All Conversations in My Heart
Saturday, January 07, 2017
  ON THE MEANING AND IDENTITY OF THE “BROTHERS OF JESUS” Part 3

Who were the “brethren of the Lord” (Matthew 12:46-47), and if He had brothers, why do we call the Blessed Mary, “ever virgin”? The “brethren” of Jesus are mentioned several times in the New Testament. Four are mentioned by name. To explain who they were is not difficult, because the Scripture itself names four of them and identifies their parentage. We find in Matthew (13:55) and Mark (6:3) list, as brethren of Jesus – James, Judas Thaddeus, Simon and Jude.

We know for certain that James and Judas Thaddeus were not sons of Mary or Joseph, for the Scripture identifies them, as children of a different Mary, who was the wife of Alphaeus (Matthew 27:56; Mark 15:40). James is also referred to as “the son of Alphaeus”, in the listing of the Apostles (Matthew 10:3; Mark 3:18; Luke 6:15; Acts 1:13). Mary of Alphaeus upon the death of her husband obviously following the levirite law returned to her birth family of Clopas or married his older brother. Since there is no mention in any of the Jewish documents of that time, nor in any revelations such as St Catherine Emmereich's, he, Clopas as a brother to Alphaeus it is reasonable to claim must have been a close relative of this other Mary by blood..

These sectarians completely miss the words of Jesus, Himself and confound themselves when He, Christ, expresses His feelings towards the family or Church He was forming. Matthew 12:50: “For whosoever shall do the will of my Father, who is in heaven, he is my brother, and sister, and mother”.

The relationship between these "brethren" (including "sisters") must be seen in the light of Hebrew-Aramaic tradition, according to which even cousins were brothers and sisters. This is the case also in Greek and Slavic languages and cultures to this day, so we do not have to speculate about it. This is a fact we know very well from our own families and lives. We have a perfect example of this in the Old Testament Scripture. Using the Greek Interlinear Bible of the Old Testament we can understand the word used to describe the relationship between Lot and Abraham at Genesis 14:16 is "adelphi", which can only be translated as "brother." Nevertheless, we know that Lot was Abraham's nephew. Of course, since Abraham's father was Lot's grandfather, older cultures in general would consider them brothers. The Greek word, "Asphodels" and "Philadelphia" are only attempts to translate an unknown Aramaic word; and no one has any idea what the actual word was which is rendered in Greek and English as "brothers" or "brethren". Indeed, if we left even the names of these four in their original, most people would not recognize them. Their real names are Jakob, Yoseph, Yehudah and Symeon.

Certainly, James and Judas were the sons of Miriam (Mary) and Alphaeus. Symeon is also called "Simon Kan'an" - The Zealot'.

There could have been no “first blood” brothers of Christ, otherwise He would not have given care of His mother to John the Beloved Apostle (John 19:26). When Alphaeus died Mary of Alphaeus became known later in scriptures as Mary of Clopas, obviously she went back to her birth family or married Alphaeus' older brother.This is speculation based on Jewish law. remember the scribe's question of a woman marrying all those brothers, concerning are our marriages  part of our afterlife in heaven?

The Old Testament prophecies explain the virginal marriage and ever-virginity of Christ's mother, and we also have the testimony of the Holy Spirit speaking through the Church that Mary was “ever-virgin.”

1. Simon (or Symeon) the Zealot was a member of the "zealoti" in Judea. There are a number of purely mythological explanations for the meaning of his title. Evidently, some commentators have been unjustly "embarrassed" by the fact that he was a "zealotis." From a Jewish point of view, this was not a dishonorable title. To be a zealot, to have zeal today is unfashionable and a term of derision.



ON THE MEANING OF THE WORDS “MARY'S SISTER WAS STANDING NEAR THE CROSS”

Our Catholic and Orthodox histories teach us that the Holy Virgin Mary was the only child of Saints Joachim and Ann, but at John 19:25, we read, “Standing near the Cross of Jesus was His mother, and His mother's sister, Mary of Alphaeus, and Mary of Magdala.” If our Church history is correct, how could Mary have had a sister?

The first clue to your answer is that both women are named Mary. No family has two daughters and gives them both the same name. Therefore, it is evident that the relationship between the two women has to be something different than our modern English concept of “sister.”

The second clue to your answer is that the Bible clearly identifies this Mary of Alphaeus as the mother of Jesus' "brothers." The name Alphaeus is the same as Alphaeus in the Aramaic language, which Jesus spoke. The brothers of Jesus mentioned at Mark 6:3 are elsewhere clearly identified as sons of Alphaeus and his wife Mary of Alphaeus the "sister" of the Virgin Mary. Read, for example, Matthew 10:3; Mark 3:18; Luke 6:15 and Acts 1:13. Then read Matthew 27:56; Mark 15:40, 47; 16:1; Luke 24:10 and especially Matthew 13: 55. There is still a further confusion. Mary of Alphaeus the wife of Joseph's brother later became in the scriptures Mary of Clopas. This Mary obviously became a widow and went back to her birth family. Now two things are clear to us from what we have read:

First, Mary of Alphaeus is related to the Virgin Mary in a close way, but if she was a blood “sister”, she could not have the same first name. Mary of Alphaeus was married to Joseph's brother Alphaeus and was the mother of James and Judas

Second, The “brothers” of Jesus do not have the same mother as He had. These “brothers” are children of a woman called the Virgin Mary's sister, they are not children of the Virgin Mary herself but of Mary of Alphaeus was Mary's sister-in-law. Who we pointed out was Joseph's brothers wife.

