Tuesday, December 18, 2012

And they shall name Him Emmanuel

"“Behold, the virgin shall be with child and bear a son, and they shall name him Emmanuel, which means “God is with us.”  (Matthew 1: 23)

Mary is predestined by God to be the Mother of Jesus Christ.  All her privileges stem from this unique choice.  Her fullness of grace, her perpetual virginity, her singular role as intercessor are all consequences of her extraordinary vocation.

We honor Mary as Mother, Virgin, Teacher and Mediatrix of all graces.  Towards the end of the 4th century, Helvidius denied the perpetual virginity of Mary, a belief that was held by the Church for centuries.  St. Damasus was pope at this time. St. Jerome was urged to answer Helvidius.  At first, he declined because he regarded the question below his dignity.  But eventually, he picked up his pen and answered him.  At this time, St. Jerome was the recognized authority in Greek and Hebrew.  He was a Church Father and Doctor of the Church. He is the foremost scripture scholar whose reputation has not deemed by the passage of time.  On the question of Mary's perpetual virginity, whom do you trust?  St. Jerome or the so called "doctors of divinity" from the so many denominations that populate the map today?   The question about Mary's perpetual virginity did not arise again till the reformation.  Heresy is cyclical..

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