Queen Mother, Mary and Rachel

Contrary to what many non-Catholic Christians charge, we do not honor Mary at the expense of Jesus. We do not give her too much honor thereby taking away from the honor due her Son, as if it were some zero sum game with only so much honor to go around. “Oh, no, I’ve given too much honor to Mary, now I don’t have enough left to give Jesus, oh, no!”

I think this is the accusation I’ve heard the most from non-Catholic family and friends. I’m the only Catholic in my family which could make family gatherings a time for confrontation if more of my family were still around. The only member of my family who was virulently anti-Catholic passed away years ago and she was anti-Catholic to a remarkable degree for a Methodist. Caught me totally off-guard when my dad mentioned to her that I was converting to Catholicism, and she screamed in response, “Why, Catholics persecuted the first Christians!” My dad pulled the car over and turned to where she was sitting in the backseat (beside me, oy vey) and calmly told her, “M—, Catholics were the first Christians.” Oh, how she fumed and argued with him. Oh, how proud I was of him and how he defended me and defended the Church. Thanks, Dad!

Tonight I want to share two videos by Dr. Brant Pitre. The Queen Mother is part of a longer talk I’ve mentioned before and Mary and Rachel: Biblical Women in Travail, which is a sample of his Mass readings commentaries available via subscription. I really need to take the plunge and subscribe to those. I’ve learned so much even from watching the samples available on YouTube.(Videos below, links at the end of this post.)

Above: The Queen Mother, by Dr. Brant Pitre, video, 18:03, excerpt from Jesus and the Jewish Roots of Mary.

Above: Mary and Rachel: Biblical Women in Travail, by Dr. Brant Pitre, video, 8:47, part of the Mass Readings Explained series.

”…[S]ometimes our non-Catholic brothers and sisters, non-Catholic Christians, will say, you know, why do you Catholics give so much honor to Mary? Don’t you think it’s just too much? Is just too much emphasis. You’re taking away from Jesus by honoring her. Not according to the Bible.”

“I mean notice here, who is it that inspires Elizabeth to utter these words of honor over Mary? It’s the Holy Spirit. So apparently the Holy Spirit didn’t have a problem with Elizabeth blessing Mary. Same thing, it’s the Holy Spirit who inspires the author of Luke’s gospel, Luke, to tell us that Elizabeth was humbled in the presence of Mary. None of this takes away from Christ, it’s Christ himself who makes Mary mother of the Messiah, that makes Mary mother of God. And so Elizabeth doesn’t honor either Christ or Mary, she honors Mary because of Christ. It’s a both and, not an either or.”

From the YouTube video page, and quoted from the full vide explaining the Mass readings for the 4th Sunday of Advent, Year C. Link at the end of this post
The Visitation, by Philippe de Champaigne. From Wikimedia. Public domain.

That’s a pretty good point, Dr. Pitre. And the whole thing about Rachel and Bethlehem, wow. Bethlehem Ephrathah. I’m not going to say anything more about it here. Go watch the video, seriously. He says it all better than I can. I haven’t even finished watching it, I just grabbed my laptop, opened up my writing app and started writing to share all of this with you. Looks like I’m going to have to subscribe to the readings commentary after all. It’s too fascinating not to. I love this guy! :)

Jacob and Rachel at the Well, by Luca Giordano. From Wikimedia. Public domain.

Thank you for visiting and reading. God bless you and may His peace be always with you. And I hope you have a blessed Memorial Day.

This has been a post in the Something About Mary Every Day In May series.

Notes and Links

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