For a good example of the use of the terms "brother" and "sister" For near relations in Hebrew culture, read Genesis 14:16. Here, Lot is referred to as Abraham's "brother," although we know very well that Lot was the son of Abraham's immediate brother. In other words, even nephews were referred to as "brothers" in many cases. In the Greek Septuagint of the Old Testament, the word used to describe the relationship between Lot and Abraham at Genesis 14:16 is "adelphi-", which can only be translated as "brother." A similar word is used at John 19:25 to describe the relationship between the two Marys.

It is interesting that the reference to Mary of Alphaeus as the Virgin Mary's sister proves the Apostolic Catholic Christian teaching about the ever-virginity of Mary the Blessed Mary. Clearly, the Virgin Mary had a very near relative of the same name who was the mother of Jesus' “brothers”, and therefore, the Virgin Mary bore no other children than Jesus Christ. There is a sentence in St Catherine Emmerich's description of the Crucifixion that claims Blessed Mary's older sister was at the place of the Skull on Calvary. It was not any older sister and could not have been. Bl. Mary was a late baby of older Jewish parents who had no other children. These women were signposts through bearing children at such an old age of what was to come. Bl Mary was a product of the same late prophetic births as were the children of Anna, mother of Samuel, Sarah, mother of Isaac, Elizabeth, mother of John the Baptist and Ann, mother of Mary. The older woman described by St Catherine in her vision of the Passion of Christ was Mary of Alphaeus, nee Clopas and not related by blood to Bl. Mary in any way.



ON THE MEANING OF OUR VENERATION OF THE BLESSED MARY AND OF OUR REQUEST FOR HER PRAYERS

There is only one Lord and Savior of mankind, Jesus Christ, as the Scripture says, “There is salvation in no-one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved” (Acts 4:12). Nevertheless, we are called upon to be "co-workers with Christ in salvation" (2 Corinthians 6:1), and we can "save" others by leading them to the Source of Salvation, and rescuing them from falling away from salvation, as Apostle Paul says: "I have become all things to all men, that I might by all means and in any way, save them" (1 Corinthians 9:22). And, he wrote to Bishop Timothy, "Look well to yourself and to your teaching; persevere in these things, hold to them; for by so doing you will save both yourself and those who hear you" (I Timothy 4:16). Moreover, in the same context, we often use the expression, "Most Holy Theotokos, save us." Latin Riters pray, “Holy Mother pray for us, now and at the hour of our death”. No one would suggest that we are our own saviors, or that Apostle Paul, the holy Bishop Timothy or the Blessed Mary are saviors in place of Christ, even though the Divine Scripture clearly says that they can “save” others.

Nevertheless, all Catholic and Apostolic Christians of the West and the East are called upon to serve in the process of the salvation of each other and of the world, both through their prayer, the active witness of a life of Christ like love. We struggle to keep in grace, and through the very act of working out our own salvation. The saints, who have become filled with Grace and actively merit the greater gifts of the Holy Spirit, are foremost in this process of mutual salvation. Sectarians who are angered at our Apostolic veneration of the Most Holy and Blessed Mary (and of the saints) and all who spew spiteful malice, so often ignorantly on our pleas for their intercessions are truly lacking knowledge of the ignorant of the true nature of redemption. In reality, however, salvation consists in the union of the faithful with the life of God, through Grace, in the Body of Christ (the Holy Church), where the evil-one and his power are being progressively and really destroyed in the life of charitable love by us for Him and for others. It is a mutual struggle of true believers to keep us and our neighbors free from all sin. Since our redemption from the bondage of death, by the sacraments of Baptism, Reparation or in the end of life by anointing of the sick into a renewed grace filled life of the Church. These acts of Atonement and Reparation are the restoration of the grace into which we were conceived. It is so easy to lose this Grace and such a struggle to reacquire it. Then the help of prayers of for intercessions of the Blessed Mary and all the saints are of obvious value in saving us. They “save” us because theyare our brothers and sisters in a singlefamily of all humanity. It is fallen and enslaved, in bondage to sin, and the liberation and restoration of any unit of this universal nature to perfection, that is a very real union with the perfect nature in Christ through Sanctifying Grace, is part and parcel of the redemption and salvation of the whole. The Holy Virgin Mary, our Blessed Mary, our Mother from the Cross is the very apex of our re-creation and from whence He sprang, is, by us, venerated as such, and as such, serves most greatly in the process of salvation. Thus, we call upon her, the Full of Grace, for her help in our struggle to be saved, and venerate her as the foremost of our race. We cannot deny and woe to him who will, the Most Pure Virgin, as one wholly united with God, as one who has never lost Grace, and has always been in full union with the perfect human nature of Christ. If this logic can be and should be acceptable to these critics who falsely give their interpretation to the Works of Grace, they would not challenge our veneration of the Blessed Mary, the “Mother of God”, but would embrace it also, as being a clear teaching of the Holy Scriptures.

