Lesson 12 – The Mother of Jesus

The Mother of Jesus

“Nature’s Solitary Boast”

Friends – Peace be to You!

Outline: At this point in the unfolding of the Divine Mysteries in Christian Doctrine we come to some very important words in the Creed, namely that our Blessed Lord was born of the Virgin Mary.(1) We will try to give, first of all, some evidence of this, secondly to show how it was necessary in the present plan for the world’s redemption, first of all, the evidence for it that our Lord was born of the Virgin Mary.

Evidence – Our Lord was Born of the Virgin Mary

  • In order to understand proofs we must realize that the Gospels were not first. They are from Tradition.

  • Every member in the Early Church, that is to say, after Pentecost and until the Gospels were written, every member of the church knew already knew about the miracle of the Loaves and Fishes,(2) about the Resurrection(3) and about the Virgin Birth.(4)

  • It is something like, for example, the knowledge that we have that World War I began on 1914. We read that in a book. The fact that we read it in a book doesn’t create the belief in us. Does it? It merely confirms that what we already know.

  • So too, the Gospels set down in a more systematic way that which was already believed. Just suppose that you lived in the first twenty-five years of the Church after Pentecost. How would you have answered the question, “How can I know what I am to believe?” You could not say, “I will look in the Bible.” There was no New Testament Bible then.

  • You would have to believe what the church was teaching in those days.

  • Never once, for example, did our Lord tell the witnesses of His life to write. He wrote only once in His life and that was in the sand.(5)

  • But He did tell His Apostles to preach in His Name, these witnesses of Him to the ends of the Earth.(6)

  • Hence those who take this or that text out of the Gospels to prove something are very often isolating it from the historical atmosphere in which it arose, and from the word of mouth which passed on Christ’s Truth.

  • When, finally, the Gospels were written they recorded a Tradition, but did not create it. It was already there.

  • After a while Man decided to put in writing this Tradition, and that explains the beginning of the Gospel of St. Luke.

  • You remember how he begins? “That thou mayest know the verity of these words which thou hast been instructed.”(7)

  • You see, he assumes that people already had been instructed.

  • The Gospels did not start the Church. The Church started the Gospels.

  • The Church did not come out of the Gospels. It was the Gospels that came out of the Church.

  • The Church preceded the New Testament, not the New Testament the Church.

  • Men did not believe in the Resurrection because the Gospel said there was a Resurrection.

  • The Gospel writers wrote down the story of the Crucifixion , for example, and of the Resurrection because they believed it.

  • Now in like manner, the Church did not come to believe in the Virgin Birth because the Gospels tell us there is a Virgin Birth.

  • It was because the Living Word of God in His Mystical Body, the Church, already believed it, and they set it down in the Gospels.

  • If the Apostles who lived with out Lord, who heard Him speak in the open hills and in the Temple, if the Apostles did not teach the Virgin Birth, no one else would have taught it.

  • No one else would have written it. It was too unusual an idea for men to make up. It would have been, ordinarily, too difficult for acceptance , if it had not come from Christ Himself.

  • Now the one man who might be inclined to doubt the Virgin Birth on natural grounds was the man who writes it in his Gospel, namely St. Luke.

  • I say on natural grounds because, Luke was a physician, and yet it is the medical doctor who sets down the Virgin Birth and tells us most about it.(8)

  • Many of the teachings of our Lord were denied by heretics because there was a protest against Christ and the Church from the very beginning.

  • Now these heretics denied some of His doctrines, but there was one teaching that no early heretic denied, and that is that our Lord was born of a Virgin.

  • One would think that would be the very first doctrine to be attacked, but the Virgin Birth was accepted both by heretics and by believers alike.

  • It would have been rather silly to try to convince anyone of the Virgin Birth if he did not already believe in the Divinity of Christ, and that is why, probably, Mary did not speak of it Herself until after the Resurrection.

  • And She told the Apostles and others of it, although Joseph and Elizabeth and probably John the Baptist already knew of it and, of course, our Lord, Himself all the time, need not say that.


