to defile what is most sacred to her. The agonizing words of her Son must penetrate the depths of her soul as she suffers because of her love for him: “My God, my God, why have you abandoned me!” The mother cannot be comforted in the loss of what is most precious to her. “How can [she] sing one of Zion’s songs on alien soil” (Ps 137:4). Only God can deliver Mary from having been drawn into the dark, alienated world of sin and death through mankind’s idolatry and ungratefulness to God by not letting her Son see corruption. Her sorrow is turned to joy upon his glorious resurrection, and as all the inhabitants on earth are reconciled to God and freed from the slavery of sin and oppression of death by her Son’s atoning death and the grace of redemption which he has merited for them in his paschal sacrifice (Rev 12:4).

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For I heard a cry as of a woman in labor,
anguish as of one bringing forth her first child,
the cry of daughter Zion gasping for breath,
stretching out her hands,
“Woe is me! I am fainting before killers!”
Jeremiah 4, 31

Mary’s suffering has the character of satisfaction in union with Jesus in that she suffers because of sin and the offence it offers to God. She suffers because of her love of God whom sin offends, by the love of her Son who is crucified for the sins of the world, and by the love she has for humanity which is ravaged by sin. The faithful remnant of Israel who must share in the suffering of those who brought about the ruin of the Hebrew nation by their sins and offences against God suffer in the same capacity that Mary does. It is they who acknowledge the sins of the nation and the need of making atonement for all the transgressions of the Divine laws handed down by Moses. Only by acknowledging their sins as a people and accepting their suffering as just shall they be delivered from captivity and restored to God’s friendship as a nation.

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Your sun will never set again,
and your moon will wane no more;
the LORD will be your everlasting light,
and your days of sorrow will end.
Then all your people will be righteous
and they will possess the land forever.
They are the shoot I have planted,
the work of my hands,
for the display of my splendor.
Isaiah 60, 20-21

The sorrowful scene at the Cross is Old Testament imagery and symbolism related to prophecy and the Judaic traditions. Isaiah 49:21, 54:1-3. and 66:7-11 carry the theme of Mother Zion amid sorrow over the loss of her children, when suddenly she is given a new and large family restored in God’s grace which is cause for rejoicing (Lk 1:46-49; Zeph 3:14-17). In the words of Raymond E. Brown (The Gospel According to John): “The sorrowful scene at the foot of the Cross represents the birth pangs by which the Spirit of salvation is brought forth (Isaiah 26:17-18) and handed over (John 29:30). In becoming the mother of the beloved disciple (The Christian), Mary is symbolically evocative of Lady Zion who, after birth pangs (interior sorrow) brings forth a new people in joy.”

Paul D. Hanson (Isaiah 40-66) adds: “Zion is not destined to grieve because of the loss she has endured, viz., the death of her Son. Instead, she will be able to compare her former desolation with the bustling activity of returnees (from exile) filling her towns and cities.” According to the author, the three-fold references to the children represent repopulated Zion. The returnees from exile foreshadow all believers in Christ who have been freed from the bondage of sin and impending eternal death, having been ransomed by the precious blood of Christ, but at the reparative cost of his blessed mother’s sorrow and anguish beneath the Cross in union with him (Rev 12:4).

Yet her sun shall never set again, nor her moon ever again wane, since she has helped make satisfaction to God for the sins of the world in union with her Son’s temporal satisfaction and thereby eternal expiation. Lady Zion finds its final consummation in the person of the Blessed Virgin Mary who is much more than a metaphor. Historically and tangibly, she is the mother of our Redeemer and our co-Redemptrix. Because of her impeccable faith working through love, she is forever “clothed with the sun with the moon under her feet” (Rev 12:1) gloriously reigning in heaven as Queen with her Son, our Lord and King.  Thus, Mary’s saving office is ratified on Calvary and from there continues even in Heaven. She remains to be a spiritual fortress and refuge of sinners in their spiritual combat with the Dragon. All those who bear witness to Christ her Son and keep God’s commandments implore Our Lady of Perpetual Help in their daily warfare with the Prince of Darkness in alliance with her until the consummation of this age (Rev 12:17).

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GIVE praise, O thou barren,
that bearest not: sing forth praise,
and make a joyful noise,
thou that didst not travail with child:
for many are the children of the desolate,
more than of her that hath a husband,
saith the Lord.
Isaiah 54, 1
.

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Salve Regina!