Sunday, December 29, 2013

Stuff My Brain Says #69

Went to Mass with my wife and her family. According to the Church calendar, it was the "Feast of the Holy Family".

The priest made a comment during his homily (Cliff Note Sermon), when he was talking about the differences between our families and the Holy Family (Jesus, Mary, and Joseph), that actually made me chuckle out loud. I tried to keep it down, but Lisa noticed. He mentioned the mystery of Jesus being conceived miraculously in Mary's womb, and Mary being conceived miraculously in her mother's womb. Okay, Jesus' conception was miraculous. He was conceived by the Holy Spirit overshadowing the (at the time) Virgin Mary. But to say something similar happened to Mary was hysterical to me.

(NOTE: Please understand that this is based on one comment during a 15-minute or so sermon. The rest of it was beautiful, honest, heart-warming, and challenging to us the listeners. It was a terrific sermon by a man who obviously loves God and His people.}

See, the Catholic Church has deemed that Mary is "ever virgin". She was the mother of God, and therefore HAD to be sinless in order to carry Jesus. The problem with that is that in order for Mary to be born sinless, HER mother had to be born sinless, and HER mother before her, all the way to Eve. She never consummated her marriage to Joseph (which means they lived in sin, doesn't it?!?) so she was "ever virgin". Something that powerful should be pretty clear in scripture. It's not. No where do you find a passage that tells of an angel coming to Mary's mother and telling her, "Behold, the Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the child that will be conceived will be the mother of God, who will have the Holy Spirit come upon HER, so that the child SHE conceives will be Christ the Lord." If the account of John the Baptist's conception/birth would take so much ink, you'd think something as important as Mary's conception would ALSO warrant a few lines of scripture.

Mary was a young girl, never having known a man, when the Holy Spirit came upon her. Because of this conception, Jesus was 100% God and 100% man. If Mary was conceived similarly, SHE would be 100% God and 100% man as well. That is not true. She herself said that she was in need of a savior. Jesus, on the other hand, did not. She was also not "ever virgin". She gave birth to her "first-born" child. To say "first-born" denotes at least a "second-born". Secondly, later in the gospels it is told of Jesus' brothers and sisters (the word used does NOT translate as "cousin"). And finally, it's difficult to believe that God would want Mary and Joseph to never consummate their relationship.

I understand why the Catholic Church came up with this: it was in response to the concept that if Jesus was born of sinful flesh, He Himself would be born with sin. But the solution given doesn't hold water (referring to Mary's whole lineage needing to be sinless).

I'm surprised that nobody even presented this argument at the time.

Or, maybe someone did. People died over "heresy" often back in the day. ;-)

© Emittravel 2013

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Christmas Morn

A gift to my readers, and especially to my biggest fan - my darling wife Lisa. Merry Christmas!

Early morning whispers of snow touched trees
Gentle breezes make soft blankets dance
Ghosts in sunlight twirling through branches
The quiet lingering

Inside you lay sleeping still floating in dream
Curled under covers of flannel and fleece
Gone is the hurried preparedness brings
The silence enveloping

The moment too perfect to shatter with speech
The rays through the window gracing your cheek
Moving ever closer the embrace to extend
The stillness breathing

Christmas morn

J.P. Wiegand
© Emittravel 2013