Now we come to an objection that is often urged, …“Does not the Gospel say that our Blessed Lord had brothers?” If He had brothers, then Mary had other children. Then She was not always the Virgin Mother.

  • Now we will try to give some answer to that. I stand in the pulpit very often and I begin my sermon by saying, “My dear brethren”. Does that everyone in the congregation and I had exactly the same mother? Or is it just a form of speech? Now that wide use of the word brethren, and we have it even in our modern language, was used also in a very wide sense by Scriptures.

  • In the Scriptures, the word brother means a relative, sometimes a friend. Let us take, for example, Abraham and Lot. Abraham calls Lot his brother as we read in the book of Genesis, “Pray let us have no strife between us two, between my shepherds and thine for we are brethren.”(9) Now Lot was not a brother of Abraham, he was a nephew, but that’s the way the Scripture speaks of friends and relatives.

  • Thirdly, there are several, indeed, who are mentioned as brothers of Christ such as James, but they are indicated elsewhere as the sons of another Mary.

  • I mean elsewhere in Scripture, namely another Mary, the sister of the Mother of our Lord and the wife of Cleophas.(10) And, again, James who is particularly mentioned as the brother of our Lord as, for example, by St. Paul who said, “I did not see any of the other Apostles except James, the Lord’s brother.”(11) But this James is regularly named in the enumeration of the Apostles as the son of another father, namely Alphaeus,(12) and you’ll find that recorded in Matthew, Mark and Luke.

  • Furthermore, the so-called brethren of our Lord are no where mentioned in the Scriptures as the sons and daughters of Joseph and Mary.

  • Nowhere in Scripture is it said that Joseph had begotten brothers and sisters of Jesus as nowhere does it say that Mary had other children besides Her Divine Son.

Proof of the Virgin Birth:

Now we come to some rather unusual proofs of the Virgin Birth from Sacred Scripture. I say unusual, because I mean apart from the very obvious references that there are in St. Luke. Two of these proofs we are going to draw from the Gospel of St. John and also from the writings of St. Paul.

  • First of all, St. John. St. John assumes the Virgin Birth. We say this because throughout the Gospel of St. John there is the assumption of a double birth.

  1. We are, first of all, born of our parents, and then we are born of God in the Waters of the Holy Spirit in Baptism. Remember that is what our Lord meant when He told Nicodemus that he “must be born again”. The first birth he took from his mother in the flesh.

  1. The second is the birth of water and the Spirit.(13) Now what makes us Christians is not being born of our parents, but being born of God through Baptism. Now notice when St. John speaks of this second birth, namely our birth of God, he practically assumes the Virgin Birth because he says in the beginning of his Gospel that our Lord gave to us “power to become the sons of God.”(14) And he tells us that this happens by a birth. But he immediately says this is not a human birth, and then he goes on to enumerate the reasons why it is not a human birth. He said, “It is neither of blood nor of sex nor of the human will, but solely of the Power of God.”(15) Now this statement of John certainly assumes a Christian and common understanding of the Virgin Birth.

  • What is blood? What is sex? What is the human will? The human birth. All of these elements are eliminated in the story of the birth of our Lord. The Blessed Mother says that She is a virgin, that She “knows not man” and God says that “the power of God will overshadow Her.”(16)

  • You get the same element, you see, in the Gospel of St. John that you get in the Gospel of St. Luke. How could any Christian, in those days, have understood this spiritual kind of a birth unless they understood the Virgin Birth.

  • Therefore, it already happened. No one who, at the end of the first century who read the Gospel of St. John, was amazed that St. John should have spoken of a new generation without sex.

  • They were not amazed because at this time the whole Christian world knew that this is how Christianity came into being.

  • The Virgin Birth, in other words, is God’s idea not man’s. No one would have ever thought of it if it had not happened.

Another Proof:

  • Now we come to another proof from the Gospel of, not the Gospel, but the Epistles of St. Paul.

  • St. Paul also assumes the Virgin Birth.

