I wanted to tell you about the end of my conversation with my cousin L. After I told him that I had more or less ignored Mary, and that his questions had made me dig deeper and start to find some answers, he responded by saying that maybe I should ignore Mary. After all, only in that one spot in the Bible does it talk about Mary like that. After that, there is very little mention of Mary. When Mary is mentioned, her role is downplayed by Jesus. For example, when Mary comes to see Jesus and He is told that His mother and brethren are there to see Him. His response is "Who is my mother and who are my brothers? Those that do the will of God." That is not an exact quote because I am too lazy this morning to look it up, but that's the gist.
As I pointed out to L, Mary is still honored in this statement because she holds the will of God so highly in her life and follows it completely. Later, I thought more about what he had said, and there was more to it. You can't ignore one passage of Scripture in favor of another. Even if it's only one passage, it's there because it's Scripture and is the very Word of God. It doesn't contradict itself, but more than that, proper understanding of each passage should lead to greater understanding of the other passages.
L, I love you and generally think that you're doing an outstanding job of your search. But you can't ignore one Scripture based on another one. You have to find how they not only don't contradict each other, but how they build on each other.