THE SECOND EPISTLE OF S. PAUL TO THE CORINTHIANS. CHAPTER IV.
6 For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God, in the face of Christ Jesus.
What light of the knowledge of the glory of God shined in Mary's heart, as she lived in presence of, and gazed so unceasingly in the Face of Christ Jesus. The whole account of Him during the eighteen years of His hidden life is, that " He increased in wisdom and age and in grace with God and with men," that is, He continually manifested more and more His Divine Wisdom, grace, and perfections. But to whom ? Was it not to Mary, for the illumination and sanctification of her soul ?
10 Always bearing about in our body the mortification of Jesus, that the life also of Jesus may be made manifest in our bodies.
11 For we who live are always delivered unto death for Jesus' sake; that the life also of Jesus may be made manifest in our mortal flesh.
So did Mary also. She always bore about in her body the mortification of Jesus, suffering ever for, and with Him. She bore too about with her Jesus Himself, whom she had herself offered to death, and "whose sorrow was always before Him." [Ps. xxxvii. l8] She bore, on Calvary, in her arms His body that had suffered, that body now dead. Hence the life of Jesus was verily made manifest in all resemblance, in its every feature, in her body, and visible in her life. Having given for us her Jesus to death, she lived as one always delivered unto death for Jesuit sake, and so the resurrection life of Jesus was made manifest at once after death in her mortal flesh.
15 For all things are for your sakes; that the grace abounding through many, may abound in thanksgiving unto the glory of God.
That fulness of grace, then, which Mary found and abounded in, is for our sakes too. On this account, therefore, it is for us to abound in thanksgiving, and so give glory to God.
17 For that which is at present momentary and light of our tribulation, worketh for us above measure exceedingly an eternal weight of glory.
What, then, must be the eternal weight of glory bestowed on Mary?
6 Therefore having always confidence, knowing that, while we are in the body, we are absent from the Lord.
7 (For we walk by faith, and not by sight).
8 But we are confident, and have a good will to be absent rather from the body, and to be present with the Lord.
9 And therefore we labour, whether absent or present, to please him.
We have in these words an image of Mary's peaceful confidence, and at the same time of her continually longing desire to be again united to her Divine Son, during her life of earthly sojourn after His Ascension ; whilst all the while her labour was, by complete conformity with His will, to please Him perfectly. Present with the Lord.—" If Christ, the Life and the Truth, saith : ' Where I am, there also shall My minister be ;' how much rather will not His Mother be with Him." [S. John Damasc., Orat. 2 de Dormit. B. V. M.]
16 Wherefore henceforth we know no man according to the flesh. And if we have known Christ according to the flesh; but now we know him so no longer.
Jesus too was estranged, so to say, in some sense from Mary: and Mary learned to give up and to be estranged from Jesus. But who can understand or express this mystery ? [See Luke ii. 48-50 ; Matt. xii. 47-50; John ii. 4.]