We are deep now in this section that talks about what the Lord has done
How the Lord came to us through the Blessed Virgin Mary
So yesterday, we talked about the fact that Jesus was truly born of the Blessed Virgin Mary
And that God had called forth Mary
He had a PLAN for her
A MISSION for her
And he gave her EVERYTHING THAT SHE NEEDED to accomplish that mission
Including the fact that she was IMMACULATELY CONCEIVED
She was preserved from ALL STAIN OF ORIGINAL SIN by the merits of her Son’s future life, Death and Resurrection
That’s the key thing we had
And then her HUMBLE SUBMISSION
Her humble YES to God
Which is what WE ARE CALLED TO DO
Today we’re going to launch into three other kind of notes
First is Mary’s Divine Motherhood
We’ve already mentioned this before
Mary is the THEOTOKOS
She is the Mother of God IN A REAL WAY
Second, MARY WAS A VIRGIN
That Jesus was conceived VIRGINLY by the power of the Holy Spirit
The Holy spirit overshadowed Mary
THERE IS NO HUMAN FATHER IN JESUS’ LIFE
And that conception happened in a MIRACULOUS WAY
Third, that MARY REMAINED EVER-VIRGIN
THAT IS REALLY A KEY THING!!
ALL OF THOSE THINGS ARE VERY IMPORTANT!!
First, the MOTHERHOOD OF MARY
That she is GOD’S MOM
THE MOTHER OF GOD!!
In the Second Person of the Trinity, conceived in her womb by the power of the Holy Spirit
THAT CONCEPTION HAPPENED IN A VIRGINAL WAY
MARY REMAINED EVER-VIRGIN
There’s going to be some thoughts like, “Wait a second I understand that the being, the person in the womb of Mary is the divine person of the Second Person of the Trinity. I get it, with a HUMAN NATURE and a DIVINE NATURE. So, Yes, you can say that Mary is the mother of God. I get it. I also get that it very clearly says in Scripture that “The Holy Spirit will overshadow you.” The Angel Gabriel says to Mary, “The power of the Most High will come upon you. Therefore, the child to be born will be called Holy, the Son of God.” I get it. There is no human father in part of that conception. I mean, of course, we have Joseph, his foster father. But no biological father. I get that too.”
Sometimes where people get hung up is on the reality that MARY WAS EVER-VIRGIN
That she did not enter into the sexual embrace over the course of oher life
The reason why people would have an issue about this is because there’s an objection that says, “Well, the Bible sometimes mentions brothers and sisters of Jesus. What do you do about that?”
Great question, Camper!
We’re going to talk about that today
All three of those things
THE MOTHERHOOD OF MARY
AND HER BEING EVER-VIRGIN
But, as we launch into that, let’s open up with a prayer!!
Ok, so there we go!!
Those three articles
There’s more things that are said here
But the three kind of pieces
The three HINGES of today’s teaching
Have to do with MARY’S DIVINE MOTHERHOOD
MARY BEING EVER-VIRGIN (PERPETUALLY A VIRGIN)
Now on to MARY’S DIVINE MOTHERHOOD
We already covered this a couple of times
Paragraph 495 highlights St. Luke’s Gospel
That Mary visits Elizabeth before the birth of her Son
JESUS IS NEWLY CONCEIVED IN THE WOMB OF THE BLESSED VIRGIN MARY
And already Elizabeth says, “Who am I that the Mother of my Lord should come to me?”
So she recognizes that the one who is the Lord
Elizabeth recognizes in this incipient way
Like very small beginning of understanding way
THE ONE WHO IS HERE IS THE LORD!!
THIS WOMAN IS THE MOTHER OF MY LORD!!
Paragraph 495 says, “In fact, the One whom she conceived as man by the Holy Spirit, who truly became her Son according to the flesh was none other than the Father’s eternal Son, the second person of the Holy Trinity.”
We have already covered that
It’s worth highlighting and worth remembering
The next part is that MARY WAS A VIRGIN
So that there was NO NATURAL CONCEPTION OF JESUS
IT WAS COMPLETE SUPERNATURAL CONCEPTION OF JESUS!!
Paragraph 496 says, “Jesus was conceived ‘by the Holy spirit without human seed.’”
St Ignatius of Antioch says in Paragraph 496, “You are firmly convinced about our Lord, who is truly of the race of David according to the flesh, Son of God according to the will and power of God, truly born of a virgin.”
THIS IS SO CRITICAL!!
JESUS TRULY IS CONCEIVED OF THE HOLY SPIRIT OVERSHADOWING THE VIRGIN MARY!!
Paragraph 497 says, “The Gospel accounts understand the virginal conception of Jesus as a divine work that surpasses all human understanding and possibility.”
THIS IS COMPLETELY A NEW THING!!
Some of these paragraphs address the objection and even that people are sometimes troubled
For example, Paragraph 498
“You know, well Mark’s Gospel doesn’t really emphasize the conception of Jesus. So that’s kind of troubling. Why wouldn’t Mark also include the fact that Jesus was conceived miraculously?”
THIS VIRGINAL CONCEPTION
Paragraph 498 says, “People are sometimes troubled by the silence of St Mark’s Gospel and the New Testament Epistles about Jesus’ virginal conception. Some might wonder if we were merely dealing with legends or theological constructs not claiming to be history. To this we must respond: Faith in the virginal conception of Jesus met with the lively opposition, mockery, or incomprehension of non-believers, Jews and pagan alike…”
So it wasn't a situation where like, “Oh Yeah, that of course, that always happens.”
