In her most recent column, St. Joseph Sr. Christine Schenk asks what could better testify to the power of an unpredictable God than to raise up a long-awaited Messiah of the least powerful of humans – a child born of a single mother?
Mary as a single mother. Beautiful choice by a loving God. True echoes through the ages. Excellent article as usual from St. Joseph Sr. Christine Schenk. What did God do to have Jesus the son of a single mother?
But in the end, at the foot of the cross, only his mother Mary can look up to him and whisper to herself, and it’s true: “This is my body, this is my blood.”
No single mothers among the patriarchy.
Port Coquitlam, British Columbia
In response to St. Joseph Sr. Christine Schenk’s article, I noticed that there are difficulties with historical facts.
The original documents surrounding the birth indicate that Jesus was born to Mary of Nazareth, wife of Joseph. She was not a single mother.
Why would anyone want to challenge the patriarchs when the Scriptures meticulously support the patriarchy of Jesus in the genealogical records of Matthew and Luke?
Jesus indeed had an unconventional birth (as Amy Jill Levine notes) because he was conceived by the Holy Spirit. This is unconventional and indicates that with God nothing is impossible.
Nothing in the texts remotely suggests that his birth restructures a perception of the family. In fact, the holy family really inspires families: that God is with us all: father, mother and child.
May God bless all families and save us from the revisionists.
Lake Spring, Michigan
St. Joseph Sr. Christine Schenk’s article contains a commonly accepted fundamental error. Mary was legally married to Joseph at the time of the Annunciation. However, they had not yet started living together as a man and a woman (consumption). This is clear even in the quote from the article in the book by the Sulpician P. Raymond Brown, The Birth of the Messiah: “In the eyes of men, her pregnancy was a scandal since she had not lived with her husband.
There is strong evidence that Mary had already taken a vow of perpetual virginity, hence her perplexity at the angel Gabriel’s announcement about her future motherhood.
Crucially, although some wish it were otherwise, Jesus was not born to a “single mother”. God did not want and did not act in violation of his own laws regarding marriage; many Bible studies confirm this.
St. Joseph Sr. Christine Schenk’s article was fantastic. I had never thought about it as many times as I listened to the “begetters”.
I often reflect on the fact that Jesus would not have come to us as part of the plan of redemption without this blessed woman. I guess if we as women think we have the little end of the stick, we just have to look at our Mother Mary. Like most women, she did her job quietly and quietly from the stable to the cross.
Charlotte, North Carolina
Years ago I wanted to make a nicer Jesse tree for our family and ordered ornaments from a small business. But, I wanted more women represented on the tree for my sons, but especially so that my daughter felt represented. So I asked the owner to develop new adornments for Rahab, Miriam, Deborah, Ruth and Sarah. The owner still has them on his site.
I have never been able to find suitable adornments for Tamar or Bathsheba.
My daughter never gave much thought to the Jesse Tree, which I still use, but I think it was the right thing to do.
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