Jean asked:

A non-Catholic Christian asked me how can Mary be the mother of God? She was the mother of Jesus only in the flesh. I didn't have a come back for this.

Fr. Joseph Fessio replied:

"This is a very serious question. It really divided the Church back in the early fourth century and fifth century. It was basically decided definitively at the Council of Ephesus in 430, which built the first church there that was named after Mary Mother of God ...

Astoirius, who was like your friend, said the very same thing. Mary is the mother of Jesus and not the mother of God. What Cyril of Alexandria said in response is wait a minute is Jesus God or not?

The answer is yes. Jesus is fully man and he's fully God. So Jesus is God. Is Mary the mother of Jesus? Yes she is. Well if she's the mother of Jesus and Jesus is God she's got to be in some way the mother of God too.

They called her theotokos. Theo means God and tokos means bearer, so she bore God. It's a paradox, it's a mystery. If we're going to hold that there's only one person in Jesus the divine son of the father, and that one person is both fully human and fully divine, then Mary is the mother of Jesus as the incarnate son of God. She's not mother of the word the eternal son of God. But she's truly the mother of God..."


Catholic Answers, "Open Forum" (San Diego: Catholic Answers, 2013)

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Show air date: November 19, 2013

Name of show: Open Forum

Guest comments by: Fr. Joseph Fessio

Question appeared in show: 2:12:

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