“Ask a Priest: Did Jesus Ever Get Annoyed at Mary?”

Q: I was wondering if Jesus, when he was a teen/young adult, would ever get angry or annoyed with his mother, Mary? -N.K.

Answered by Fr. Edward McIlmail, LC

A: First, it is worth recalling that Jesus had no sin. “For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who has similarly been tested in every way, yet without sin” (Hebrews 4:15).

The Second Vatican Council reiterated this point. “Born of the Virgin Mary, He has truly been made one of us, like us in all things except sin” (Gaudium et Spes, 22).

Yet, Jesus displayed anger, such as in the face of obstinate critics. “Looking around at them with anger and grieved at their hardness of heart, he said to the man, ‘Stretch out your hand’” (Mark 3:5).

Now, the Blessed Virgin Mary was certainly no obstinate critic of her Son. Yet, they did seem to have their misunderstandings. “When his parents saw him, they were astonished, and his mother said to him, ‘Son, why have you done this to us? Your father and I have been looking for you with great anxiety.’ And he said to them, ‘Why were you looking for me? Did you not know that I must be in my Father’s house?’ But they did not understand what he said to them” (Luke 2:48-50).

Scripture thus indicates that there were moments of miscommunication between Jesus and Mary. One could imagine such miscommunication triggering a very human reaction in one or both of them — though not a sinful reaction. (Mary too was sinless.)

So, if by annoyance or anger we mean a deliberately fueled state of irritation, then we can say No, Jesus was never angry or annoyed with his Mother. If by annoyance we mean a flare-up of righteous passion, such as when Our Lord chides Peter (“Get behind me, Satan!” -Matthew 16:23), then something like that might have been possible in the household of the Holy Family. That wouldn’t detract one iota from Jesus’ love for his Mother, though it would underscore that mystery that he is true God and true man.

I hope this helps. God bless.

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