Any precedent for virginity or celibacy that is used to substantiate claims about Mary, also applies to the discipline of celibacy by religious and clergy. Those who would malign such a lifestyle as unnatural do an injustice to good people who embrace purity. St. Paul, himself, affirms that it is a noble choice and one for which he has a preference.
A chief foreshadowing in the Old Testament is the prophet, Jeremiah. God commanded him, “Do not take a wife, have no sons and no daughters in this place” (Jeremiah 16:1-4). Mary was the first disciple and prophet of the Good News. Priests are also prophets and living signs of contradiction to the world. Their celibacy is an eschatological sign pointing to the fact that we are only pilgrims in this world. The kingdom is breaking into the world and time is short. Like Jeremiah, their lives are consumed by their relationship with God and their mission among his people.
Although there are translation disputes about whether it is best to use “maiden” or “virgin” in the prophecy of Isaiah 7:14; “a virgin is with child,” is regarded as being satisfied in Matthew 1:23. This testifies to the truth about Mary.
Single and religious should maintain a virginal life and the married must never confuse lust with passion.