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This last weekend of October, Fr. Dominic Yamoah has chosen to reflect with you the question of Mary’s mediatrix role. Father Yamoah’s focus will be to answer two important questions that people usually ask about Mary: Do Catholics worship Mary? and “Why do we pray to Mary? These are often the points of arguments between Catholics and Non- Catholics.

According to Fr. Dominic, Catholics do not worship Mary but pay respect or venerate her. There is a difference between veneration of Mary and worship of Jesus. The Catholic Church formalized this in writing back in 757 AD at the seventh General council: the church used the word “Latria” for the worship due to God, and then uses “Dulia” and “Hyper dulia” for the saints and Mary.

The church is always clear in its teachings that God alone deserves worship. The greater veneration that is given to Mary than the saints (hyper dulia) is in recognition of her special role in our salvation history, thus her unique closeness to Jesus her son and her exemplary life, which also brings people closer to his son.

In answer to the question of prayers to Mary, Fr. Dominic Yamoah points out that the church normally uses the term, “pray through her” or “with Mary”. We do not pray to her to answer our needs herself but ask for her intercession in our needs.

The truth as Fr. Dominic explained is that Jesus is the only mediator between God, and us but the church believes that because of her unique role and position as the mother of Jesus, she is in a better position to stand in the gap between his son and us. This is explained in the form of a ladder, which has God on top and Jesus at the center as our mediator and with Mary below the ladder helping, us get to Jesus.

Therefore, it is like to God through Jesus and to Jesus through Mary. She stands in the way and prays for us just as we always ask people to pray for us. The belief is that if human persons can pray for God’s hand in the life of others like Moses(praying for Israel with his hands raised to win a battle-Exodus 17:8-13) and Joshua (praying to keep the light of the sun all day-Joshua 10:12) in the bible for the people of Israel, how much more the mother of Jesus. The gospel relates two passes about Mary intercessory role: the wedding at Cana where Jesus performed his first miracle at Mary’s request and at the foot of the cross where Jesus hands over John, the beloved disciple (Representing all Christians) to Mary to be her son. She therefore intercedes for us always as a good mother will pray for a son.

There is a little story that Fr. Dominic Yamoah shares about Mary’s intercessory role in our lives. A female doctor in his home parish shared this experience about her experience of the rosary and our Lady’s intercession. She had a dream in which she was joining a huge crowd of people forcing their way to Jesus for answers to various needs. She felt she needed Jesus urgently but could not bypass others in the line for her turn. Then as she kept thinking about a way to get to Jesus faster, a man who had already had his chance with Jesus advised her to talk to a woman behind the crowd about her desire to see Jesus soon. She went to the woman, explained that she was in pain, and wanted to see Jesus but the crowd was too much to wait for her turn. To her amazement, this woman just got up and shouts to Jesus at the top of her voice saying “my son”. Jesus turned and asked, “What is it mother”. Then she told him “your daughter wants to talk to you”. Jesus then signaled to the doctor asking what she wanted. Her response was for healing at which Jesus told her to go back in peace. This was when she woke up and realized she has received healing almost instantly. She therefore attributed her healing to our lady’s intercession. She has become a stronger devotee to Our Lady of the rosary.

Fr. Dominic Yamoah concluded that the cult of Our Lady in the Catholic tradition is never in conflict with the role of Jesus as our mediator and the object of our worship. Experiences shows that a tender devotion to Mary draws us closer to God that keeps us apart from him. Fr. Dominic Yamoah therefore encouraged everyone to become part of this devotion. As we end the month of rosary, we are encouraged not end the recitation of rosary but continue with it each and every day of your life as we reflect on the mysteries of Christ through the rosary.

Gh Blinks

Gh Blinks is a young industrious, motivated, passionate, highly productive, and creative blogger and writer with strong communication and problem-solving skills. He has a couple of awards and honors to his credit.

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