At the lux.maiden residential weekend, there was an opportunity to ask questions about Mary to an expert panel. It was formed of Fr Simon Penhalagan from Burnham, Deacon Michael Fleming from Northampton, lux.participant Ashley from Dunstable and Speaker Anna Cowell from Leeds.
Here are some of the questions that were asked and some of the answers given.
1. Why did Mary always wear blue?
In Iconography colours mean different things. For example red symbolises divinity, white symbolises purity and blue symbolises humanity. Therefore Mary wears blue to show her humanity.
Another suggestion is that blue represents the sky on the way to heaven.
Alternatively it could just be because Mary had blue eyes so it suited her!
2. Why is Joseph not mentioned after Jesus was born? Apart from when they lose Jesus in the temple.
The general presumption is that he died.
3. If sinning is part of being human, how is Mary human?
When Adam and Eve turned away from God, this is known as original sin. The word concupiscence describes humanities desire/tendancy to sin. Before that, sin didn't exist. Mary received true humanity so she was the ultimate human. By the Holy Spirit she was able to remain faithful and refuse sin. God made her like he made Eve before the fall, which is why sometimes she is referred to as the new Eve however she didn't get it wrong.
4. If Adam & Eve didn't happen and therefore would have original sin, then what is the Immaculate Conception?
Adam and Eve is a story to illustrate humanity turning away from God. At some point in history there were the first men and the first women. At some point they rejected God, whether or not it was as told in Genesis, but they did reject God.
Humanity got it wrong somehow at the beginning. Adam and Eve represent all of us as 'typical humanity'.
The Immaculate Conception picks up on restoring Mary to the state just before conscious thought said no.
5. Would Mary guide those who don't pray?
Mary is Queen of heaven and earth. At the foot of the cross Jesus gave Mary to His beloved disciple and vice versa. We are also Jesus' beloved disciples and therefore Mary is our mother. As mothers do, she wants best for her children so she cares and prays for us even if we don't know her. She is still winning us to draw closer to Jesus.
6. Out of everyone in the world, why was Mary chosen to be the mother of God?
Mary was selected as showing she had what it took. The Bible tells us about Jesus' family (Matthew 1, Luke 3). It says that Jesus' ancestor would be the prophet David, so he had to be his mother's too. We are also told that Jesus would be born into a family of priests, prophets and kings. Therefore his mother had to be the same. For example, Mary's cousin Elizabeth was descended from Aeron and therefore kingly and priestly lineages were in the family.
Mary's ancestory made her the first person to fulfill all the prophesies about Jesus' family.
7. So where was her free will if only Mary could fulfill the prophesies?
God knows what decisions we will make. He doesn't take away our free will but as he is outside of time he sees the blueprint of our lives. He didn't make her say yes but he saw that she would.
If you have any more questions please feel free to contact us by leaving a comment below or sending us an email and we will do our best to find the answer!