Daughter of Zion

In 14 Book Corner on 2011/12/23 at 9:11 AM

Some gleanings from Cardinal Ratzinger’s book: Daughter of Zion.  (Ignatius Press)

The portrait of Mary includes the likeness of the great mothers of the Old Testament like Sarah, Hannah.  Into that portrait is woven the whole theology of daughter of Zion, in which the prophets announced the mystery of God’s love for Israel.

 In the Gospel of John: the figure of Eve, the “woman” par excellence is borrowed to interprets Mary.

The figure of Eve as necessarily the opposite pole of man, Adam.  In the Old Testaments’s history of promises: Sarah-Hagar; Rachel-Leah; Hannah-Penina: fertile and infertile stand opposite each other and in the process a remarkable reversal in values is achieved.

St. Paul developed his theology of spiritual birth from this: the true son of Abraham is not the one who traces his physical origin to him, but the one who in a new way beyond mere physical birth, has been conceived through the creative power of God’s word of promise.

Near the end of the Old Testament canon, a new entirely original type of theology of woman is developed. The great salvific figures of Esther and Judith, judge Deborah – both oppressed (embody defeated Israel)- the woman as savior the embodiment of Israel’s hope, thereby takes her place among the unblessed-blessed mothers; not as a priestess, but as a prophetess and judge-savior.

In the theological short-story type of the woman-savior, the covenant relation of Yahweh to Israel is a covenant of marital love.  Israel as a woman, who is in this relationship with God is, at once virgin and mother.  The existence of each individual as Israelite is expressed interpersonally in the fidelity of the marriage covenant.


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