Sunday, November 8, 2009

Jesus Versus the Cult of Mary

"While He was still speaking to the people, behold, His mother and brothers stood outside, asking to speak to Him. But He replied to the man who told Him, 'Who is My mother, and who are My brothers?' And stretching out His hand toward his disciples, He said, 'Here are My mother and My brothers! For whoever does the will of My Father in heaven is My brother and sister and mother.'"
- Matthew 12:46-50

Paralleled in Mark 3:31-35 and Luke 8:19-21.

Most people are aware of the Catholic practice of the veneration of Mary, the mother of Jesus. In fact, she is even referred to as "co-redemptrix," that is, that she shares the role of redeemer with her divine Son. In 1997, then-Pope John-Paul II prayed to Mary, "Sustain us, O Virgin Mary, on our journey of faith and obtain for us the grace of eternal salvation." In fact, here is a website devoted to Mary in the particular role of "co-redemptrix."

Yet, what does Jesus say about His mother? Not that she is a bad person, by any means, but certainly that she has no claim to special consideration. His very words are that any man or woman who is doing the will of God is at least equal to His biological mother, and He specifically points out His disciples, standing close by. One source attempted to avoid this implication by claiming that the veneration of Mary is no more than the veneration of the other saints (officially perhaps, but certainly not in practice!). However, as I have said elsewhere, the veneration of any saints is contrary to the express will of God.

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