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Daily Catholic Question

Was John the Baptist free from original sin?

In his account of the Visitation, St. Luke says, "When Elizabeth heard Mary's greeting, the infant [John] leaped in her womb" (Luke 1:41).

Luke earlier states that when the angel of the Lord appeared to Zechariah—while he was offering incense—and announced the coming birth of John, Zechariah proclaimed, "He will be filled with the holy Spirit even from his mother's womb" (Luke 1:15).

Some infer from these texts that John was cleansed from original sin in his mother's (Elizabeth's) womb and thus born without original sin.

One is free to believe this, but it is not a necessary conclusion or a matter of faith, something that must be held.

While some believe John was freed from original sin while still in his mother's womb, the Church proclaims as a matter of faith that Mary, the mother of Jesus, was conceived without original sin, that she was never from the first instant touched by original sin.

Click here for the rest of today's answer

Thursday, April 4, 2013
Daily Catholic Question for 4/3/2013 Daily Catholic Question for 4/5/2013


Joachim and Anne: In the Scriptures, Matthew and Luke furnish a legal family history of Jesus, tracing ancestry to show that Jesus is the culmination of great promises. Not only is his mother’s family neglected, we also know nothing factual about them except that they existed. Even the names <i>Joachim</i> and <i>Anne</i> come from a legendary source written more than a century after Jesus died. 
<p>The heroism and holiness of these people, however, is inferred from the whole family atmosphere around Mary in the Scriptures. Whether we rely on the legends about Mary’s childhood or make guesses from the information in the Bible, we see in her a fulfillment of many generations of prayerful persons, herself steeped in the religious traditions of her people. </p><p>The strong character of Mary in making decisions, her continuous practice of prayer, her devotion to the laws of her faith, her steadiness at moments of crisis, and her devotion to her relatives—all indicate a close-knit, loving family that looked forward to the next generation even while retaining the best of the past. </p><p>Joachim and Anne—whether these are their real names or not—represent that entire quiet series of generations who faithfully perform their duties, practice their faith and establish an atmosphere for the coming of the Messiah, but remain obscure.</p> American Catholic Blog My hope is that my children reach beyond me in character. I don’t want to be their moral ceiling. That makes me responsible to guide and discipline them in directions I don’t always follow. And above all, to show them mercy for their human frailty, as I ask them to show me that same mercy for mine.

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