  • Now as you know the Epistles were originally written in Greek.

  • When St. Paul speaks of the birth of our Lord he uses, in Greek, a very peculiar expression.

  • Let us take, for example, St. Paul’s message to the Galatians, “…Then God sent out His Son on a mission to us. He took birth,(17) notice that, “He took birth from a woman. Took birth as a subject of the Law to make us sons by adoption”.

  • Whenever St. Paul describes the birth of our Lord he never uses the ordinary word to describe birth.

  • In other words, he never uses the ordinary word to describe human birth, which is the result of the conjunction of a man and a woman.

  • The word that is always used in every other New Testament passage. Now the common form of the word in Greek is some form of the word gennao, g-e-n-n-a-o. That means a birth such as you had and I had.

  • But St. Paul, in four instances, speaks of temporal beginnings of our Lord. Remember the Person of our Lord is eternal, it is only His Human Nature that had a beginning.

  • Now in the four instances where St. Paul touches on the temporal beginnings of our Lord as a man; in those four instances St. Paul uses an entirely different Greek word because it was not the ordinary kind of birth.

  • He used some form of the word ginomai, g-i-n-o-m-a-i. Never once does he employ that other word which means common, ordinary birth such as all mortals have.

  • He never uses that to describe the birth of our Lord. He uses, always, a word, which means to come into existence or to become.

  • One very interesting proof of this is in a passage in the Galatians,(18) chapter 4, verses 23, 24 and 29. In that Epistle St. Paul uses the word to be born, that is to say in the ordinary way, three times.

  • He uses it to describe the birth of Ishmael and the birth of Jacob. But when he comes to the birth of our Lord he refuses to use that word.

  • He uses another word, a form of the word ginomai because the birth of our Lord was a Virgin Birth.

  • You will find in the New Testament, thirty-three times some description of the birth of a child and in every single instance the New Testament uses the word gennao, the ordinary birth like yours and mine, but that word in never used once concerning the birth of Christ.

  • Our Lord has a Personal and an Eternal Birth in as much as He assumed a Human Nature and a Temporal Birth at the beginning.

  • Yes, The Beginning – came from the Virgin.

  • You see the reason is this, our Lord was Born into the Human Family, into the Human Race.

  • He was not born of it.

  • God formed Adam, the first man, without the seed of a man, so why should we shrink at the thought that the New Adam should be formed without the seed of a man.

  • As Adam was made of the earth in which God breathed a living soul, so the body of Christ was formed in the flesh of Mary by the Holy Spirit.

  • And so firmly rooted was the Virgin Birth in Christian Tradition that none of the early apologists had to defend the Virgin Birth.

  • It was believed even by heretics as we said as much as the Crucifixion was because it stood on exactly the same footing as an historical fact.

Another Interesting Point:

  • Here’s another interesting point. There are two birth stories in the Gospel, the birth of our Lord(19) and the birth of John the Baptist,(20) but notice the different stress.

  • The gospel story of John the Baptist centers on the father, Zachary. The Gospel story of the birth of Jesus centers on the Mother.

  • Why does it center on the Mother? Again, because of the Virgin Birth.

Reason for the Virgin Birth-

Now you may ask, well why is there a Virgin Birth?

  • Could our blessed Lord have come to the Earth in any other way? Well, certainly. Our Lord really need not have been born at all, but given the present order of things, why is there a Virgin Birth?

  • Well now, here we come to something that is a little difficult to understand, and we hope that we can, that we can make it clear.

  • The reason we believe in the Virgin Birth and the reason in the present order and the reason our Lord chose was, first of all, He wanted someone very good to bring Him into this world.

  • No great, triumphant leader makes his entry into the city over dust covered roads when he could come over a flower strewn avenue.

  • Had Infinite Purity chosen any other port of entrance into humanity than that of Human Purity, it would have created a tremendous difficulty for us, namely, how could He be sinless if He was born of a sin-laden humanity?

  • If a brush dipped in black becomes black, and if a cloth takes on the color of the dye, would not He in the eyes of the world have partaken of the guild in which all humanity shared?

