Thursday, July 19, 2012
Many protestants tend to be opposed to Mary in many ways. This includes their opposition to Mary's perpetual virginity, including from the time she had Jesus, to after she had Jesus. The second opposition comes from the claim that Jesus denounced Mary and his family. This is commonly seen in the verse of Mt 12:48 "Who is my mother and who are my brethren? This can also be seen in other passages including Mk 3:32-35, and Lk 11:27-28.
What Protestants don't know is that these verses are talking about the eternal family of Jesus. If you look at the verses after Mt 12:48, Mt 12:49-50 Jesus says "Behold my mother and my brethren. For whosoever shall do the will of my Father, who is in heaven, he is my brother, and sister, and mother." Jesus explained that any one who does the will of God is considered to be part of Jesus's eternal family. This passage helps explain that rather than denounce his mother, he is saying that more important than biological connections, are those who do God's will and keep his word. Thus this explains that Mary is important to God, not just because she is the mother of God, but because she does the will of God.
As for the attack on Mary's perpetual virginity, including losing her virginity while giving birth to Jesus, and her having more children comes from the passage of Mt 13:55 " Is he not the carpenter's son? Is not his mother called Mary and his brothers James, Joseph, Simon, and Jude?"
These two claims can be refuted by knowing other passages of the bible that help explain how this is simply not true. One of this passages comes from Lk 1:34-35 While Mary was talking to the angel Gabriel And Mary said to the Angel : "How should this be done because I know not Man? And the angel answering, said to her: The holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Most High shall overshadow thee, And also the Holy which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God"
This passage helps explain that Mary's ignorance of men is the reason why God had given her the grace of bringing the child of God into the world. St Augustine takes notice that if Mary had not made a vow to God of remaining a virgin, then it would not serve a purpose to be given her this grace. Notice that the angel is telling Mary that God has no limit, and if God wills Mary to remain a virgin it will be done. It is not that sex in marriage is sinful, but it is that virginity is much holier and special than sex. This is the reason the blessed Virgin Mary was given this special grace.
As for the passage about the brethren of Jesus, it is to be noticed that it is likely that they are to be his cousins or part of his extended family. both Hebrew and Aramaic, which are the languages spoken during Jesus's time did not have a word for cousin. cousins and people of an extended family were all called"brethren". Another thing is that Jesus gave the care of his mother to the disciple John. If Mary did have more kids, then it would make sense for one of them to be the one taking care of her. Rather Jesus gives John the responsibility.
In the end Mary is the mother of God and for this reason deserves our attention. If you have respect for your own mother, then it is that we should have even more respect for the mother of God. It is not that we should worship her as many believe Catholics of doing, but rather it is about giving a devotion to one who was close to God.
Sunday, July 15, 2012
One of the many questions asked by people is why did God make me? People want to understand the reason for life, the reason for us being here. It's not until we learn that we were created in God's image that we may know and love him that we start to understand the purpose for our creation.
Yet many people don't know how we are supposed to know God. For many people today God is someone who doesn't seems to play a role in one's life. To many people he is simply the "Unknown God". But rather we get to know God through his son Jesus. We see the work and life of Jesus and through him we know God. It is by the love we see in the cross, as Jesus says "Greater man no man has than to give your life for your friends"
By coming to know Jesus and living how Jesus lived we get to know God, and we get to know the purpose for our creation. We can see that Jesus was born in a manger, someone who rejected worldly comfort, and recognition, as Jesus said that we are not to be of this world but of the world to come. Jesus came not to be served, but to serve and give his life for his brethren. In the last supper Jesus told his disciples to do the same. Jesus told his disciples as he was preaching "What you do to the least of this my brethren you do to me". By serving and knowing Christ we are called to be another Christ, meaning that we are to act as Jesus Christ and serve as Jesus served. We are called to be the salt of the world, giving purpose for all of life. It is through love, charity, and kindness that we follow Jesus.
This is why by living as Jesus lived, and by living by what he told us is when we start to know why God created us. It is so that we may know and love God, and it is through his son Jesus that this becomes possible. through his son Jesus we know who God is, as Jesus said that he is the answer and only through Jesus do you know God.