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It is nice to be back here, and even nicer to feel well enough to post and interact with you all. I am very grateful to Chalcedon451 for keeping the whole show on the road, and to Neo, Dave Smith and Geoffrey Sales for their assistance, support, and prayers. Things seem ticking along well, but I have noticed that dear Bosco seems to have added a new tag to the insults he likes to direct at the Catholic tradition – he has taken to calling us “Marys”.  Sometimes he says he is not saying we worship Our Lady, so quite what he means by that designation, perhaps he could tell us? He has, however, perhaps without knowing, done something the early Pagans did, which is to designate Christians by one of their most notable characteristics – devotion to the mother of Jesus, and, as the Council of Ephesus of 431 established, therefore, Mother of God.

Bosco has some endearing habits, but one of the other sort is his insistence that on his reading of a couple of verses, we should ignore the thrust of the Gospel and of the history of the early Church, which tells us how devoted mother and Son were to each other, and how much his early followers loved her. So, let us take a look at what the whole Church believed before the sixteenth century, and what a majority of Christians have continued to believe to this very day.

The very first human being to know that Jesus was the Messiah was Maty, and yet despite this. Bosco thinks that  Mark 3:31-35 and see Jesus rejecting his mother, and that Mary was not a follower of Jesus. For this to be so would mean that Mary had forgotten who he was, forgotten what the angel had said at Luke 1:21-28, what she herself had said at Luke 1:39-56, what she had seen at her son’s birth, what Simeon had told her in the Temple, and it would mean that when she asked him to perform a miracle at the wedding at Cana, she did not know what she was asking. It would make a nonsense of her being with him at Calvary and of her presence in the early Church. So, what is the weighty evidence Bosco imagines contradicts the burden of Scripture here?

He commonly cites Mark 3:31-35 (link above), and Matthew 12:46-50. But what these passages show is Mary’s concern for him – that is why she and the family had come to see him. Jesus is not rejecting them, he is widening the concept of what family meant to all believers. This is clear if we compare the three Gospel accounts; the emphasis is on those who believe being his family. Bosco thinks Our Lady did not believe. He believes this despite the whole weight of Biblical evidence in the last paragraph on his own private interpretation of one single passage – Mark 3:21-22. That passage, in the Greek, reads ‘hoi par autou’ – literally ‘those belonging to him’. Syriac and Coptic manuscripts translate this as kinsmen, and we know that his brothers and sisters were not, at this point, followers. That makes sense, adding Mary (who is not mentioned) makes none, given what she knew from the Annunciation. On the whole question of the ‘family’ of Jesus, I commend to you a piece here from our own Chalcedon, which, if dear Bosco would but read it, might make him think about things a bit.

So why does Bosco do this? Why does he say she was not very smart? Does he believe that we are likely to believe that the Spirit who inspired Our Lady to utter the words of the Magnificat, inspires him to call her a ‘rugmuncher’? At the Annunciation she was told that her Son was from God, in her great hymn of praise which we read at today’s Gospel, she says, inspired by the Spirit, that ‘all generations shall call me blessed’. Her cousin Elizabeth, inspired by the Spirit, called her ‘the mother of my Lord’. And yet Bosco’s spirit asks us to believe: ‘Mary wasn’t sure what the deal was’. Pull, as thye say, the other one, it has jingle bells attached.

Quite why men like Bosco cannot believe that Our Lady was bright enough to believe what she was told by the Holy Spirit, and quite why they cannot believe she was his first disciple, who can tell? Women were always Our Lord’s closest and bravest followers – how many men were at the foot of the Cross and how many women? I rest my case.