Last Updated: Friday - 09/24/2010
April 28, 2008
Doctrines on Mary biggest obstacle for Protestants – Hahn
By DEBORAH GYAPONG
Canadian Catholic News
Theologian and author Scott Hahn said the three biggest obstacles to his becoming a Catholic were: "Mary, Mary, Mary."
Like many evangelicals, the former Presbyterian minister had problems finding a biblical basis for Catholic teaching on the Immaculate Conception, the Assumption and Mary's heavenly queenship.
He and many other evangelicals believed the more Catholics give to Mary, the more they take away from Jesus, and "rob Jesus of the glory due him alone."
Yet since his 1986 conversion to the Catholic faith, Hahn now sees that Mary is Christ's masterpiece.
She is not a "self-made woman," he told a packed St. Patrick's Basilica in Ottawa April 12. Christ made her and redeemed her. And just as an artist would rather have you look at his masterpiece than at him, "Mary is his masterpiece."
In her, we can see the "perfection of Christ's redemptive work."
"She reflects all of his glory."
He noted how the Gospel of John parallels the creation account in Genesis. In Genesis, when Adam and Eve are created, it parallels the wedding at Cana, when Jesus and Mary are the only names mentioned.
That signified that Jesus was the new Adam, and Mary the new Eve.
He noted parallels between the Ark of the Covenant and Mary as the Ark of the New Covenant. The Gospel of Luke deliberately narrates events using words and phrases that evoke Old Testament stories of the Ark, that contained both heavenly manna and the commandments.
Mary "contained the Word of God made flesh."
David's dancing before the old Ark is matched in Luke by the unborn John the Baptist's leaping for joy in his mother Elizabeth's womb, when Mary, newly pregnant, comes to visit.
As for Mary's queenship, Hahn referred to 1 Kings 2, after Solomon has been anointed king of Israel. When his mother Bathsheba enters the court, he bows down in homage to her and asks that a throne be set up for her at his right hand. The queen mother was a feature of the court.
The genealogy at the beginning of the Gospel of Matthew establishes Jesus' "royal pedigree," Hahn said.
But it is in the Book of Revelation that John braids together the various images, when he writes at the end of chapter 11 about God's temple in heaven opening to reveal the ark of his covenant.
The next image, at the beginning of chapter 12, is of the pregnant woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet and a crown of 12 stars.
"God really looks out for us. He gave us the Blessed Virgin Mary. We have a mother because we need one."
Hahn pointed out that when Jesus, dying on the cross, gave his mother to his disciple and his disciple to his mother, it would have been illegal for him to do so if Mary had any other children.