How do we reconcile the eternal virginity of Mary with Matthew's gospel reading today -12/18/2014

at the very end of Matthew’s gospel today - Thursday 12.18.2014, there is a line that says - “He (Joseph) had no relations with her until she bore a son,
and he named him Jesus.”

When we say Mary, ever Virgin, do we simply mean, she didn’t have any more kids, or do we mean that she never consummated her marriage to Joseph?


When the Gospel says that Joseph never have relations with Mary until the birth of Jesus, the use of “until” is the same as when we say that he was faithful to her until he died. By this we do not mean that after he died, he was unfaithful. Until can mean: up to a point and not further. If Matthew wanted to say that Joseph refrained until the birth and then had relations with Mary afterward, he would have added “only” before “until”.

Mary remained a virgin before and after she gave birth because she never had relations with a man. Her motherhood is a miracle.

Fr. Vincent Serpa, O.P.

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