1. We call upon the Blessed Mary for her intercessions for the same reason that we call upon each other and the saints and angels for theirs. The Holy Scripture commands us to intercede for one another (l Timothy 2:1-2) as did Jesus Christ when He proclaimed, “Love God above all things and others as I have loved you”. This applies just as much in Heaven to those who practiced it here on Earth as it does to us for others in the Church temporal.

2. We call upon the Blessed Mary for her help, and prayers for our salvation. "Hail Mary , Mother of God, pray for us sinners now and at the hour of our death". We use it in the same context that Apostle Paul and Bishop Timothy are able to save the faithful (1Corinthians 9:22; 1 Timothy 4:16).

3. The Holy Virgin is called “Blessed Mary” (Mother of God) on the basis of Scripture (Luke 1:31-35, and especially verse 43). Moreover, the prophecy of Ezekiel is precise in the matter (Ezekiel 44:2). Few of the Protestant sects would dare to deny that the Child whom Mary bore is truly God and, therefore, they must confess that Mary is the "Blessed Mary" the "Mother of God"), whose womb contained not only Christ but the Most Holy Trinity.

4. Sectarians revile the Blessed Mary and deny her veneration because they have no truly Christian knowledge and understanding of the Holy Scripture, and from sheer, careless mistranslations and in more than a few translations of these translations deliberately changed the scriptures. Works they pridefully persist in. An excellent example is the section concerning the wedding of Susannah at Cana, which so many sectarians twist and seek to turn against the Holy Virgin.

Using the sadly mistranslated passage at John 2:1-11 in the King James Version, Many protestant scriptural translators make the claim that this text demonstrates Christ's own disregard for His mother. In the K.J.V., this passage has Christ responding to His mother's remark about the fact that there was no more wine for the wedding guests with, “Woman, what have I to do with you?” First of all, Christ Himself would have been guilty under the law had he addressed His mother in this fashion, for “to honor the father and mother” was demanded under the Old Law of the Sinai, and it has not changed. He would have lied when He said I came to fulfill the Law not to change it” Most important, however, is the actual text. The correct translation reads:

And when the wine was all gone, the mother of Jesus said to Him,” They have no more wine”. Jesus said to her, “Dear lady, what is that to you and Me? My time is not yet come”.

"His mother said to the servants, "Whatever He says to you, do it.” What it should say is “Woman what is still between you and I”. Gently Jesus was pointing out He must now be about His Father’s business no longer trammeled by obedience to the law but Holy Obedience to His Father. With that we know that he is not now Jesus of Mary of Nazareth but Jesus, the Will of His Father. As we read further on in this chapter, we discover that He does work the miracle. Why? Because of Mary's intercession. And think of it. Because of the intercession of the Blessed Mary, the order of God's plan is set aside. Christ works the miracle before the time has come. How powerful then, are the intercessions of the Blessed Mary shown to be. Moreover, she is shown to be His first apostle, since she instructs the servants, “Whatever He tells you, do it.”
Even at the moment of His death on the Cross, Jesus thought of His mother and gave her special place (John 19:26-27).The Blessed Mary was honored even before the Nativity of our Savior (Luke 1:41-45).If the Holy Scripture proclaims that “all generations” shall call Mary blessed (Luke 1:48), then certainly those who refuse to call her blessed do not belong to the generation of Grace, the generation of the Living. Look at what this prayer is it in the Magnificat and those who pray it “doth magnify the Lord” that is loudly proclaim His Glories.
8. The Virgin is called the "Queen" in prophecy, by David, "At Thy right hand stood the queen, arrayed in vesture of in woven gold, adorned in many colors" (Psalms 44:8), etc. Thus, she is honored occasionally in prayers as the "heavenly queen." Of course, she is the Mother of the King, and the title “heavenly queen” is just another confession of our faith that the Child Jesus born of her is truly God our King. Sectarians will sometimes attempt to apply the words of Jeremiah the prophet (Jeremiah 44:17, 25) to condemn our use of the term “heavenly queen” when referring to Christ's mother. But Jeremy was here condemning the worship of the pagan fertility goddess Easter by the astrology cults, which considered Easter to be an actual deity. Therefore, it is dishonest and immoral of sectarians to use this Scripture in such a false manner to condemn the mother of our Savior. I must point out that for Catholics David's Queen above returned to her Children, dressed in all the Gold of Ophir. We call her Our Lady of Salette

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