  • If He came to this earth through the wheat field of moral weakness He certainly would have some chaff hanging onto the garment of His human nature.

  • In other words our problem is this, how could God become man and yet be a sinless man?

  • First of all He had to be man, He had to be like us, in order that He might be involved in some way in our humanity, in order that He might take upon Himself, our sins.

  • But, at the same time, though our blessed Lord had to be a perfect man, never the less he could not be a sinful man.

  • He had to be a sinless man. He had to, in some way, be outside that terrible current of sin that has passed on and infected all humanity.

  • You see the problem? He had to be a man, He had to be different from all other men in the sense that He had to be our Redeemer, the sinless New Adam.

Analogy for Virgin Birth :

The problem is very much like that of a ship. Imagine a ship sailing on a sea that is very dirty and foul. It wishes to pass to another sea or a lake nearby where the waters are crystal clear and pure. Now evidently there has to be some break between the foul waters and the clear waters otherwise they would merge. So, what happens? There is often a lock built so a ship sails along in those foul waters and then comes into the lock where the foul waters are completely separated from it, and then the ship is finally lifted into the clear waters.

So, our blessed Lord had to be related to the sinful humanity that went on before, related in as much as he would be a man and because He would be sin, but at the same time He had to be sinless so that He Himself would not need redemption and would be our equal.

Now that “lock” that lifted our Blessed Lord out of that sinful current of humanity and made Him the sinless Man, the New Head of the Human Race was the Virgin Birth.

Think of the beautiful, beautiful application it has for all of us

Our blessed Mother is the inspiration of everyone.

  • The Mother is the Protectress of the Virgin and the Virgin is the Inspiration of Motherhood.

  • Without mothers there would be no virgins of the next generation, and without the virgins, mothers would forget that sublime ideal that lives beyond the Earth.

  • How often, for example, when you visit someone you hear it said, oh, that child looks exactly like the father.

Well if we had looked at out blessed Lord we would have said, He looks exactly like His Mother.

He got something from His Father’s side, namely Divinity, and He also got something from His Mother’s side, namely a sinless humanity.

That’s why we love Mary –H
ail, Mary, full of grace
! God Love You!


  1. Lk 1:34

  2. Mt 15:32-39

  3. Mk 16:9-20

  4. Mt 1:18-25

  5. Jn 8:8

  6. Ac 13:47

  7. Lk 1:1-4

  8. Lk.,1:26-38

  9. Gn 13:8

  1. ) Jn 19:25

11.) Ga 1:19

12.) Mt 10:3

13.) Jn 3:1-21

14.) Jn, 1:12

15.) Jn, 1:13

16.) Lk 1:26-38

17.) Ga 4:4-5

18.) Ga, 4:23-29

19.) Lk 2:1-10

20.) Lk., 1:56-58

1. Why do you think Bishop Sheen gave the title “Nature’s Solitary Boast” to this lesson?


2. Explain the difference between IMMACULATE CONCEPTION and the Virgin Birth?


3. Now that you have learned more about Our  Blessed Mother – Her role in your Salvation – what changes do you think this will have in your daily life?


Virgin Birth

494. “At the announcement that she would give BIRTH to ‘the Son of the Most High’ without knowing man, by the power of the Holy Spirit, Mary responded with the obedience of faith, certain that ‘with God nothing will be impossible’: ‘Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord; let it be (done) to me according to your word.'[Lk 1:28-38 ; cf. Rom 1:5 .] Thus, giving her consent to God’s word, Mary becomes the mother of Jesus. Espousing the divine will for salvation wholeheartedly, without a single sin to restrain her, she gave herself entirely to the person and to the work of her Son; she did so in order to serve the mystery of redemption with him and dependent on him, by God’s grace:[Cf. LG 56.]
As St. Irenaeus says, ‘Being obedient she became the cause of salvation for herself and for the whole human race.'[St. Irenaeus, Adv. haeres. 3, 22, 4: PG 7/1, 959A.] Hence not a few of the early Fathers gladly assert. . .: ‘The knot of Eve’s disobedience was untied by Mary’s obedience: what the VIRGIN Eve bound through her disbelief, Mary loosened by her faith.'[St. Irenaeus, Adv. haeres. 3, 22, 4: PG 7/1, 959A.] Comparing her with Eve, they call Mary ‘the Mother of the living’ and frequently claim: ‘Death through Eve, life through Mary.'[LC 56; St. Epiphanius, Panarion 2, 78, 18: PG 42, 728CD-729AB; St. Jerome, Ep. 22, 21: PL 22, 408.]”

