Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Who's your Mommy? Mary is biblically the spiritual Mother of Jesus

You have heard it before. Perhaps from the guy at the local shop, or from your fundamentalist family member, or from someone who calls themselves a "bible Christian." They interpret this passage from Luke (8:21):
"My mother and my brothers
are those who hear the word of God and act on it."
as Jesus renouncing any human ties with his mother. Is that what he is doing? Or is he only announcing the spiritual ties with her. Catholics are the real "bible Christians" because of the way we interpret the bible - as a whole, never taking a passage out of context and using it against the rest of scripture. The truth is that we have to read this passage in light of the rest of the bible, especially with the rest of the Gospel of Luke. In another place Luke talks about Mary's faith as greater than any others (Luke 1:45):
"Blessed are you who believed* that what was spoken to you by the Lord would be fulfilled.”
This is the acclamation from St Elizabeth. She was the first of many saints to recognize a simple biblical truth, that Mary is not only the biological or physical mother of Jesus but the spiritual mother as well, one who did the will of the Lord more perfectly than all others. Also we say that she is the "first and greatest disciple" because of her close imitation of Jesus and putting his words into practice.

Here we must make a clarification. The word "mother" does not mean that she is the beginning or origin of Jesus. The etymology of the word mother, its meaning, is "to care for" or "to bear a child." Did Mary care for and bear the God-child in her womb? Yes! Was she the origin of him? No. Actually the word father means origin, or beginning. Here we can see why father is not listed in the passage above, why Jesus didn't say, he who does the word of God is my father. We also see that the only real father, the only one worthy of the name is God.

The angels acclaim her as well. Just a few verses earlier the Archangel St Gabriel said of her something that was only said of Jesus, that she is full of grace, as it is said in John 1:14, "full of grace and truth." He said this when he appeared to her to announce the coming of the Savior. He greeted her thus (Luke 1:28)
“Hail, full of grace, the Lord is with you”
In Greek this is
kecharitōmĕnē (full of grace)
Here is saying that like Jesus, she is full of grace. This is why she is capable of obeying the word of God like no other, why she was chosen to be the Mother of God, why she is an excellent spiritual mother not only to Jesus but to his body the Church.

Hail Virgin Mary! The angels and saints acclaim you. God himself took you as his mother as do we!

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