Sunday 21st September 2014

Home » Our Catholic Faith » Currently Reading:

Mary’s Perpetual Virginity… Who Were Jesus’ Brothers?

April 13, 2014 Our Catholic Faith No Comments

By RAYMOND DE SOUZA, KM

Part 2

Just as Jesus came not to destroy but to fulfill (Matt. 5:17), the New Testament is consistent with the Old, and in Jesus’ time brother had also a variety of meanings.
For instance: In Matt. 5:22 (Sermon on the Mount), brother means a fellow man, purely and simply, because of our common origin in father Adam. Our Lord says, “But I say to you that everyone who is angry with his brother shall be liable to judgment. And whoever says to his brother, Raca, shall be liable to the Sanhedrin.”
Surely He is not saying that the only person you cannot get angry with is your blood-brother, but the rest, cousins, uncles, nephews, neighbors, foreigners, Gentiles, lawyers, politicians, you can hate as much as you please. Of course not.
In Matt. 18:21 brother can mean a blood brother, a relative and a fellow Jew: “Then Peter came up to Him and said, ‘Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? Up to seven times?”
We know His answer. But if we take it literally, Peter would be talking about Andrew, his blood brother. But we know it was not the case.
In Matt. 19:35: “So also my heavenly Father will do to you, if you do not each forgive your brothers from your hearts.” If you take it too literally, then you must only forgive your brothers but not your sisters and cousins….
In Mark 3:31-35 “brother” and “sister” and even “mother” mean anyone who does the will of God: “And His mother and His brethren came, and standing outside, they sent to Him, calling Him. Now a crowd was sitting about, and they said to Him, ‘Behold, thy mother and thy brethren are outside, seeking thee.’ And He answered and said to them, ‘Who are my mother and my brethren?’ And looking round on those who were sitting about Him, He said, ‘Behold my mother and my brethren. For whoever does the will of God, He is my brother and sister and mother’.”
It should be noted that here Jesus made a great public praise of His Mother. She’s His Mother in two different ways, both physically and spiritually, because she did the will of God to perfection. Let it be done unto me according to thy word. She was the first to give an unconditional “Yes” to God. You and I, and everybody else who wants to be faithful to God, follow her example.
On the cross, Jesus calls John His son and gives Mary to him as his mother: “Son, Behold thy Mother” and “From that hour he took her into his own home” (John 19:26-27).
Every decent non-Catholic Christian knows that Jesus had no sons.
In Acts 9:17 brother means a fellow-Jew: “So Ananias departed and entered the house, and laying his hands upon him, said, ‘Brother Saul, the Lord has sent me — Jesus, who appeared to you on your journey — that you may recover your sight and be filled with the Holy Spirit.”
In Acts 22:13 St. Paul accepts being called brother by Ananias: “Now, one Ananias, an observer of the Law, respected by all the Jews who lived there, came to me and standing beside me said to me, ‘Brother Saul, regain your sight.’ And instantly I looked at him.”
But we know that Ananias and Saul were not blood-brothers, but only fellow Jews.
In 2 Cor. 2:13 St. Paul calls Titus his brother: “I had no peace of mind, because I did not find Titus my brother.” Yet in his epistle to the same Titus (1:4), he calls him son: “To Titus, my beloved son in the common faith, grace and peace from God the Father, and from Christ Jesus our Savior.”
Either we ask St. Paul to stop confusing us and make up his mind about his family relationship with Titus, or we must admit that the Jewish language in Jesus’ time was not exactly like American English today.
To confuse you even more, it is worth remembering that in Amos 1:9 brother means “an ally”; in Canticle of Canticles 4:9 “sister” means bride: “How beautiful is your love, my sister, my bride.” In Gen. 29 (King James Version) we read about Jacob, Rebecca, Laban, and Rachel. It is not easy to understand who is who with just one quick reading:
“Jacob saw Rachel, the daughter of his mother’s brother, and the sheep of Laban his mother’s brother. . . . And Jacob told Rachel that he was her father’s brother, that he was Rebecca’s son. . . . And Laban kissed his sister’s son.”
Sometimes it is difficult to understand who should be kissing whom in those days. . . .
Conclusion: In Hebrew and Aramaic, the words “brother” and “sister” do not necessarily mean children of the same parents, or even of one parent. It may mean cousin, friend, bride, fellow Jew, member of same tribe, ally, son, nephew, etc.
The usage of words like brother, sister, son, etc., in the Bible have much too much of a general meaning for anyone to conclude that they mean what they do in English as it is spoken today. Therefore, the argument against our Lady’s perpetual virginity that is based upon the word “brother” in the New Testament proves nothing. It is inconclusive, purely and simply. The words brethren of Jesus neither prove nor disprove anything.
It is only anti-Catholic bigotry that leads certain people to insist in imposing their private interpretation as an infallible guide to oppose Roman Catholicism.
So we can state the faith of the early Christians again, not citing the Catechism of the Catholic Church, by quoting from two of the main founders of Protestantism, Martin Luther and Ulrich Zwingli:
“It is an article of Faith that Mary is the Mother of the Lord and still a virgin. . . . Christ, we believe, came forth from a womb left perfectly intact” (The Works of Luther, Weimar, English translation by Pelikan, Concordia, St. Louis, vol. 11, pp. 319-320; vol. 6, p. 510).
“I firmly believe that Mary, according to the words of the Gospel, as a pure virgin brought forth for us the Son of God and in childbirth and after childbirth forever remaining a pure, intact Virgin” (Zwingli Opera, Corpus Reformatorum, Berlin, 1905, in Evang. Luc., Op. comp., vol. 1, p. 424).
We must ask our Protestant brothers and sisters (who are not necessarily our blood-brothers and sisters, of course, because as we all know in biblical language “brother” and “sister” have a variety of meanings) whether Luther and Zwingli were wrong in standing side by side with us R.C. folks in defending the perpetual virginity of Mary. If they were wrong, we must ask in which other areas they were also wrong. If they were right, why don’t they, today’s Protestants, defend the faith of the early Christians on Mary’s perpetual virginity with us Roman Catholics?
Next article: Did Joseph know her as a husband knows his wife after the birth of Jesus?

