3 "It seems to me that the person bringing the message was not simply doing so on occasion given, but was laying a snare for our Saviour, to see whether he would prefer flesh and blood to His spiritual task. Our Lord therefore did not think scorn to come out, as disavowing mother and brethren but He speaks as answering one who was laying a snare for Hlim
Not, as Marcion and Manich'us say, did He deny His mother, that we should esteem Him born of a phantom, but He preferred the apostles to His kindred." St. Jer. in loc. "Some pestilent heretics would maintain from this passage, that our Lord had no mother, and do not perceive that it follows, on comparison of an other text ". (St. Matt. xxiii. 9.) that neither have His disciples fathers. Because, as He said Himself, "Who is my mother?" so He taught them, saying, "Call no man your father on earth." St. Aug. in Ps. ix. sec. 31. [He speaks] "not as defrauding His mother of her due honor, but indicates for what kind of maternity the Virgin is pronounced to be blessed. For if he who hears the Word of God and keeps it is His brother, and sister, and mother, and Christ's mother had both these, evidently this was the maternity in respect of which His mother was to be blessed. For to hear the Word of God and keep it belongs to a pure soul, looking altogether towards God An since it was no ordinary woman whom God selected to become the mother of Christ, but her who in virtues held a place higher than all women, therefore Christ also willed His mother to be called blessed from this virtue, whereby she was deemed worthy to become a Virgin mother." Qu'st. et Resp. ad Orthod. ap. St. Just. Mart. p.485. Ed. Muorell. 1736.