Monday, August 17, 2009

On questioning

On this account, the Watcher [Gabriel] had saluted Mary as a pledge of great peace for the whole world.

"Hail Mary, our Lord is with you," he was saying to her, "you will conceive and bear a son in your virginity."

She said to him: "How will this be as you say, since I am a virgin and there is no fruit of virgins?"

In that moment it was very necessary to question, so that the mystery of the Son dwelling in her might be explained to her.


Eve had not questioned the serpant when he led her astray, she who by her will kept silent and firmly believed the treachery.

The latter maiden heard truth from the faithful one, nevertheless in this way she had sought out an explanation.

The former heard of becoming a goddess from a tree, but she did not say: "How will what you mention ever happen?"

The Watcher told this one that she would conceive the Son of God, but she did not accept it until she was well informed.

That she in her person would ascend to the divine rank, the virgin wife of Adam did not doubt the liar.

To this one who would bear the Son of God it was told, but she inquired, sought, investigated, learned and then kept silent.

See now how much more beautiful is the latter than the former; because of her beauty, the Lord chose her and made her his Mother.

Jacob of Serug, On the Mother of God (Mary Hansbury, translator)
Homily 1, pages 31-33

I recommend this episode of the Word from the Fathers podcast.

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