+    +    +

(Raymond de Souza is director of the Evangelization and Apologetics Office of the Winona Diocese, Minn.; EWTN program host; regional coordinator for Portuguese-speaking countries for Human Life International [HLI], president of the Sacred Heart Institute and a member of the Sovereign, Military, and Hospitaller Order of the Knights of Malta. His web site is: www.RaymondeSouza.com.)

Share Button

Comment on this Article:

Archbishop Coakley: Though City Leaders Do Not Take Seriously Threat of Inviting Evil Into Community, I Do

Washington, D.C., September 18, 2014 (Zenit.org) Here is an article from the Sooner Catholic, the newspaper of the Archdiocese of Oklahoma City, regarding the black mass scheduled at the city’s civic center for this Sunday. Archbishop Paul Coakley has used…Continue Reading

Report: Bishop Cupich of Spokane to succeed Cardinal George in Chicago

The AP broke the story, and local media is now confirming, that Bishop Blase Cupich of Spokane will succeed Cardinal Francis George as archbishop of Chicago. The Archdiocese of Chicago is expected to make the official announcement tomorrow morning at…Continue Reading

Sources confirm Cardinal Burke will be removed. But will he attend the Synod?

Sources in Rome have confirmed to LifeSiteNews that Cardinal Raymond Burke, the head of the Vatican’s highest court, known as the Apostolic Signatura, is to be removed from his post as head of the Vatican dicastery and given a non-curial…Continue Reading

Catholic Education Honor Roll Announced

Today, The Cardinal Newman Society released the list of schools recognized by the Catholic Education Honor Roll as 2014 Schools of Excellence. Since 2004 the Honor Roll has celebrated quality Catholic education throughout the United States. Honor Roll schools receiving…Continue Reading

