In our last post we listed the extraordinary events and Revelations which unfolded in the life of Mary (and Unborn Jesus) during the nine months of her pregnancy. Our list was presented trimester-by-trimester and relied upon the Gospels of Luke and Matthew for scriptural facts. Today’s post is part of a series of upcoming posts reflecting upon the content of the Revelations given to Mary, trimester-by-trimester; the meaning and significance of these Revelations will be discussed.
Luke 1:28, 30: The initial mystery of her favored relationship to God is revealed to Mary by Gabriel.
Lk 1:31-33 The miraculous nature of her impending pregnancy is revealed to Mary. That her child will be a male, and will be “called the Son of the Most High”, that He will be given the throne of David, will reign forever and there will be no end to His kingdom. This means that her Son will be a King, not just an earthly King by an eternal King, with subjects. Many Christians think of Christ’s kingship as symbolic, but it is not merely symbolic – it is a real and true kingship, in fact Christ is the true measure of all Kings (and Queens) throughout history. There is an incredibly personal and poignant word given to Mary also about this pregnancy, this Son: “you shall call his name Jesus”. Here begins the magnificent Christian devotion to the Holy Name of Jesus. It was a name she would embrace in prayer, a name to whisper, a name to marvel at, a name like no other name – a name she discovered by the hour, a name sent down from Heaven upon the head of her baby.
Lk 1:35 This has to be the most fantastic truth ever revealed to a human being!!! The Archangel Gabriel explains how the Incarnation will take place. The child “will be called holy, the Son of God” because the child will be conceived, as the Nicene Creed says, “by the power of the Holy Spirit” and as Gabriel says “ The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you…” Virtually the entire first half of the Nicene Creed is embedded here in the cumulative words of Gabriel to Mary! Mary represents the Church and Gabriel is the messenger of God “Most High”. He is revealing the first mystical kernel of the Christian Creed to Mary and she will embrace it body and soul – she will live the Creed. The Church’s belief in the Incarnation will be rooted in this evangelical exchange. Mary will tell the Church what she was told and the Church will cling to this holy revelation, her martyrs will cling to it with their dying breaths!
Lk 1:36-37 Gabriel tells Mary about the pregnancy of Elizabeth, putting everything into perspective: “For with God nothing will be impossible”. (Approximately a week later, when Mary sees with her own eyes that Elizabeth is, in fact, six months pregnant, she will understand all the more emphatically, the power in the words revealed to her.)
Lk 1:38 Mary’s response to this litany of heavenly revelations has calmed Christians for two thousand years: “Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word.” In her heart she now has the key to human history, the hope of humanity, the revelation of all God’s promises in one Word. As the Fathers of the Church would say, she conceives in her heart before conceiving in her womb.
She immediately conceives in her womb – now Christ is physically growing within her womb and the Christian Creed is mystically growing within her intellect and heart. The Creed – in embryonic state – is taking root in a human heart.
Our next post will consider the Visitation (Lk 1:39-45, 46-55).
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