Thursday, July 19, 2012

Defending Mary

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.




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