Matthew 12:50

For whosoever shall do the will of my Father who is in heaven, the same is my brother, and sister, and mother.
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Ambrose of Milan

AD 397
Ambros. in Luc. 8, 21: Nor does He overthrow the duty of filial submission, which is conveyed in the command, “Honour thy father and thy mother,” but shows that He owes more to the mysteries and relationship of His Father, than of His mother; as it follows, “And stretching out his hand to his disciples, he said, Behold my mother and my brethren.” ...

Augustine of Hippo

AD 430
De Nat. et Grat., 36: But whatever may be decided concerning these brethren, yet concerning the holy Virgin Mary, (for the honour of Christ,) when sin inher is in question, I would not have it brought into doubt. For from this only we might know that more abundant grace was conferred upon her that she should overcome sin on all sides, because she merited to conceive and bring forth Him Who it is clear had no sin. It follows; “Then said one unto him, Behold, thy mother and thy brethren stand without seeking thee.” ...

Gregory The Dialogist

AD 604
Mor., vii, 17: For it often happens that the soul in the commencement of its progress is lifted up, and prides itself on its virtues, that it opens an entrance to the adversary who is raging against it, and who shows himself the more violent in breaking into it, by how much he was grieved at being cast out, though but for a short space. Hom. in Ev., iii, 2: The Lord deigned to call faithful disciples His brethren, saying, “Go, tell my brethren.” Since then a man may be made a brother of the Lord by coming to the faith, it should be enquired how one may become also His mother. Be it known by us then, that he that by believing is made brother or sister of Christ, becomes His mother by preaching; for in pouring Him into the heart of the hearer, he may be said to beget the Lord; and he is made the Lord's mother, when by his word love of the Lord is begotten in the mind of his neighbour. Thus also His mother is declared to stand without, as though she was not acknowledged, because the synag...

Gregory The Dialogist

AD 604
If someone can become the brother of the Lord by coming to faith, we must ask how one can become also his mother. We must realize that the one who is Christ’s brother and sister by believing becomes his mother by preaching. It is as though one brings forth the Lord and infuses him in the hearts of one’s listeners. And that person becomes his mother if through one’s voice the love of the Lord is generated in the mind of his neighbor. ...

Hilary of Poitiers

AD 368
Because He had spoken all the aforesaid things in the power of His Father's majesty, therefore the Evangelist proceeds to tell what answer He made to one that told Him that His mother and His brethren waited for Him without; “While he yet spake unto the people, his mother and brethren stood without desiring tosee him. "Mark also follows up that which He had said concerning blasphemy against the Holy Spirit, by saying, “And there came his mother and his brethren.” Luke has not observed the order of action here, but has placed this earlier as he happened to recollect it. And He cannot be held to have thought meanly of His mother, seeing that in His passion He evinced the most extreme carefulness for her. Although they had like the rest power to come in, yet they abstain from all approach to Him, “for he came unto his own, and his own received him not.” ...


AD 420
From this is taken one of Helvidius’ propositions I ask then, after which manner these are called the Lord’s brethren in the Gospel? According to nature? But Scripture saithnot, neither calling them sons of Mary nor of Joseph. By nation? But it is absurd that some few out of all the Jews should be called brethren, seeing that all the Jews who were there might have thus been called brethren. By affection, either of a human sort, or of the Spirit? If that be true, yet how were they more His brethren than the Apostles, whom He instructed in the inmost mysteries. Or if because they were men, and all men are brethren, it was foolish to say of them in particular, Behold, thy brethren seek thee. It only remains then that they should be His brethren by kindred, not by affection, not by privilege of nation, not by nature. He that delivers this message, seems to me not to do it casually and without meaning, but as setting a snare for Him, whether He would prefer flesh and blood to the spiritual ...

John Chrysostom

AD 407
Hom., xliv: But mark the loftiness of His brethren when they should have come in and hearkened with the crowd, or if they would not this, to have waited the end of His speech, and then to have approached Him—they on the contrary call Him out to them, and do this before the multitude, therein shewing their superabundant love of honour, and also, that with all authority they lay their commands upon Christ. This the Evangelist covertly hints when he says, “While he yet spake;” as much as to say, Was there no other time? But what did they seek to say? Was it aught of the dogmas of truth? then should they have brought it forth before all, that all might profit thereby. But if of other things that concerned themselves alone, they should not have called Him in such haste, whence it is plain that they did this out of vain glory. But had He desired to disown His mother, He would have done it at the time when the Jews cast His birth in His teeth. And besides what has been said, He taught also so...

John Chrysostom

AD 407
Wherefore if they desire to be such, let them come this way. And when the woman again cried out, saying, Blessed is the womb that bare You, He said not, She is not my mother, but, If she wishes to be blessed, let her do the will of my Father. For such a one is both brother, and sister, and mother. Oh honor! Oh virtue! Unto what a height does she lead up him that follows after her! How many women have blessed that holy Virgin, and her womb, and prayed that they might become such mothers, and give up all! What then is there to hinder? For behold, He has marked out a spacious road for us; and it is granted not to women only, but to men also, to be of this rank, or rather of one yet far higher. For this makes one His mother much more, than those pangs did. So that if that were a subject for blessing, much more this, inasmuch as it is also more real. Do not therefore merely desire, but also in the way that leads you to your desire walk thou with much diligence. ...

Theophylact of Ochrid

AD 1107
. He did not say this to offend His mother, but to correct this vainglorious and human thought of hers. For He did not say, "She is not My mother," but "Unless she does the will of God, that she bore Me is of no benefit to her." He does not deny the relationship by birth, but He adds to it the relationship by virtue. For no unworthy person derives benefit from a relationship by birth. When He had corrected the sickness of vainglory, He once again obeyed His mother who was calling Him. For the evangelist says: ...

Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation. - 2 Peter 1:20

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