Q. Scripture says there is ONE mediator between God and man in I Tim 2:5. Aren’t Catholics going against scripture by praying to Mary and the saints?
A. No. Jesus as God/Man is the ONE mediator between God and Man. Mary and all the saints are human beings. God of course is God and Jesus is BOTH. So, He is the Mediator between God and Man. Mary and the Saints and all Christians living and dead are a part of the Body of Christ. When we “pray to the saints” we are merely asking for their intercession.
If we forbid “praying to the saints” (asking them to pray for us) then we would have to also forbid asking our Christian friends to pray for us on the ground that we are making them mediators between God and men.
Let’s take a look at 1 Peter 2:5
you also, as living stones, are being built up as a spiritual house for a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.
All, agree that Jesus is the High Priest, and yet as this verse says we share in His priesthood. The primary function of a priest is to offer sacrifice and prayer on behalf of others. Now, Jesus, offered His eternal sacrifice on the cross but He calls us to share in a lesser and dependent way in His unique and eternal sacrifice by offering up spiritual sacrifices as the priesthood of all believers.
In addition to offering spiritual sacrifices as we share, in a modest way, in Christ’s priesthood we are also called to offer prayers on behalf of all men as Paul urges in I Timothy.
1 Timothy 2:1-6
First of all, then, I urge that entreaties and prayers, petitions and thanksgivings, be made on behalf of all men,for kings and all who are in authority, so that we may lead a tranquil and quiet life in all godliness and dignity.This is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior,who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.
For there is one God, and one mediator also between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, who gave Himself as a ransom for all…
Our intercession on behalf of all men is priestly activity and a form of mediation between God and man.But, our mediation is through Jesus Christ, since we are His body. Therefore, Christ remains the ONE mediator between God and man.
This principle is repeated many times in the New Testament. For instance, in Mark 10:18 Jesus says “only God is good” and yet we can share in the absolute and perfect goodness in a lesser way because He says to His servant, “Well done, my good and faithful servant.” Mt 25:23.
And, only God is the Creator, the source of all creation and yet He shares His creative role with men and women in Procreation.
Jesus is the Good Shepherd and yet He delegates this role to St. Peter, (Jn 21:15-16) when He says to Peter three times to “Feed my sheep.” and later to others
Eph.4:11 And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers…
In the New Testament Greek, the word translated “pastors” is shepherd. Our English word pastor comes from the Latin for shepherd, pastorem, and still retains the sound and imagery of its archaic meaning, shepherd, one who pastures.
So, we have seen that Jesus shares His priestly ministry, creative power, and shepherding with His children even though He is the High Priest, all powerful Creator, and the Good Shepherd. He seems to like to work through ordinary people even if they are in Heaven.