We are his brothers because his mother listened to his word and put it into practice. The Virgin Mary was obedient when she said: “Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord. May it be done to me according to your word” (Lk 1,38). Eve, on the other hand, was disobedient; while still a virgin, she disobeyed. So just as disobedient Eve caused the death both of herself and of the entire human race, so the obedient Mary, having the husband who had been intended for her beforehand yet remaining a virgin, became the cause of salvation, both for herself and the entire human race. For what has been tied cannot be untied unless the loops of the knot are refashioned in the opposite direction. So it is that a first tie is undone by a second and that the second forms the outcome of the first. This is why the Lord said that the first would be last and the last, first (Mt 19,30). The prophet also makes the same point when he says: “The place of your fathers your sons shall have” (Ps 44,17). For the Lord, by becoming the “First-born from the dead” and by receiving the fathers of old into his bosom, has caused them to be reborn into the life of God, himself becoming the beginning of those who live (cf Col 1,18) because Adam had become the beginning of the dead. It is for this reason, too, that Luke began his genealogy with the Lord so as to trace it back from him to Adam (Lk 3,23f.), thus showing that it was not the fathers who gave life to the Lord but, to the contrary, it was he who caused them to be reborn in the Gospel of life. So likewise, the knot of Eve’s disobedience was untied by Mary’s obedience, for that which the virgin Eve had tied by her disbelief, the Virgin Mary untied by her faith.