Hermeneutic of Continuity: Pope Benedict XVI’s 10 Step Guide to Vatican II

pope200

In 2005 His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI gave a Christmas address to the Roman Curia that sparked a “Holy Revolution.” The good pontiff’s comments were received as “epoch-making” by many of those faithful to Sacred Tradition.1 At the heart of…Continue Reading

Satanists Sell Out Controversial Oklahoma ‘Black Mass’ Event, Will Stage Exorcism Despite Christian Protests

The Satanist group that will stage a controversial “black mass” at an Oklahoma City civic center has said that all 88 tickets for its Sept. 21 event are sold out. The co-founder of the group revealed that the ritual will…Continue Reading

Catholic League Bowing Out Of New York’s St. Patrick’s Parade

NEW YORK –  The Catholic League says it will sit out next year’s St. Patrick’s Day Parade in New York because parade organizers aren’t letting an anti-abortion Catholic group march. Catholic League head Bill Donohue said Thursday that his organization…Continue Reading

Catholic Cardinal McCarrick Embraces Islam

Catholic Cardinal Theodore McCarrick offered Islamic religious phrases and insisted that Islam shares foundational rules with Christianity, during a Sept. 10 press conference in D.C. “In the name of God, the Merciful and Compassionate,” McCarrick said as he introduced himself…Continue Reading

MURDER OF CATHOLIC NUNS SHOCKS WORLD

The triple murder of three elderly Italian religious sisters in Burundi has their religious family and the local community reeling. The Italian Foreign Ministry has confirmed Monday’s death of a third missionary, Sister Bernadette Boggian, who wasdecapitated, according to a…Continue Reading

Cardinal Dolan and the St. Patrick’s Day Parade

by Hon. Bob Marshall Sept. 8, 2014 New York’s Cardinal Dolan, appointed as Grand Marshal of the 2015 St. Patrick’s Day Parade, praised the decision to allow an openly gay group to march in the St. Patrick’s Day Parade. “I have…Continue Reading

Founder: Catholic Studies programs help colleges fulfill call to faithfulness

St. Paul, Minn., Sep 8, 2014 / 06:03 pm (CNA).- University-level Catholic Studies programs are an essential response to the increasingly fragmented college experience, said the man who founded the first such program 20 years ago. “At the heart of…Continue Reading

A ‘dereliction of duty’? Catholics react to Cardinal Dolan’s role in St. Patrick’s Day Parade

Cardinal Timothy Dolan’s decision to act as grand marshal of the New York City St. Patrick’s Day parade despite its decision to allow an openly homosexual organization to participate has drawn strong criticism from Catholic writers and outrage from many…Continue Reading

Untitled 5 Untitled 2

Attention Readers:

  Welcome to our new website. Readers who are familiar with The Wanderer know we have been providing Catholic news and orthodox commentary for over 145 years in our weekly print edition. Now we are introducing the online daily version of our print journal.


  Our daily version offers only some of what we publish weekly in print. To take advantage of everything The Wanderer publishes, we encourage you to subscribe to our flagship weekly print edition, which is mailed every Friday or, if you want to view it in its entirety online, you can subscribe to the E-edition, which is a replica of the print edition.
 
  Our daily edition includes: a selection of material from recent issues of our print edition, news stories updated daily from renowned news sources, access to archives from The Wanderer from the past 10 years, available at a minimum charge (this will be expanded as time goes on). Also: regularly updated features where we go back in time and highlight various columns and news items covered in The Wanderer over the past 145 years. And: a comments section in which your remarks are encouraged, both good and bad, including suggestions.

 
  We encourage you to become a daily visitor to our site. If you appreciate our site, tell your friends. As Catholics we must band together to rediscover our faith and share it with the world if we are to effectively counter a society whose moral culture seems to have no boundaries and a government whose rapidly extending reach threatens to extinguish the rights of people of faith to practice their religion (witness the HHS mandate). Now more than ever, vehicles like The Wanderer are needed for clarification and guidance on the issues of the day.

Catholic, conservative, orthodox, and loyal to the Magisterium have been this journal’s hallmarks for five generations. God willing, our message will continue well into this century and beyond.