To view the context, please visit http://www.christusrex.org/www1/CDHN/creed3.html#MARY

499. “The deepening of faith in the virginal motherhood led the Church to confess Mary’s real and perpetual virginity even in the act of giving BIRTH to the Son of God made man.[Cf. DS 291; 294; 427; 442; 503; 571; 1880.] In fact, Christ’s BIRTH ‘did not diminish his mother’s virginal integrity but sanctified it.'[LG 57.] And so the liturgy of the Church celebrates Mary as Aeiparthenos, the ‘Ever-VIRGIN’.[Cf. LG 52.]”

To view the context, please visit http://www.christusrex.org/www1/CDHN/creed3.html#MARY

510. “Mary ‘remained a VIRGIN in conceiving her Son, a VIRGIN in giving BIRTH to him, a VIRGIN in carrying him, a VIRGIN in nursing him at her breast, always a VIRGIN’ (St. Augustine, Serm. 186, 1: PL 38, 999): with her whole being she is ‘the handmaid of the Lord’ (Lk 1:38).”

To view the context, please visit http://www.christusrex.org/www1/CDHN/creed3.html#MARY

723. “In Mary, the Holy Spirit fulfills the plan of the Father’s loving goodness. With and through the Holy Spirit, the VIRGIN conceives and gives BIRTH to the Son of God. By the Holy Spirit’s power and her faith, her virginity became uniquely fruitful.[Cf. Lk 1:26-38 ; Rom 4:18-21 ; Gal 4:26-28.] “

To view the context, please visit http://www.christusrex.org/www1/CDHN/spirit.html#FULLNESS

963. “Since the VIRGIN Mary’s role in the mystery of Christ and the Spirit has been treated, it is fitting now to consider her place in the mystery of the Church. ‘The VIRGIN Mary . . . is acknowledged and honored as being truly the Mother of God and of the redeemer…. She is ‘clearly the mother of the members of Christ’ … since she has by her charity joined in bringing about the BIRTH of believers in the Church, who are members of its head.'[LG 53; cf. St. Augustine, De virg. 6: PL 40,399.] ‘Mary, Mother of Christ, Mother of the Church.'[Paul VI, Discourse, November 21,1964.]”

To view the context, please visit http://www.christusrex.org/www1/CDHN/church6.html#Mary

966. “‘Finally the Immaculate VIRGIN, preserved free from all stain of original sin, when the course of her earthly life was finished, was taken up body and soul into heavenly glory, and exalted by the Lord as Queen over all things, so that she might be the more fully conformed to her Son, the Lord of lords and conqueror of sin and death.'[LG 59; cf. Pius XII, Munificentissimus Deus (1950): DS 3903; cf. Rev 19:16.] The Assumption of the Blessed VIRGIN is a singular participation in her Son’s Resurrection and an anticipation of the resurrection of other Christians:
In giving BIRTH you kept your virginity; in your Dormition you did not leave the world, O Mother of God, but were joined to the source of Life. You conceived the living God and, by your prayers, will deliver our souls from death.[Byzantine Liturgy, Troparion, Feast of the Dormition, August 15th.]”

