Luke 1 Notes
Veneration of Mary
The special place of honor given to Mary in Catholic dogma is not based on Scripture although texts are quoted to support it. After the time of Christ, apostasy developed in the church 2th0203, ac2029. In order to escape the connection with the Jews who tended to rebel against the empire and later in order to entice people of the pagan nations of the fallen empire, symbols and practices of paganism were introduced into the church. One important part of pagan belief is the worship of a fertility goddess often accompanied by prostitution in or associated with the pagan temples. Probably the most significant such temple for Christianity appears in the story of the Ephesian church. It was for the goddess Diana ac1927. The church also followed legends about the "Queen of Heaven," a pagan goddess mentioned by Jeremiah je0718, je4417. I know of no evidence that Catholics have practiced temple prostitution although priests have sexually abused many without punishment and often without removal from office!
The Catholic church accepted the place of Mary at the Council of Ephesus in 431 AD. The definition of her role has changed a number of times until now she is said to be a Redeemer along with Christ. The greeting she received from the angel lu0128 has been augmented by words of Elizabeth and the fabrication of Mary being the "mother of God."
The prayer to Mary
Here is the justification given for praying to Mary: "In prayer the Holy spirit unites us to the person of the only Son, in his glorified humanity, through which and in which our filial prayer unites us in the Church with the Mother of Jesus." (Item 2673, Catechism of the Catholic Church of 1994.)

In item 2676 we read, "This twofold movement of prayer to Mary has found a privileged expression in the Ave Maria:" Ave Maria means "Holy Mary." The item continues with each line followed by explanations. We will look at all the lines with explanation for two of them. The brackets [ ] and the words between them are from the source (not added by this commentary). The last two lines are under item 2677.
    Hail Mary [or Rejoice, Mary]:
    Full of grace, the Lord is with thee:
    Blessed art thou among women and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus.
    Holy Mary, Mother of God: With Elizabeth we marvel, "and why is this granted me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me?" we can entrust all our cares and petitions to her: she prays for us as she prayed for herself: "Let it be to me according to your word." By entrustnig ourselves to her prayer, we abandon ourselves to the will of God together with her: "Thy will be done."
    Pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death: By asking Mary to pray for us, we acknowledge ourselves to be poor sinners and we address ourselves to the "Mother of Mercy," the All-Holy One. We give ourselves over to her now, in the Today of our lives and our trust broadens further, already at the present moment, to surrender "the hour of our death" wholly to her care. May she be there as she was at her son's death on the cross. May she welcome us as our mother at the hour of our passing to lead us to her son, Jesus, in paradise.

Item 2679 is also of interest. "Mary is the perfect Orans (pray-er) a figure of the Church. When we pray to her, we are adhering with her to the plan of the Father, who sends his Son to save all men. Like the beloved disciple, we welcome Jesus' mother into our homes, for she has become the mother of all the living. We can pray with and to her. The prayer of the Church is sustained by the prayer of Mary and united with it in hope."

Recent claim to be equal with Christ
In the first issue of what is apparently Our Sunday Visitor's Catholic Heritage, Sept. Oct., 1991, is an article, "Mary, Mother of the Church." In a Question and Answer column the question is asked, "At the foot of the cross, Mary shared in the mystery of the passion. True or False? Answer: True. Mary united her sorrows to those of her Son. The sorrowful and immaculate heart of Mary bled with her Son for all of mankind. For this reason, we invoke her under the title of Co-Redemptrix."  The magazine is no longer published, although Our Sunday Visitor is still active as far as I know. The quotation above from an Internet site has not been verified from print. I have heard of this new doctrine from other sources, too.
Marian apparitions
Mary has seemed to have appeared to many people and the events have been increasing. I'd like to suggest two texts that help us understand that such appearances are not from divine sources. First, God does not change mal0306. His word does not change ps11989. Through Isaiah we know that new truth always agrees with established truth of the Bible is0820. Second, Mary has not gone to heaven. Some readers may want to base their ideas only on the first principle about the word because most people believe good people go to heaven when they die. This idea comes from Greek mythology, not from the God's word. David isn't in heaven ac0229-34 although he will go with all the "dead in Christ" at the resurrection 1th0416. For more see the page of links on life after death. Not everything that seems true is true pr1412, 2co1114.
Also see on re1203. Mary is in the picture of the woman threatened by the dragon but the symbolism points beyond Mary. And see beginning at lu0126.
Is the Catholic Church the only channel of salvation? Here is her claim
Quotations from the new Chatechism of the Catholic Church:
   "It is in the Church that 'the fullness of the means of salvation' has been deposited." Article No 824.
   "Basing itself on Scripture and Tradition, the Council teaches that the Church, a pilgrim now on earth, is necessary for salvation." No. 846.
   "The Church . . . bears in herself the totality of the means of salvation." No. 982.
   "Were there no forgiveness of sins in the Church, there would be no hope of life to come or eternal liberatin." No. 983. Compare da0725.
Age relationships in establishing the date of Jesus' baptism
At Jesus' baptism, he was anointed by the Holy Spirit in fulfillment of the 70 weeks prophecy of Daniel 9.

The year John the Baptist began his ministry  may be established as 27 AD by comparing the information about the Roman rulers given in lu0301 with Roman history. See the endnote for that chapter.

Jesus and John the Baptist were both thirty when they began their ministries lu0323, lu0180. John was born six months earlier than Jesus so his ministry began six months before the baptism considering anointing to be the event to happen at age thirty. 

Jesus began His public ministry at the end of  forty days of temptation which followed His baptism lu0401. It's possible that this later time was at age thirty.

Bible ages are calculated differently from our practice today. We would say a person is thirty years of age when he reaches the end of his thirtieth year of life ge0706. Then, it was at the beginning. So Jesus and John may have been twenty-nine as we look at it.

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