The Gospel, ALL of it … Thursday, February 28

A Rosary Meditation … The First Joyful Mystery, the Annunciation. “Many holy fathers (Sts. Jerome, Cyril, Ephrem, Augustine) say that the consent of Mary was essential to the redemption. It was the will of GodSt. Thomas says (Summa III:30), that the redemption of mankind should depend upon the consent of the Virgin Mary. This does not mean that God in His plans was bound by the will of a creature, and that man would not have been redeemed, if Mary had not consented. It only means that the consent of Mary was foreseen from all eternity, and therefore was received as essential into the design of God.” Taken from the Catholic Encyclopedia. (I thought I’d do something a little different today and turn to the Church fathers. I may, or may not, be quoting from various authoritative sources in the future. We’ll see how it works out.) It has always been the position of the Church that Mary was ever virgin. When the angel made his announcement Mary made the statement, “How can this be, seeing that I know not man?” Up until just a few hundred years ago everyone understood what this meant but, today, there is some confusion and, bluntly, thoughts about this statement of Mary’s that aren’t so well thought out. According to Sacred Tradition, those Gospel truths that weren’t written down but were handed down by word of mouth (See Philippians 4:9 for just one of many Bible verses showing the role of the verbal transmission of the Gospel along with the written.), Mary had at this time taken a perpetual vow of virginity. Her statement, “How can this be … ” makes no sense otherwise. Many people wrongly assume she is speaking only of the past without reference to the future. This is also where the false ideas about Jesus having brothers and sisters comes from. The idea of “brethren” in Hebrew and Aramaic simply meant close relatives, like cousins for example. And as they had no word for cousin, well, I suppose they were rather stuck with “brethren”. (There are several other sound Biblical reasons, derived from a close examination of texts and Jewish customs that easily prove Jesus had no siblings, but that’s another subject for another time.) So, if there was no vow of perpetual virginity why would she have even made the statement? Logically, being engaged to Joseph, if she was going to have relations later with him as her husband would it have not been a safe assumption on her part that if she was going to be mother to the Messiah that Joseph would naturally be Messiah’s father? After all, they were both of the line of David, the family tree from which Christ would come. You see, in Bible study, REAL Bible study, there is more involved than simply stringing a bunch of seemingly related verses together, in English, without thought about the time, the place, the customs, the language spoken, the language that was used to write down what was spoken (these were NOT the same in the New Testament), and etc. Which is one more reason we need the early Church fathers because they wrote down a lot of what had been passed down by word of mouth. And now that I’ve engaged in my own annunciation of sorts, having announced all that …

Today … Pope St. Hilary. Pope from 461-468 and guardian of Church unity. He was born in Sardinia, Italy, and was a papal legate to the Robber Council of Ephesus in 449, barely escaping with his life from this affair. Hilary was used by Pope St. Leo I the Great on many assignments. When Leo died, Hilary was elected pope and consecrated on November 19, 461. He worked diligently to strengthen the Church in France and Spain, calling councils in 462 and 465. Hilary also rebuilt many Roman churches and erected the chapel of St. John Lateran. He also publicly rebuked Emperor Anthemius in St. Peter’s for supporting the Macedonian heresy and sent a decree to the Eastern bishops validating the decisions of the General Councils of Nicaea, Ephesus, and Chalcedon. Hilary consolidated the Church in Sandi, Africa, and Gaul. He died in Rome on February 28. In all of this you can bet he was faithful to the Gospel, ALL of it, those portions written down and the others that were spoken and passed down.

Check it out … Try … I’d cut and paste it all here but I’ve already gone long-winded. 😉



  1. Many (even in my life) claim James is the brother of Jesus, which if they go to Scripture, it gives the names of his parents. Another good question I had to ask myself, “If Jesus had “brothers” where were they at the foot of the Cross?” Also I found in my research on this issue that according to Jewish tradition Mary would have went to the next “son” in the family when Jesus died. Instead she was given to John. It would have been “horrible” for Jesus to have done this according to “custom.” Jesus followed Jewish custom. Good post and God Bless, SR

    • You’re right, Jewish custom would dictate Mary go to the next oldest son. Also, do you remember that time when they came to get Jesus because, they said, He was mad? Mark 3:21 gets translated different ways. Some translations say it was His friends who came for Him while others read “relatives” or “family”. After Josephs death Jesus, as the eldest child if He had brothers or sisters, would’ve been the head of the family. Can you imagine His brothers, given Jewish social structure along with the laws and the customs, calling the family patriarch nutz? It would never happen, they would never say such a thing. It would have been unheard of. Even if He HAD been crazy they wouldn’t have insulted the family head like that. No, scripture correctly translated and understood, along with Jewish law and family structure, plus culture and custom, all taken together prove that Jesus was “an only child.” Of course getting folks who are dead set in their theological ways to admit they’re wrong, well, that almost never happens. I think they’re afraid they might end up being Catholic. 😉

  2. Thanks for the added info on this. You are so correct and it has given me something else to throw into the post with some of my Protestant friends who like to argue the point. “Afraid they might end up being Catholic.” LOL!!! God Bless, SR

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