Birthgiver of God or mother of God?

I get some fascinating questions through the BustedHalo Question Box, and this one was no exception:

“Shouldn’t the proper term for Mary be the ‘birthgiver of God’ instead of the ‘mother of God’?”

What do you think?

Because of the format, I have to keep the answer short, but believe me,  I could have written volumes about this. There are a few ways to approach this question, and I tried to touch on all of them, but for me, the answer really comes down to this:  Anyone who has been in the mothering business knows that “mother” is a verb as well as a noun.  It’s a state of being, of doing, of acting.  And mothering doesn’t stop when the kids are old enough to dress themselves, to fix their own meals, to strike out on their own.  At the age of thirty-seven, I still rely on my mom to prop me up through the bad times and celebrate with me in the good.   At the age of thirty-three, Jesus relied on Mary for the same things.

Yes, Mary gave birth to Jesus … but she was also, memorably and beautifully,  His mother.

Image: Madonna and Child by Giulio Romano

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