Blessed Virgin Mary

Blessed Virgin Mary

In this article, we shall look at Mary the Mother of God as the model of the Church in the following aspects, because the objective here is to create an understanding about Mary.

  • Mary in the Jewish Culture
  • Mary and her Son Jesus
  • Mary in the Scriptures

Jewish Culture

We are one way or another born in a community of people who are identified with their culture with the diversity of customs and traditions. For instance, the celebration of the Holy Mass follows the western culture.

The basic identity for being a Jew is through two practices which are:

  • Circumcision
  • Naming

Circumcision

In the Jewish culture, all male infants were to be circumsized at the age of 8 days. This rite is only applicable to men in the jewish society. Therefore, in this community, men are considered to be at a higher position whereas women are set aside. It is definitely going to be very difficult for Mary to be accepted into the Jewish. This is where Joseph comes in so as to give this Holy Family an identity.

Since circumcision is a rite admitted to the male children as commanded by God, the infant girls are not included, probably this is why, the rite is fulfilled in the New Testament as Baptism so as to include all among the chosen people of God. Circumcision is limited to male infants where as Baptism fulfills this rite by explicitly including all the male and female, the Jews and Gentiles.

Seven Sacrament

The Sanctuary

Lets focus on the cultural Identity…

Through Joseph, a circumcised jew, Mary is able to belong to the house of David, since it is only Joseph who gets to go through this rite.

Naming by the Father

Since Mary is not of the House of David, Jesus is given the House of David through Joseph.

By virtue of a male jew, naming a new born, this qualifies Jesus as the son of the House of David. Joseph named Him as Jesus when he was asked. Here the biological factors between Joseph and Jesus does not apply.

In our different cultures, it is only our Mothers who can tell us about who our Fathers are. “The Husband of my Mother is my Father” – Because My Mother tells me that this is your Father.

When Jesus was in the Temple with the scribes, as Mary and Joseph looked for Him, what did Mary say? “Your Father and I have been looking for you.” This clearly shows that through our Moms, we can know who our Dads are. Then Jesus replies by saying, didn’t you know that I was busy with my Father’s affairs? (This brings in the Divine being of the God-Head) – Here Jesus is both Divine and Human, since we get two affirmations that Mary His Mother reveals to us that He is Human and Jesus Himself asserts that He is also Divine.

Betrothal

Besides the naming and circumcision rites, the Betrothal of Mary to Joseph is a Jewish tradition of bringing a couple to a union in marriage. It was at this time of betrothal that the Angel Gabriel visited Mary.  It is a custom that after the exchange of vows (last step of Betrothal), both the Man and the woman return to their home where the Man is required to build his new home before the wife comes into the new home. So Joseph and Mary were not living together but as per the culture, Joseph goes to build his new house so as to bring his wife to the new home. It is at this time that the Angel Visits Mary and brings the Good news, when they are separated.

Mary was alone and Joseph too was alone, why? we note that the Angel visited Mary ans she conceded, Joseph too conceded

Joseph is the actual Husband to Mary. Gospel of Matthew insists that Joseph was not the Biological Father to Jesus, but he was the Father because of the house of David.

Jesus had to become the son of David through Joseph, so as to be the Messiah and to inherit the House of David, therefore, Joseph is the Father of Jesus.
Be sure to read the next article and get to have an understanding about Mary the Mother of God.

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