Justin Martyr spoke about Mary as a type of Eve. Similarly, the church father Tertullian noted that “what had been laid waste in ruin by this sex [in Eve] was by the same sex reestablished in salvation. Eve had believed the serpent; Mary believed Gabriel. That which the one destroyed by believing, the other, by believing, set straight.” Through her obedience Mary functions as a second Eve, even as Christ functioned as a second Adam.
Marcelo P. Souza recently reflected on the similarities between Eve and Mary, noting “As Eve received the word of the fallen angel, and through the fruit and the tree brought death to the world, so the Second Eve, Mother of the Second Adam, also received the word of the angel – this time the words of life from the angel of God – and through the fruit of her womb, brought life to the world. As Eve stood by the tree of life and brought death, the Second Eve stood by the tree of death which brought life.”
God calls us all to walk in the pattern of Mary, not Eve. For the rest of this Christmas season (because remember, Christmas begins not ends on December 25 and lasts all the way until Epiphany), spend some time meditating on how you can imitate the faith of Mary.
Also spend some time meditating on the paradox of the Virgin birth. The birth of the Christ-child from the womb of the Holy Mother is one of the most remarkable mysteries. As the one who dawned forth God for us, Mary became the unique location the uncontainable God. Through her submission to the divine will, the unencompassable God became encompassed and the unbounded God was bound by the womb of the Virgin. What does this tell you about God? What does it tell you about humanity?
To read more of my thoughts about Mary, and what her faith means for us today, click on the following links: