I love opinionated non-PC people. This blog is to vent my opinions on life, the universe and everything. Which is 42 which in gematria is "My Heart" (LBY) according to Rabbi Abulafia. The Divine Heart is the centre of everything.

Thursday, June 04, 2015

The Role of Mary in John 1: A Hebrew Catholic Insight: Part 1


St Bernard of Clairvaux taught that Our Lady could be found on every page of the Bible. She is there in a hidden and mystical manner. As discussed in my other blogs, Our Lady is the Lady of Wisdom connected to the first word of the Bible Bereshit. She is that Reshit (Beginning/ first) - the template for all Creation when read through a Marian or Sophia prism. This word bereshit can also be read through a Eucharistic or Messianic prism as well as a Joseph or Tzadik prism and a Luisan or Divine Will prism or paradigm. The Marian dimension of bereshit encompasses the other paradigms as the Womb of the Mother which is the created Womb before the Dawn (Psalm 110:3) and Miriam's Well (Rashi on Numbers 20:2; b. Ta'anit 9a; Song of Song Rabba 1:2; 4:14, 27; Zohar II:190b etc).

John's Gospel begins with "In the Beginning" revealing this Lady Reshit (Arche in Greek, Kadmin in Aramaic) in intimate union with the Divine Word (Dabar in Hebrew, Memra in Aramaic and Logos in Greek). John 1:1 is directly alluding to Genesis 1:1 and the Aramaic targum on Genesis 1:1. This created Lady of Reshit is the "face upon the waters" who is in synergy with the Holy Spirit in Eternity, as revealed in the beautiful literary icon of Genesis 1:2. When she is in synergy with the Holy Spirit as the spouse of the Holy Spirit the Holy Spirit can be referred as 'She' instead of "He". Proverbs 8 and Wisdom 7 also link this created Lady Wisdom with Creation.  

The term synergy in regards to the relationship of Our Lady in Eternity and the Holy Spirit was made popular in Mariology by St Maximilian Kolbe. It alludes to the Hebrew concept or verb of m'rachefet in Genesis 1:2 which can be translated as moving, hovering, brooding and making fecund (fruitful or fertilising), and relaxing and fluttering or shaking. It also alludes to the eagle hovering over its young one in order to teach it to fly in Deuteronomy 32:11. The young eaglet can represent Our Lady and the Eagle the Holy Spirit (also see Apocalypse 12) when interpreted through a feminine dimension. In a masculine setting it represents the synergy between St. Joseph and the Father. 

Thus m'rachefet represents the union of two or more forces performing or generating one action or work together. The concept of the Eagle and eaglet hovering together remind us that these two 'forces' that are synergising are by no means equal in origin or in performing the task. This concept of working together (co-workers) of God and man as a synergy is referred to by St Paul in 1 Corinthians 3:9 and thus alludes to the Divine divinising the human and his acts.

John 1:3 refers to the panta (all or all things) which in Hebrew is Kol (all) who is mentioned in Wisdom 7. In Wisdom 7:22 she is called the artificer or nursling mother (amon) of all. Jewish tradition refers to her as Bakol (With All) the mystical daughter of Abraham (Genesis 24:1). The Universe is made in her image and St Paul refers to the Universe as a Woman groaning in childbirth awaiting the revelation of the Sons of God (Romans 8).

In John 1:4 it states that in the Word was Life (zoe in Greek, chaya in Hebrew). The Hebrew and Greek words zoe and chaya are feminine and this life is thus feminine-it is the Holy Spirit working in perfect synergy with Our Lady in Eternity as the light radiating from Jesus the Divine Word.  This Life who is the Holy Spirit in synergy with Our Lady radiating from the Word is the light that illumines man. Today the Divine Word made Flesh dwells in the Blessed Sacrament and sends forth this light (phos) of the Holy Spirit in synergy with Our Lady into our hearts and all creation during the Mass and Eucharistic Adoration. 

The Holy Spirit is the uncreated Chaya (Spirit of Life) and Our Lady is the created Chaya (female Living Creature).  Jesus as the Word is the Chai (life) or Chaim (lives) which are the masculine form of Life in Hebrew. The Bible and the Zohar speak of the four Chayot (Living Creatures). Jesus as the God-Man is the Supreme Chai who is known as the Man. Our Lady is the little Chaya known as the Lioness (Ariela). Luisa Piccarreta is the very little Chaya known as the Eagle. St Joseph is the hidden Chai known as the Ox (bull calf) or Unicorn.  In a sense we can say that the Life (zoe, chaya) that is the light for all men is the light of all four chayot working in union with the uncreated Chaya the Holy Spirit. Thus this Life and Light is the Divine Will and those who lived in it on earth. 

John the Baptist himself was not one of those who lived in the Kingdom of the Divine Will but he was the preparer of this Kingdom as one sent by God as a testimony to the Light (photos) which comes forth from the Divine Word. John himself was not the light (phos) as he didn't dwell in the Kingdom of the Divine Will on earth but he came to witness to the Light (photos) which radiated from the source of this light (phos) that animates all. The Greek uses two different forms of the word for light as phos and photos. Phos seems to be the source of the Light who is the Word. Photos seems to be the light that radiates from the source in John 1:4-9. This light (phos) is connected with the "vayhi or" (and there was light) of Genesis 1 that was hidden in Miriam's well (Or haGanuz), which concealed the dual mysteries (twilight) of the Incarnation and Immaculate Conception. This was, according to the Jewish mystics and rabbis, the concealed created female light.This light in Judaism is called the light of the Messiah. The LXX Genesis also uses these two different forms of light (phos and photos).

The Fathers of the Church such as Irenaeus, Tertullian and John of Damascus referred to a more ancient reading of John in which John 1:12-13 is read differently so that we can read it as referring to the virgin birth of Christ. These translations allowed for the use of the singular 'was' not the plural 'were' in translations of verse 13(see Father Aidan Nichols "There is No Rose" and Father Christiaan W. Kappes "The Immaculate Conception"). The word tekna (children or sons) is the Greek translation of Beni (sons), however the original text may have been ben (son) or beni (my son) alluding to the Akeidah (binding of Isaac).  Isaac is referred to as both beni (my son) and yachid (only begotten) in Genesis 22. Is John confirming a prophetic interpretation of the Akeidah as referring to the Word become flesh (the Lamb of God) who will be the beni and yachid of God himself?

I  would read John 1:12-13 as "As many as received him, he gave authority (of the Child (Beni) of God who caused all to come into being) for those believing on the Name of him. For He (the Child of God) was born not of bloods, nor the will of the flesh nor of the human will, but of God was he only-begotten (yachid)." The word in Greek for bloods is aimata which refers to menstrual bloods which the Greek Fathers taught meant that the Virgin did not become ritually impure as other women before conceiving a child. She was the all-holy and all pure one. Some of the Fathers also taught that this also meant that her hymen was intact before, during and after the birth of Jesus. Thus the Virgin had not reached the stage of fertility in puberty before the Holy Spirit overshadowed her and miraculously enabled her to conceive immaculately and virginally.

Thus from this process the Word became flesh and dwelt among us according to John 1:14. This process refers to the concept of dwelling (shekhen) which alludes to the Shekhinah (the female presence) who is the kavoda (female glory) who makes it possible for the Word in the Flesh to dwell on earth. The Greek text alludes to the Tent or Tabernacle known as the Mishkan and later as the Temple. Thus this pregnant Virgin who is the Godbearer (Theotokos)  can be referred to as the Tent, Tabernacle or Temple that houses the Divine Presence, Light or Word who is her Son the only begotten Child (yachid) of God.

The words grace (charitos) and truth are feminine and allude to the reality that the Word in the flesh is full of his mother (charitos, chen) in synergy with His Holy Spirit (alethias, emet, truth). Glory is also doxan (kavoda) in the Greek which also alludes to his mother who he glorifies or kavods according to the command of the Ten Commandments (Honour thy mother and father) as he also does in regards to his Father of whom he is the only only-begotten Son or Child (yachid). Doxan is also a feminine word in Greek. The concept of Shekhinah in Jewish mystical tradition also is linked to the concept of the All (Kol) as the 10th and unifying sefirah (attribute or emanation) of the Sefirotic array.

 In John 1:16 we again see a hint of the synergy of Our Lady and the Holy Spirit in the phrase "grace upon grace" (charin anti charitos) in which charin represents the uncreated grace of the Holy Spirit and charitos the created grace of Our Lady who is the Mediatrix of all graces. This alludes to Genesis 1 with the Spirit of God hovering (synergising) over the face (Our Lady) upon the waters (her Graces or Seas produced by this synergising process of doing all acts in the Divine Will).

End of Part One

The Role of Mary in John 1: A Hebrew Catholic Insight: Part 2

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