Joseph Matt
President, The Wanderer Printing Co.

Untitled 1

'From our friends at The Foundry'


Today . . .

Pope’s Morning Homily: Resurrection Completes Christian Identity

Our Whole Life Is Called to Being With the Lord, To Remain With Him Forever Vatican City, September 19, 2014 (Zenit.org) Staff Reporter Pope Francis focused on the Resurrection as the seal of Christian identity at Mass this morning in the chapel of the Santa Marta residence. Drawing on the words of St Paul the Apostle from his Letter to…Continue Reading

Pope At Santa Marta: The Courage To Admit We Are Sinners

pope516

(Vatican Radio) Having the courage to acknowledge that we are sinners enables us to receive Christ’s caress, His forgiveness, said Pope Francis Thursday morning during Mass at Santa Marta. The day’s liturgy presents the Gospel of the sinful woman who washes Jesus’ feet with her tears and anoints them with perfume drying them with her hair. Jesus is invited to…Continue Reading

Reconnecting With Mary… Our Lady Of La Salette

By DONAL ANTHONY FOLEY Part 1 This is the first of two articles on the apparition of our Lady at La Salette in September 1846, which has a lot to teach us in our own day. At that time, the small nearby town of Corps, in the Grenoble region in southeastern France, was a poor…Continue Reading

The Saint Who Was Never Born

By DONALD DeMARCO St. Raymond Nonnatus came into the world in the early 13th century (1200 or 1204 according to scholars) in Portello, Catalonia (Spain). His appended name, in Latin, means “not born.” He was taken from the womb of his mother by caesarean section after her death. Shakespeare used this notion of not being…Continue Reading

Bluster And Bluff In The Baltic

By PATRICK J. BUCHANAN “I say to the people of Estonia and the people of the Baltics, today we are bound by our treaty alliance. . . . Article 5 is crystal clear: An attack on one is an attack on all. So if . . . you ever ask again, ‘who’ll come to help,’…Continue Reading

One Thing Hillary Clinton’s Memoir Doesn’t Explain About Benghazi

By TERENCE P. JEFFREY In her memoir, Hard Choices, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton included a chapter on the attack on the U.S. diplomatic mission in Benghazi, Libya, on September 11, 2012. But she failed to specifically explain why Ambassador Chris Stevens was there that day. “U.S. ambassadors are not required to consult or…Continue Reading

Violence Begets Violence

By REY FLORES Is it me or is violence becoming more prevalent across our society? Is it because most people have a cell phone nowadays with a camera and are able to share these ever-increasing acts of violence across cyberspace on social media? Perhaps it’s a little of both, but it’s definitely a lot more…Continue Reading

Advertisement

Our Catholic Faith (Section B of print edition)

Catechesis In The Twenty-First Century

By Don Fier “In order to arrive at a systematic knowledge of the content of the faith, all can find in the Catechism of the Catholic Church a precious and indispensable tool. It is one of the most important fruits of the Second Vatican Council.” With these words in his apostolic letter Porta Fidei announcing the upcoming Year of Faith…Continue Reading

Catholic Replies

Q. I am currently reading Paul Likoudis’ excellent but shocking book Amchurch Comes Out, regarding incidents of immoral conduct among our clergy, the cover-up, and the accompanying damage that has been wrought within the Church. I recall being alarmed while involved with religious education in our then parish in the late 1980s and attending diocesan seminars for teachers and hearing…Continue Reading

Our Attitude Should Be The Same As Christ’s

By FR. ROBERT ALTIER Twenty-Sixth Sunday In Ordinary Time (YR A) Readings: Ezek. 18:25-28 Phil. 2:1-11 Matt. 21:28-32   In the Gospel reading today our Lord asks the question of which son did the will of his father: the one who said he would not go into the field but eventually did or the one who said he would go…Continue Reading

A Leaven In The World . . . “And Who Is My Neighbor?” The Embryo And The ALS patient

