While preparing a talk on Mary the Mother of God for the recent Pilgrimage, I came across some good stuff from Dr George Gabriel’s book, Mary the Untrodden Portal of God.
Check this out:
From eternity, God provided for a communion with His creation that would remain forever. In that communion mankind would attain to the eternal theosis for which it was made. The communion, of course, is the Incarnation through the Ever-Virgin. Mankind’s existence and, therefore, that of all creation is inexorably tied to Mary because she was always to be the Mother of the Incarnate Word. The fathers say that neither the course of human events nor necessity of any kind forced the Uncreated One to join to Himself a creaturely mode of existence. God did not become flesh because some actions of the devil or of man made it necessary, but because it was the divine plan and mystery from before the ages. Despite the works of Satan and coming of sin into the world, the eternal will of God was undeterred, and it moved forward.
History and the course of human events were the occasion and not the cause of the Incarnation. The Incarnation did not take place for the Crucifixion; the Crucifixion took place so that the Incarnation and the eternal communion of God and man could be fulfilled despite Satan, sin, and death
. Explaining that there was no necessity in God the Father that required the death of His Son, St Gregory the Theologian says the Father “neither asked for Him nor demanded Him, but accepts [His death] on account of the economy [of the Incarnation] and because mankind must be sanctified by the humanity of God.” St Gregory is telling us that, from before the ages, it was the divine will for mankind to be sanctified and made immortal by communion with the humanity of the Incarnate God, but corruptibility and death came and stood in the way. By His Passion and Resurrection, Jesus Christ destroyed these obstacles and saved, that is, preserved, mankind for the Incarnation’s eternal communion of the God-Man and immortal men. St John of Damascus repeats the same idea that the Incarnation is a prior and indeed ontological purpose in itself, and that redemption is the means to that end. Thus, he says the Holy Virgin “came to serve in the salvation of the world so that the ancient will of God for the Incarnation of the Word and our own theosis may be fulfilled through her.
Note: Italics in the original, bold & underline – mine.
SOURCE: Mary the Untrodden Portal of God by George S. Gabriel, pp.97-98.
Image – The blessing of Pilgrims prior to the Procession into the church by His Grace, Bishop BASIL, the Rt Rev’d Archimandrite Daniel Keller, and the faithful (10/16/10).