MARY : BIBLICALLY AND TYPOLOGICALLY
First of all, let's start out by understanding just what "Typology" is;
TYPOLOGY: A person place or thing in the Old Testament, that prefigures the Person and work of Christ in the New Testament!
And Vatican II explained it this way;
VATICAN II : "The new Testament is hidden in the Old, and the Old Testament is made manifest in the New" (On Divine Revelation)
Sacred scripture says:
"Now these things happened to them as a warning, but they were written down for our instruction, upon whom the end of the ages has come" 1 Cor 10:11
To start out understanding the role of Mary in the Church, I want to set up the principle of Typology. We can see Moses in the Old Testament as a "type" of Christ! Note the following parallels:
1.) at birth, an imperial order to kill all male infants.
2.) Went down to Egypt to escape death,
3.) Left his position of power, to become a slave,
4.) Wandered in the desert for forty years, (Jesus for forty days),
5.) Went up the 'mount' to give the 'Law' !
Can you picture the incredible simmilarities between Moses and Jesus??
You can add to this list the fact that Paul declares that:
7 Now if the dispensation of death, carved in letters on stone, came with such splendor that the Israelites could not look at Moses' face because of its brightness, fading as this was,8 will not the dispensation of the Spirit be attended with greater splendor?2 Cor 3:7
Similarly, the Gospel of John says:
7 For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. John 1:17 (RSV)
All this shows the Biblical principal of typology. Keeping this in mind, we shall move on to the Blessed Mother.
MARY : THE NEW EVE!
15 I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your seed and her seed; he shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise his heel." Gen 3:15 (RSV)
Ever since the first century, Christians have recognized this passage as a prophecy of the Messiah, who would crush the head of Satan, as He himself, was stricken by the devil on the cross. There is much more to this passage than the prophecy of the Messiah and his death. Like peeling an onion layer by layer, we see much more foretold here as we go deeper and deeper. First of all, Christ is described as the seed of the woman. this is very unusual in Bibilcal language. Normally, the 'seed' refers to the man, but here it is the seed of the 'woman'. This would seem to indicate the "Virgin birth", i.e. no human father. Otherwise we would see the 'seed of the man'. Now since all of Eves' children were born by natural birth, the woman spoken of here is not Eve, though she is the only 'woman' present in this scene. The 'woman' must be the Mary, whose seed is Christ! Here is one parallel of Mary and Eve.
In 155 a.d., Justin Martyr wrote: " that he became man by the virgin so that the course which was taken by disobedience in the beginnig through the agency of the serpent, might be also the very course by which it would be put down. For Eve, a virgin and undefiled, concieved the word of the serpent, and bore disobedience and death. But the Virgin Mary received faith and joy when the angel announced to her the glad tidings that the Spirit of the Lord would come upon her, and the power of the Most High would overshadow her, for which reason the Holy one being born to her would be called the Son of God. And she replied: "Be it done unto me according to thy word."
Likewise in 210 a.d. Tertullian wrote :"...it was while Eve was still a virgin that the word of the devil crept in to erect an ediface of death. Likewise, trhrough a virgin, the Word of God was introduced to set up a structure of life. Thus, what had been laid waste in ruin by this sex, was by the same sex reestablished in salvation. Eve had believed the serpent, Mary believed Gabriel. That which one destroyed by believing, the other, by believing, set straight."
So you can see how the early Church saw this passage and the relationship of Eve and Mary. Mary setting aright what Eve set afoul. In both cases it is the Adams who do the actual work. St. Paul says For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ shall all be made alive. 1 Cor 15:22 (RSV). Thus it was the first Adam who gave us original sin and death, and the second Adam(Christ), who restores us and gives us life! The early Church Fathers had a saying "Death through Eve, life through Mary". Even though Eve and Mary were not the ultimate causes of our death and redemption, it was through them, and their actions that death and life entered into world!
In summary then of Mary as the new Eve, we read in Scripture of Christ being compared to Adam: 45 Thus it is written, "The first man Adam became a living being"; the last Adam became a life-giving spirit.46 But it is not the spiritual which is first but the physical, and then the spiritual.47 The first man was from the earth, a man of dust; the second man is from heaven. 1 Cor 15:45-47 . And in another place :"14 Yet death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over those whose sins were not like the transgression of Adam, who was a type of the one who was to come. " Romans 5:14 . We see the prophecy of Genesis 3:15 speak of a woman other than Eve, a woman that scholars say is Mary, the mother of the 'seed'. And we see early Christian witness that through Mary, the sin of Eve was set straight. What does this all mean for us today? If Mary is the new Eve, and she is, then read Gen 3:20 " The man called his wife's name Eve, because she was the mother of all living. " If Eve was the "Mother of all the living", how much more so Mary?? This dovetails nicely with John19:26-27 "When Jesus saw his mother, and the disciple whom he loved standing near, he said to his mother, "Woman, behold, your son!" Then he said to the disciple, "Behold, your mother!" And from that hour the disciple took her to his own home." And finally, as Fr. Ken Roberts likes to ask:"How can you have a second Adam, without a second Eve??
Since, as we have seen, Mary is the "New Eve". reason tells us that she must have been "Immaculately Conceived"!! Why? well if the first Adam, the first Eve, and the second Adam were immaculately conceived, what should that tell you about the second Eve?? We can also show Marys' sinless life from this. How? The first Eve was sinless till her 'yes' to the bad angel, the second Eve remained sinless because of her 'yes' to the good angel!