By FR. KEVIN M. CUSICK The prophet Jeremiah in chapter 20 bewails his isolation as a result of the scorn of nonbelievers: “The word of the Lord has brought me derision and reproach all the day.” He describes his temptation to throw in the towel as a prophet tasked by God with a message for mankind: “I say to myself,…Continue Reading

Priestly Celibacy: Unnatural? Or . . . Supernatural? Celibacy In The Teachings Of St. Paul

By RAYMOND DE SOUZA, KM Part 4 St. Paul was not one of the twelve, but he is known as “the Apostle,” certainly because of the richness of his apostolic zeal in teaching, possibly more than all the other apostles put together. He was educated in the faith by Jesus Himself, and after that intense training, he became as zealous…Continue Reading

Cast A Gauntlet – Sola Scriptura: Part 1

Catholic Heroes… St. Joseph Of Cupertino

By CAROLE BRESLIN Now that the school year has begun, students — especially Catholic students — will find recourse to their favorite patron saint of studying. Some may choose St. Thomas Aquinas or St. Augustine of Hippo. For those students who find it difficult to retain what they read and write about it, perhaps this saint will encourage them: St.…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes… Mother Teresa Of Calcutta

By CAROLE BRESLIN After returning from a visit to Mother Teresa of Calcutta and giving a retreat to her Missionaries of Charity there, Fr. John A. Hardon, SJ, told a class of lay faithful, “Americans are living in a dream world.” He spoke of the thousands of people dying on the streets of Calcutta where Mother had begun her work…Continue Reading

What to Do If Your Boyfriend Wants You to Get an Abortion?

by Krisi Burton Brown | Washington, DC | LifeNews.com | 2/20/14 4:00 PM Washington, DC (LiveActionNews) — Note: This article is for any girl or woman who is feeling pressured into having an abortion. If you are a guy who is trying to find out how to stop an abortion, please see this article written for dads. 1.  Stand your…Continue Reading

It’s Time to Build Schools, from the Ground Up

February 13, 2014 by Anthony Esolen   It might have been worth repairing, if it had once been noble and beautiful, or at least conceived in an orderly way, for ordinary human purposes. But it wasn’t. It was constructed upon false principles. Its walls looked like those of a bad factory. It smelled like a warehouse. It could be terribly…Continue Reading

Why I am Pro-Life

February 4, 2014   Pro-Lifers   By Therese Recinella   Editor’s note. This tribute was posted on Therese Recinella’s Facebook account. She is graciously allowing us to reprint it in NRL News Today.   There are many things that I could say about my Dad, but what I want people to know is this: My parents faithfully raised 8 children…Continue Reading

Fathers . . . The Essential Role of the Father

Posted on February 10, 2014 by The Catholic Gentleman 13 Comments   Divorce rates skyrocketing; adultery rampant; non-married cohabitating couples; children abandoned by their fathers or mothers; “same-sex unions” adopting children and calling this the “modern family”; pornography invading homes, leading to powerful addictions and total alienation from other members of the family: all of this is a bird’s eye view…Continue Reading

How Much is One Billion Dollars?

This article appeared in the March 20, 1941 issue of The Wanderer. (Well, 70 years later we can add 15 trillion into the example.) Here’s a simple and homely illustration of what one billion dollars amounts to: Suppose we take an imaginary boy, aged 15 years, and assign to him the task of counting one billion dollars in one-dollar bills.…Continue Reading

Planned Parenthood

This article appeared in The Wanderer, April 3, 1941.  (WOW, Look what we have 70 years later.) A group which calls itself the National Committee for Planned Parenthood has begun a nationwide campaign to have the promotion of birth control included in State and national health programs. The committee—which, according to propaganda sheets reaching our desk has a branch in…Continue Reading

Questions of Non-Catholics . . . Answered by Father Richard Felix, O.S.B.

Reprinted from The Wanderer April 10, 1941 Why Does God allow us to be tempted? God allows us to be tempted so that we may prove our attachment to him and merit a higher place in heaven. Temptations are the lot of all men; they are the battle ground upon which heaven is won or lost. “The kingdom of heaven…Continue Reading