Our poor tired world can seem submerged and stuck in an opaque quagmire. Yet what does God intend? What is His perspective?
This text from the Song of Songs tells us: a garden!
… A garden enclosed is my sister, my bride,
a garden enclosed, a fountain sealed……
a garden fountain, a well of living water,
and flowing streams from Lebanon.
Awake, O north wind,
and come, O south wind!
Blow upon my garden
that its fragrance may be wafted abroad.
Let my beloved come to his garden,
and eat its choicest fruits.
I come to my garden, my sister, my bride;
I gather my myrrh with my spice,
I eat my honeycomb with my honey,
I drink my wine with my milk.
Eat, friends, drink,
and be drunk with love.
(Song of Songs, 4:12 ff)
In spite of the mess we have created due to the sin we continue to choose, God remains faithful! He placed our first parents in a garden, signifying that we were to work with Him, to thrive as His children and to be raised into His divine life. After the man and his wife fractured that relationship, He (God) initiated His plan to restore humanity, through the “seed”, the offspring, of the Woman. (Gen 3:15) We are still to be His Bride!
The Holy Scriptures record the History of Salvation that intertwines with human history. It is about this plan, the Lord’s cultivation of His garden. In the Old Testament, the people of Israel are often represented as His spouse (at times, the unfaithful spouse). In the New Testament the Church becomes the New Israel, the Bride of the Lamb of God. God’s Word will be fulfilled. Through His way of Mercy His wayward people will be brought back to Him, to become, in the Church, the faithful spouse who will be lifted up into union with Him.
Since the days of the early Church, Christians have understood that Mary is the Woman whose Offspring will crush the serpent’s head. Assumed into heaven, into the fullness of Christ’s Life, she is the Sign and Model of the Holy Church and of our transformation.
Through the grace of Jesus Christ, we are made for Eternal Life! The Fathers of the Church even call it divinization. Our faith makes claims that are bold and, at times, beyond our fathoming. To some they seem preposterous and absurd.
Yet, is it not ALL OR NOTHING? Real absurdity comes from rejecting faith. If there is no God, all comes to nothing. Believing in Jesus, all makes sense.
A Mary Garden - your Mary Garden - is a simple and beautiful declaration of faith and hope for our world now. We - Mother Mary and the whole Church – are the Bride of the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world.
- The second annual Mary Garden Contest is sponsored by the Museum of Family Prayer. Photo entries are due by July 16, 2022. Prizes will be awarded. Helpful information and inspiration will be added to the contest webpage throughout the contest.