Friday, April 16, 2010

The Veneration of the Theotokos as Mother

Question and Answer with Fr Job, installment III:
Question: The Orthodox Church venerates the Mother of Jesus Christ, Mary. However let us turn to the Bible: (Mt. 12: 47-50): Then one said unto Him, Behold Thy Mother and Thy brethren stand without, desiring to speak with Thee. But He answered and said unto him that told him, Who is My Mother? And who are My brethren? And He stretched forth His hand toward His disciples, and said, Behold My mother and My brethren. For whosoever shall do the will of My Father which is in heaven, the same is My brother, and sister, and mother. That is, Christ Himself did not recognize Her as His Mother, except inasmuch as she gave Him birth?

Answer: There exist blood kinship and spiritual kinship. The latter is higher. The Savior indicated this: And it came to pass, as He spoke these things, a certain woman of the company lifted up her voice and said unto Him, Blessed is the womb that bore thee, and the paps which Thou hast sucked. But He said, Yea rather, blessed are they that hear the word of God, and keep it. Between the Mother of God and the Savior there existed not only a blood kinship, but also a very close spiritual kinship. When the All-Holy Virgin bore in her womb the God-Child, She sang a wonderful song: My soul doth magnify the Lord, and my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Saviour. For He hath regarded the low estate of His handmaiden: for behold, from henceforth all generations shall call me blessed. For He that is mighty hath done to me great things, and holy is His name (Lk. 1:46-49). In the aforementioned place in the Gospel (Mt. 12: 47-50), Jesus Christ gave special attention to spiritual kinship, because at that time the Pharisees (an evil and adulterous generation -- Mt. 12:39) slandered the Savior and even blasphemed against the Holy Spirit (Mt. 12: 24-32). Jesus Christ pointed out the signs of spiritual kinship: For whoseover shall do the will of my Father which is in heaven, the same is My brother, and sister, and mother (Mt. 12:50). These words apply in the highest degree to the Mother of God, who said to the Archangel Gabriel: Behold, the handmaid of the Lord (Lk 1:38).

There should not be even the shadow of a doubt concerning the relationship of Jesus to His Mother. His devoted love is witnessed by Scripture. How He respected and fulfilled Her wishes is seen from the description of the miracle of Cana in Galilee. And then they wanted wine, the Mother of Jesus saith unto Him, They have no wine. Jesus saith unto her, Woman, what have I to do with thee? My hour is not yet come (Jn 2:3-4). At these words the Mother of Jesus confidently told the servants: Whatsoever He saith unto you, do it (Jn 2:5). Note well: She knew ahead of time that her Son would fulfill her request and perform a miracle, although He had not yet performed any: This beginning of miracles did Jesus (Jn. 2:11). This, undoubtedly, witnesses to the particularly close spiritual kinship between them. Dying on the Cross in terrible suffering, the Savior demonstrates love for His Mother and gives care for Her to his beloved disciple.

1 comment:

BJohnD said...