If one were to compose a life of Mary, one could rightfully go back to the book of Genesis. Satan seems to have won the day in the Garden, but God will have the last word. Indeed, God will speak his Word to Mary, she will consent and receive it and then this Word will undo all the damage inflicted by the serpent’s temptation. This Word becomes flesh so that just as sin entered the world through the sin of a man and woman, now grace and redemption could be restored through a woman and her seed. The Good News of our redemption begins not in the New Testament writings at the end of the Bible, but in the first book of the Old Testament, Genesis.
God has no secret plan, he tells it in a straight-forward way right to Satan’s face. This is how sure God is that nothing can thwart his plans. He says: “I shall put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers; it will bruise your head and you will strike its heel” (Genesis 3:15). God is going to win, that is all there is to it!
While we regularly give emphasis to Adam and his sin, the actual story seems to highlight Eve. She is the one intimidated and tempted by the serpent or dragon. Adam was merely seduced by Eve into tasting the forbidden fruit. The first father of mankind comes across as a first class wimp. I suspect the biblical author deliberately wanted to communicate this weakness on Adam’s part. His fall is not only a disgrace but an embarrassment to all the men who would follow him. He displays none of the traits which we hold in high regard for men. He is a weakling and a coward. The contrast with Jesus is drastic. Adam runs away and hides in the Garden, taking Eve with him. Christ waits for his betrayer in the Garden of Gethsemane and when he suffers his Cross and passion, Mary follows him to the bitter end. Adam makes excuses when he is questioned by God. Jesus proclaims the truth when he is interrogated by Caiaphas and Pilate. The parallels are many, including the living tree that brought death in the Garden and the dead tree on Calvary which brought forth the fruit of eternal life. Jesus is God but he is also a man, indeed, he is the most authentic specimen of manhood ever to walk the earth. Mary is entirely a creature of God, and yet as a human person, there is none of higher esteem in the human family. Mary is not simply “a” woman; she is “the” woman.