Radio Show

Why Do We Call Mary ‘the Mother of God’?


In this podcast, Father Dave answers a question with the help of Busted Halo Intern Larissa about Mary: Why do we call Mary ‘the Mother of God’ if she didn’t beget or create God?

Father Dave begins by explaining the theological term Theotokoswhich is a Greek word that’s a theological description of Mary that literally means the bearer or bringer of God. Moving on from the theological, Father Dave boils it down to this: “Mary is the mother of Jesus … Jesus is God. So, Mary is the mother of God.”

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Addressing the question from another angle, Father Dave goes on: “I would back away from all of the theology and all the transitive properties and just talk about mothers. Is it appropriate to call someone a mother of someone if they’re not biologically the mother? And I think most people would quickly leap to answer, ‘Yes.’ If somebody has adopted. If somebody has in any other way taken on a motherly role in someone’s life. If the state has the power to grant parental rights to someone. It’s not like you’re going to say, ‘Not really a mother.’ … There’s a lot more to mothering and being a mother than solely giving birth.

“So, was Mary a mother to Jesus? Absolutely. Is Jesus God? Absolutely. I think the ‘begetting’ part limits motherhood slightly to the idea that Mary must have pre-existed before and actually given birth to all of God and the Trinity in order for us to call her that. That, I think, is a little limiting in how we define mother. Admittedly, we don’t claim that Mary pre-existed before God the Father and Jesus when creation happened. No. But was she the mother of someone who is also God. Yes, she was.” (Original Air 10-25-17)