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This is seen by the names of those that she raised alongside of Jesus. Now we generally believe that these children were the siblings of Jesus. Joseph and Mary’s children but not all followers of Jesus adhere to this. Some believe that James for example was a cousin. The idea is that Mary remained a virgin even after Jesus was born. Some believe that the children were Joseph’s from a previous marriage (although this is less credible). I spoken with a few who believe that these kids were cousins and there is a reading of scripture that seems to support this. I don’t think this is really that important and especially should not be a point of debate and argument, which would be opposed to the ways of Jesus.

What is important is that Mary raised these kids (at least 2 girls and 4 boys [plus Jesus]) and what the boys were named. According to Matthew Mary and Joseph lived in Egypt for a short time. It is clear that the children were immersed in the story of Israel and God’s deliverance of Israel from Egypt. This by the way is the great hope of the Anawim. The boys were all named for the Israel’s sons: Yakov (James), Yosef (Joseph), Yehudah (Judah), and Shimeon (Simeon). Add Jesus (Yeshua or Joshua) and the names of these five boys tell the story of Israel’s liberation from slavery.

What a huge vocation!!! As Mary raises these children, their names evoke her Anawim hope that God’s kingdom was being inaugurated.