To view the context, please visit http://www.christusrex.org/www1/CDHN/church6.html#MOTHERHOOD

New Eve:

411. “The Christian tradition sees in this passage an announcement of the ‘NEW Adam’ who, because he ‘became obedient unto death, even death on a cross’, makes amends superabundantly for the disobedience, of Adam.[Cf. 1 Cor 15:21-22, 45 ; Phil 2:8 ; Rom 5:19-20 .] Furthermore many Fathers and Doctors of the Church have seen the woman announced in the ‘Proto-evangelium’ as Mary, the mother of Christ, the ‘NEW EVE’. Mary benefited first of all and uniquely from Christ’s victory over sin: she was preserved from all stain of original sin and by a special grace of God committed no sin of any kind during her whole earthly life.[Cf. Pius IXs Ineffabilis Deus: DS 2803; Council of Trent: DS 1573.]”

511. “The Virgin Mary ‘co-operated through free faith and obedience in human salvation’ (LG 56). She uttered her yes ‘in the name of all human nature’ (St. Thomas Aquinas, S Th III, 30, 1). By her obedience she became the NEW EVE, mother of the living.”

To view the context, please visit http://www.christusrex.org/www1/CDHN/creed3.html#MARY

726. “At the end of this mission of the Spirit, Mary became the Woman, the NEW EVE (‘mother of the living’), the mother of the ‘whole Christ.'[Cf. Jn 19:25-27 .] As such, she was present with the Twelve, who ‘with one accord devoted themselves to prayer,'[Acts 1:14 .] at the dawn of the ‘end time’ which the Spirit was to inaugurate on the morning of Pentecost with the manifestation of the Church.”

To view the context, please visit http://www.christusrex.org/www1/CDHN/spirit.html#FULLNESS

975. “‘We believe that the Holy Mother of God, the NEW EVE, Mother of the Church, continues in heaven to exercise her maternal role on behalf of the members of Christ’ (Paul VI, CPG # 15).”

To view the context, please visit http://www.christusrex.org/www1/CDHN/church6.html#ESCHATOLOGICAL

2618. “The Gospel reveals to us how Mary prays and intercedes in faith. At Cana,[Cf. Jn 2:1-12 .] the mother of Jesus asks her son for the needs of a wedding feast; this is the sign of another feast – that of the wedding of the Lamb where he gives his body and blood at the request of the Church, his Bride. It is at the hour of the NEW Covenant, at the foot of the cross,[Cf. Jn 19:25-27 .] that Mary is heard as the Woman, the NEW EVE, the true ‘Mother of all the living.'”

To view the context, please visit http://www.christusrex.org/www1/CDHN/pray2.html#FULLNESS

2853. “Victory over the ‘prince of this world'[Jn 14:30 .] was won once for all at the Hour when Jesus freely gave himself up to death to give us his life. This is the judgment of this world, and the prince of this world is ‘cast out.'[Jn 12:31 ; Rev 12:10.] ‘He pursued the woman'[Rev 12:13-16.] but had no hold on her: the NEW EVE, ‘full of grace’ of the Holy Spirit, is preserved from sin and the corruption of death (the Immaculate Conception and the Assumption of the Most Holy Mother of God, Mary, ever virgin). ‘Then the dragon was angry with the woman, and went off to make war on the rest of her offspring.'[Rev 12:17.] Therefore the Spirit and the Church pray: ‘Come, Lord Jesus,'[Rev 22:17,20.] since his coming will deliver us from the Evil One.”

To view the context, please visit http://www.christusrex.org/www1/CDHN/pater2.html#DELIVER


491. “Through the centuries the Church has become ever more aware that Mary, ‘full of grace’ through God,[Lk 1:28 .] was redeemed from the moment of her CONCEPTION. That is what the dogma of the IMMACULATE CONCEPTION confesses, as Pope Pius IX proclaimed in 1854:
The most Blessed Virgin Mary was, from the first moment of her CONCEPTION, by a singular grace and privilege of almighty God and by virtue of the merits of Jesus Christ, Saviour of the human race, preserved immune from all stain of original sin.[Pius IX, Ineffabilis Deus (1854): DS 2803.]”

To view the context, please visit http://www.christusrex.org/www1/CDHN/creed3.html#MARY

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