It was recounted by the Apostles
It was recounted by the Gospel writers
By the first Christians
It was passed on
Not because it was a more convincing argument
BUT BECAUSE IT WAS TRUE!!
THAT’S THE ONLY REASON!!
THAT’S THE REMARKABLE THING!!
The only reason why the Church ever believed this is NOT because it would win more converts
BECAUSE IT WOULDN’T!!
IT MADE THINGS HARDER TO BELIEVE!!
THE ONLY REASON WHY IT WAS PASSED ON IS BECAUSE IT WAS TRUE!!
St Ignatius of Antioch says in Paragraph 498, “Mary’s virginity and giving birth, and even the Lord’s death escaped the notice of the prince of this world: these three mysteries worthy of proclamation were accomplished in God’s silence.”
Now, think of those three things
MARY’S VIRGINITY AND THE BIRTH OF CHRIST
AND EVEN THE LORD’S DEATH
These really big moments
THE BIRTH, THE NATIVITY
AND THE PASSION
THE THREE GREATEST EVENTS THAT HAVE EVER HAPPENED IN THE HISTORY OF HUMANITY
The CONCEPTION OF JESUS is the Second Person of the Trinity BECOME FLESH
The BIRTH OF JESUS then is entry into the world
And then the PASSION AND DEATH OF JESUS
That are WORTHY OF PROCLAMATION
THEY WERE ACCOMPLISHED IN GOD’S SILENCE!!
They were accomplished in MYSTERY
WHICH IS JUST REMARKABLE!!
MARY IS PERPETUALLY A VIRGIN
Paragraph 499 says, “The deepening of faith in the virginal motherhood led the Church to confess Mary’s real and perpetual virginity even in the act of giving birth…So that Christ’s birth did not diminish his mother’s virginal integrity but sanctified it. And so the Liturgy of the Church calls Mary, Aeiparthenos, which is the word or term, “Ever-virgin.”
Now, sometimes it’s mentioned, “What about the brothers of Jesus? What about the brothers and sisters of Jesus?”
Paragraph 500 says, “...The Church has always understood these passages as not referring to other children of the Virgin Mary. In fact James and Joseph the ‘brothers of Jesus,’ are the sons of another Mary, a disciple of Christ, that Matthew significantly calls ‘the other Mary.’ They are close relations of Jesus, according to an Old Testament expression.”
The Old Testament expression would be ADELPHOI
Adolphus is brother
Adelphoi is brothers,
Brother and sisters
It can mean SIBLINGS
It could also mean COUSINS
It can mean UNCLES and NEPHEWS
It’s just CLOSE RELATIONS
It simply can mean RELATIVES
And so what the Church has ALWAYS taught is that
These “brothers and sisters of Jesus” are NOT siblings of Jesus, BUT simply close relations
At one time St Jerome was translating the Bible into Greek from Hebrew and Latin so that all people could hear and understand the Bible
And some of his friends were saying, “Hey, there’s this guy who’s come along. This guy has come along and he is claiming that Jesus had brothers and sisters. That Mary had other children other than Jesus. Jerome, you need to write an article denouncing this.You need to write an article proving that this is not true.”
This highlights how NO ONE THOUGHT THIS
Jerome said, “I don't need to write an article about this. I don’t need to write a defense about this. NO ONE IN THE HISTORY OF CHRISTIANITY HAS EVER BELIEVED THAT. NO ONE’S EVER BELIEVED THAT, EVEN FROM DAY ONE. NO ONE’S EVER BELIEVED THAT MARY HAD OTHER CHILDREN OTHER THAN JESUS.”
He’s writing here in the 300, 400’s
He’s pretty close to ground zero when it comes to this
Now, ultimately people said, “Well, Jerome if you don’t write anything then people will think you don’t have an answer . And so you need to write something!”
So then he ultimately did write a defense of Mary’s being perpetually a virgin
While the Scriptures say ADELPHOI
The relatives of Jesus, the adelphoi of Jesus
While Scripture says that
The Church has ALWAYS MAINTAINED that
That means adelphoi, relatives,
NOT adelphoi, siblings
WHICH IS VERY IMPORTANT!!
Paragraph 501 says, “Jesus is Mary’s only son. But her spiritual motherhood extends to all men whom indeed he came to save…”
From the Cross, Jesus entrusted us to his Mother and entrusted his mother TO US
Mary is truly..
In some ways SPIRITUALLY speaking she has more than one child
Because she has EVERYONE WHOM JESUS CHRIST HAS REDEEMED
EVERYONE WHOM JESUS HAS SAVED
EVERYONE FOR WHOM JESUS DIED
He also entrusted to Mary as their MOTHER
WHICH IS INCREDIBLE!!
THAT HE SHARES HIS MOM WITH US!!
And so here in the FAMILY OF GOD
Here in the Church we get to rejoice and just be so grateful
“THANK YOU, JESUS, FOR SHARING YOUR MOM WITH US!!”
Fr. Mike is praying FOR YOU!!
Please pray for Fr. Mike and for each other!!
I cannot WAIT to see you tomorrow!!