Why be trivial and pedantic about Jesus, Mary and wine?

I noticed in one of the previous “ask an apologist” questions, somebody asked if Jesus drank wine. Jan Wakelin, one of your apologists responded that he did drink wine because at the Last Supper Jesus said,

“I tell you I shall not drink again of this fruit of the vine until that day when I drink it new with you in my Father’s kingdom."

The explanation was that the word again infers that Jesus did at some time drink wine.

Earlier in the Matthew 1:24-25 the Biblical writer writes,

“When Joseph woke up, he did what the angel of the Lord had commanded him and took Mary home as his wife. But he had no union with her until she gave birth to a son. And he gave him the name Jesus”

Using the logic that the apologist used, couldn’t you say that the word until infers that Mary didn’t remain a virgin her entire life? If not, this seems like a double standard. One shouldn’t be so pedantic about trivial matters. If Jesus did or didn’t drink wine it would in no way affect his divinity. The same is true if Mary didn’t remain a virgin her entire life.

Dear Andy,

With regard to Matt 1: 24-25, the word “until” is used in the sense that we say that a certain man was faithful to his wife “until” he died. Here we do not imply that after his death he was un-faithful.

In the case of Matt 26: 26-29, Jesus says: “From now on, I tell you, I shall not drink wine again until the day I drink the new wine with you in the kingdom of the Father.” Here “until” is used in another way. And yes we can have it both ways because both ways do in fact exist. There is no double standard here. The word can be used in two ways.

We are not being pedantic because the matter of Mary’s perpetual virginity is not trivial—any more than her Son’s incarnation is trivial. She is the channel God chose through which to become incarnate. We acknowledge her as truly unique in all of human history. She nursed almighty God at her breast. Could any believing Christian honestly suggest that He deserved anything less than a sacred vessel as His earthly mother?

For more: ewtn.com/library/ANSWERS/KEY2MARY.HTM

Fr. Vincent Serpa, O.P.

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