The Mother Of Christ by Father Vassall-Phillips Part 25

Furthermore, commenting on the from the words " Behold Thy Son," Origen wrote as follows :

"We may venture to say that the flower of all the Scriptures are the Gospels, and the flower of the Gospels is that according to John—the sense of which no one is able to receive who has not reclined upon the Breast of Jesus, or who has not received from Jesus Mary to be his mother also. Yea, such and so great must he needs become, who is to be another John, since he too must be shown by Jesus to be Jesus, as was John. For, if in the judgment of those whose sentiments are sound concerning Mary, there be no Son of Mary save Jesus, and if Jesus said to His Mother, ' Behold thy Son'—not ' Behold he too is thy Son '—it is the same as though He said: ' Behold he is Jesus whom thou didst bring forth.' For whosoever is Perfect, he no longer lives, but Christ lives in him— and since Christ lives in him, of him it is said to Mary : ' Behold thy Son—the Christ.'" 

Mary, then, according to Origen, was from the Cross constituted Mother of the Perfect. This distinction between " the Perfect" and ordinary Christians is constantly insisted upon by Origen. It need not detain us here. What is of interest is, to find that in the schools of Alexandria, in the third century, the idea was already in no way strange that when our Lady received John to be her son, she received not John alone—so that a Christian, who desired to enter deeply into the Mysteries of the Gospel, must recognise this truth and " receive from Jesus Mary to be his mother also."

But our Lady is not the mother of " the Perfect" only. She is the mother of all those in whose souls already the Image of her Son has in any degree been formed. St. Ephrem calls her "the Mother of all"

"Hail, Mother of all. Hail Fountain of Grace and the Solace of all. Hail refuge and hospice of sinners. Hail Mercy-seat of the afflicted. Hail place of sanctuary in Jerusalem. Hail most gracious Throne of our Creator." 

I need not then wait to be amongst " the Perfect," before, with John, I receive Mary to be my mother. It suffices that I yearn for her " Grace " and beseech her " Solace." It is enough that I own myself to be a sinner, to find " refuge " in her mother's heart; enough to know myself to be afflicted, to find " Mercy " before her "Throne," which once was constituted the Throne of the Creator. She has in truth been set up as a place of sanctuary in Jerusalem—the City of Peace—the Church of the Living God.