In the first vespers of the Amption of Mary, the antiphon to the second psalm reads: "The gate of paradise was closed since Eve, but through Mary, the Virgin, it has been opened again. Hallelujah." How is this picture to be understood? (M.P.)
Dear Mr P.,
I sincerely thank you for your request regarding the antiphon "the gate of paradise was closed since Eve, but through Mary, the Virgin, it has been opened again". Hallelujah." According to our Catholic faith, it is indeed through original sin that mankind has lost paradise. Therefore, even the righteous of the Old Covenant, which includes Moses and Abraham, could not enter the Kingdom of Heaven after their deaths. Only through the incarnation, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ is the gate to heaven open again. And God has done this precisely not over man, but with man, specifically with Mary, the Virgin, who said, "Let it be done to me according to your word!" Through this word came salvation into the world. In many icons depicting the resurrection, Christ is seen leading the righteous of the Old Covenant from the underworld to heaven. We can't know what that condition was. What is certain is that it was not a redeemed, perfected state.
Hoping to have served you with my response, I remain with all blessings
Your Dominikus Schwaderlapp