Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Mary the Disciple

Some passages of Scripture seem to emphasize Mary's lack of understanding and even opposition to Christ's ministry (Mark 3:20-35). But the Gospel narratives as a whole and the Church Fathers understand Mary as one of the disciples. Jesus continually points to his identity outside his human family: son of the God of the temple (Luke 2:49); son and brother of those who do the will of God (Mark 3:35). At the end of his life, however, his physical mother is clearly spiritually related to him as well. The Gospel of John explicitly places the mother of Jesus at the foot of the cross, while the other Gospels seem to indicate she is there, among the women who followed Jesus from Galilee and supported him. The beginning of Acts includes Mary among the disciples of Jesus waiting for the Holy Spirit.

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