The person who fixes my dreads (sorry, I meant the person who retouches my dreads. You see Naomi, I remembered.) is not working today, so I have some time to write something small. A friend of mine recently shared a verse with me i.e. First Timothy 2:5. The verse says, “For there is only one God, and there is only one mediator between God and humanity, himself a human being, Christ Jesus.”
He also shared other verses including Matthew 5:23-24, which says, “So then, if you are bringing your offering to the altar and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your offering there before the altar, go and be reconciled with your brother first, and then come back and present your offering.”
Another verse he mentioned is James 5:14-15, which says, “Anyone of you who is ill should send for the elders of the church, and they must anoint the sick person with oil in the name of the Lord and pray over him.”
Now, I had quoted James 5:16. It says, “So confess your sins to one another, and pray for one another to be cured; the heartfelt prayer of someone upright works very powerfully.” I had used this verse to show that God asks us to pray for another and therefore, we should ask the Holy Mother to pray for us. I was trying to show people where the last verse of the Hail Mary Prayer comes from i.e. “Pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death amen.” (The word ‘I’ in this paragraph refers to the pic I shared that had the explanation on Mary. In other words, someone else came up with it, but I happened to agree with him. Please see the picture below.)
His argument, basing it on Matthew 5:23-24, was that we should confess our sins to one another. No one is arguing against that. Ironically, the verse I quoted (James 5:16) supports this argument more than the one he quoted. I would add that Mary is one of us and as such, we should confess our sins to her as well (I will explain how she is still one of us later).
His next argument is that when you read James 5:16 together with James 5:14-15, you would realize that James is asking church elders to pray for the sick to strengthen their faith. He also adds that James implies the Church elders are alive i.e. not dead (He believes Mary is dead). The interesting part is that James 5:16 is a progression of James 5:14-15.
Notice the use of the word ‘and’ in James 5:16. It means that you should confess your sins to one another even if you are not sick. Notice the use of the semi-colon after the word cured. People use a semicolon between two independent clauses. Therefore, the heartfelt prayer of someone upright works powerfully, when he prays for a sick person or a healthy person. As you can clearly see, my friend misinterpreted the entire verse.
Did you notice the emphasis on confessing your sins to one another in James 5:16? Did you know that the Catholic Church emphasizes on confession? In fact, Confession is one of the Six Precepts of the Catholic Church. Does your Church stress the importance of confession?
Did you also notice the emphasis on anointing the sick in James 5:14-15? The Catholic Church has seven sacraments. Does your Church have sacraments? Does it need sacraments? We can discuss them another day.
Finally, notice the use of the words ‘heartfelt prayer of someone upright’ and ‘powerfully.’ They appear in James 5:16. Who extends Mary, the Mother of Jesus, in uprightness? Is she not the most blessed among women (Luke 1:42). The English Knights were fond of saying, “Hail, the King.” Here, Angel Gabriel said, “Hail, favored one (Luke 1:28).” One of God’s greatest angels can pay reverence to her. Who are we mortals to deny her special recognition? Angel Gabriel would not honor her in such ways if she were not upright. More importantly, she would not carry Christ if she were not holy. Therefore, her prayers for us would work powerfully, because she is upright (James 5:16).
Remember that verse my friend quoted i.e. First Timothy 2:5 that says Christ is the only mediator between God and us. Does it not contradict James 5:16? Think about it. James explicitly asks us to pray for one another. Is he not asking us to mediate for each us? If so, then does it not contradict Timothy 2:5? No, it does not. My friend quoted it without understanding it correctly.
Jesus is God. Therefore, we are praying for each other to God i.e. Father, Son, and the Holy Spirit. In other words, your brother, mother, the saints, and the Holy Mother do not overlap Jesus when they pray for you to God because Jesus is God. Remember, Paul starts this chapter with “urge then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgiving should be offered for everyone (First Timothy 2:1.)”
It is important to note that he continues, “To do this is right, and acceptable to God our Savior) First Timothy 2:3.” Is Jesus not our Savior? Is he not our God? Therefore, my friend ought to read these verses in their proper context so that he can understand them and the come to the fullness of faith, which is in the Catholic Church.
Finally, this entire debate hinges on the question of whether the Holy Mother is dead. Do you not find it ironic that we know how all the 12 disciples died, but we do not know how Mary died? Did she die? We have no record of it. Could God take her into heaven without her suffering from death? Yes, he could. That is why he is God i.e. he can do anything.
Is there an example of where God did such a thing? Do you remember Enoch and Elijah? Read Hebrews 11:5 and 2 Kings 2:11. Now we know Mary not having died is possible. The question is why Catholics focus on Mary and not Joseph.
Well, Angel Gabriel did not say, “Hail Joseph.” More importantly, Joseph seems to have died before Jesus’ crucifixion. Remember, he was not at Golgotha during Jesus’ affliction. However, the most critical evidence is in Revelation 12. It speaks of a Queen in Heaven. “And a great portent appeared in heaven, a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars,” – Revelation 12:1.
Is this why Angel Gabriel addressed her with such respect? Is she the Queen of Heaven? You see, Catholics believe that Mary is alive. In fact, she is in Heaven. Are there other humans in heaven? Remember, Enoch and Elijah. Therefore, as you can clearly see, Catholic teaching on Mary is Biblically sound. Conversely, Protestant arguments against Mary have no Biblical basis, at least not in the verses mentioned by my friend.
I prepared this by myself in about 2 hours. I saw the comment, and I started responding to it. You cannot see it, but I am clapping for myself right now. I am not a theologian or spokesperson for the Catholic Church so my arguments do not represent the Church, but most of them stem from Catholic teaching.
Feedback especially criticism is highly welcome. Lastly, nimechoka and I have to go to somewhere, grammar nitacorrect siku ingine.