Pieta

The Question of Mary

Christian beliefs about Jesus’ mother Mary differ.

I was watching an episode of The Journey Home last night. This is a program that interviews people who have converted to the Catholic faith exploring their journey. This particular program featured a former Evangelical pastor from the Holiness church.

The question arose, as it usually does with Protestants, “Did you have difficulty accepting Mary?” The answer, as usual, was “Yes. We see her as simply the receptacle by which Jesus entered the world.”

Do you suppose Jesus morphed from being a baby to a 30-year-old man? So who changed his diapers? Potty trained him? Breast fed him? (After all they didn’t have bottles and formula at that time.) Who loved him and tucked him into bed every night? Who was there when he was learning to walk and learn his prayers? These are the things a mother does for her child without complaint.

Why did the Gospels tell us that when his parents found him in the temple when he was twelve years old, he went home with them and was obedient to them? Do you suppose they had no interactions whatsoever for all the years before he began his ministry? If Jesus was happy to be “obedient” to Mary as well as Joseph, why shouldn’t we too be obedient to Mary?

And what about at the time of Jesus death? Who was there at the cross with him? It was his mother Mary. Is that what a “mere receptacle” does?

I wondered, as I always do – is this the way you see your mother? As just the vehicle by which you came into being? If so, why do we celebrate “Mother’s Day” every year in the US? I value and honor my mother. I believe Jesus honored and valued his mother too.

If Jesus can honor his mother, why shouldn’t I?

How sad that Protestants can revere and respect their own mothers but not Jesus’ mother.

Concomitant with this is the refusal to accept the title of “Mother of God.” If Protestants believe Jesus is God, then Mary, his mother, is logically The Mother of God. Why is this such a difficult concept?

Perhaps because they think of God as “God the Father” who, of course, had no mother or father. But if they believe that Jesus, as the Son of God, is God as well as Man, then there is no issue.

Protestants say we pray to Mary. Yes we do – in exactly the same way we ask our friends to pray for us. Who better to put our petitions before Jesus? She would certainly have his ear. If you love and respect your mother, wouldn’t you listen to her? Of course you can go to Jesus directly! Who says you can’t?

Mary is our mother too. Didn’t Jesus give her to us when he was on the cross? He said to John, “Behold your mother.” That wasn’t a message to John alone. It was a message to all of us – John being our representative. Why is this so hard to fathom?

For Protestants, Mary just gets in the way of talking directly to Jesus. Ok, do that. Acknowledging that Mary is Jesus’ mother, and you visited Jesus in his home (remember for Jesus, heaven is home), how do you think he would feel about you for deliberately ignoring his mother? I think, that as a devoted son, he would be hurt. An imaginary visit with Jesus and his parents

I can’t accept the Protestant arguments about Mary. They make no sense to me.

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