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Jason wrote:

Dear Mike:

I have been studying the belief of the co-redemption of Mary and I read a web site that stated:

In a nutshell, the Incarnation could not have taken place if Mary had not accepted the divine invitation to be the Mother of the Redeemer. The entire plan of salvation depended on Mary's acceptance and her freely given assent and was therefore the key that opened the door to redemption for the human race.

If this is, in fact, the case, and explains why Mary is considered to be co-redeemer then I must strongly disagree with this conclusion. The Incarnation was not dependent upon Mary's free will because that would nullify the omniscience of God who knows the ends from the beginnings.

From our perspective, I can understand the lack of certainty of the future, but from God's perspective, he sees and has already seen everything in the future so Mary's free will decision
to accept her role in giving birth to the Word of God was part of the overall pre-ordained plan of salvation which God had set forth in the Prophets. If the above statement were true, taken to its next logical step, the logical conclusion would have to be that if Mary had rejected the divine invitation to bear the Redeemer of humanity, then God would have had to have given up and called it a night. He'd lost.

This is impossible and I'm sure you would have to agree.

Please let me know what you think.

Jason

  { If Incarnation was dependent upon Mary's free will, would not it nullify the omniscience of God? }

Mike replied:

Hi, Jason —

Thanks for your question.

I would have to disagree with some of your conclusions.

You said:
The Incarnation was not dependent upon Mary's free will because that would nullify the omniscience of God who knows the ends from the beginnings.

The Incarnation WAS dependent upon Mary's free will because like you and me, she was a human with free will. We have to separate two issues here:

  • God's omniscience, and all-knowing, and
  • our knowledge has human beings

Although Catholics believe Mary was sinless, her sinless-ness did not take away from her humanity (e.g. free will)

Question you may have: Could Mary have said No to Gabriel?

YES.

Question you may have: Would that have meant "God would have had to have given up and called it a night?"

NO.

Mankind can know [or understand] much [or many] of God's ways, but not all of them. We partake in divine nature, but we are NOT divine, nor do we have divine minds.

If Mary had said No, mankind cannot think of what would have been in the divine plan for our salvation, but because God is all good, He would have had some divine plan for us.

God does not create new life, us, just to damn it. That would be contrary to God's nature.

Thankfully, Mary said YES!

Thanks again,

Mike

Jason replied:

Thank you Mike for the prompt reply but I would also disagree with some of your conclusions, respectably, of course.

I do agree that Mary was a human being with free will but it was all in God's plan that Mary agree to bear the Son of God. From our finite perspectives, everything appears uncertain but all of our free will choices were known by God from eternity so I would say that there wasn't any chance of Mary rejecting the offer to bear God's Son. God knew everything that had already happened and was to happen, before it was even thought to happen by us.

The same is true with Adam and Eve. I would disagree that God's original plan for mankind was for Adam and Eve to obediently live with him forever. This, of course, was disrupted by Adam and Eve's sin.

I believe God's plan for mankind was, and is, that all of mankind be saved by the sinless sacrifice of Jesus Christ and to live with Him eternally in paradise.

God Bless,

Jason

Mike replied:

Hi, Jason —

You said:
I do agree that Mary was a human being with free will but it was all in God's plan that Mary agree to bear the Son of God. From our finite perspectives, everything appears uncertain but all of our free will choices were known by God from eternity so I would say that there wasn't any chance of Mary rejecting the offer to bear God's Son. God knew everything that had already happened and was to happen, before it was even thought to happen by us.

I agree, God knows the past and the future choices we make, but that doesn't negate Mary's free will to say Yes OR No in becoming the Mother of the Messiah, in the SAME way, God could not negate Adam and Eve's free will to submit to the temptation of the devil in the Garden.

He knew it was going to happen, but it doesn't negate Mary's, Adam's or Eve's free will to choose something God either wants or doesn't want.

You said:
I would disagree that God's original plan for mankind was for Adam and Eve to obediently live with him forever.

This WAS God's original plan but Adam and Eve's free will brought about the need for a New Adam, Our Blessed Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ and a New Eve, His and Our Blessed Mother Mary.

Like I said in my first reply:

because God is all good, He would have had some divine plan for us.

After Adam and Eve's fall, that plan was to send His Divine Son to us, for the sake of our salvation.

Thanks for your e-mail,

Mike

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