This is our sixth post in a series exploring the Creed of Christian faith being revealed to Mary during her pregnancy, trimester by trimester, event by event. We now come to the third trimester. Lk 2:1-7 explains that Caesar has inadvertently determined the place for the Christ Child to be born. According to the census (enrollment) ordered by Caesar, Joseph would have to travel to Bethlehem to fulfill his obligation. Mary (and Unborn Jesus) would accompany him.
Micah the prophet had prophesied this eventuality (see Micah 5:2, Mt 2:4-6):
“And you, O Bethlehem, in the land of Judah,
are by no means least among the rulers of Judah;
for from you shall come a ruler
who will govern my people Israel.” Mt 2:6
Before hearing of the enrollment, Mary probably did not know for certain where her Son would be born. This news from Rome was like a piece of a puzzle, which enabled Mary to connect the dots and it is very possible she related the above text from Micah to her specific travel itinerary, and praised God. The verse not only identifies the place of the birth, but states that her Son will be “a ruler who will govern my people Israel”. Mary can now add this information to all of the prior information she had been receiving from angels (Gabriel and the angel of the Lord), remnant Saints (Elizabeth, Zechariah, Joseph) and the Holy Spirit. Now politicians and prophets are enlightening her concerning the Will of God and the mystery of the Incarnation.
It is worth noting also that during these nine months Mary clearly would have ascribed other Old Testament prophecies to her Son (and herself) and would have been thereby further enlightened. One example should suffice: “Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel” (Isa 7:14). If nothing else, she could derive from this verse the fact that she as virgin Mother held a Messianic office and the prophets through the centuries were preparing the people for this great dawning of the Messianic Age.
The third trimester ends when the child leaves the womb and is born. So we still have another third trimester event to consider. Mary and Unborn Jesus, along with Joseph, were turned away at the Inn “because there was no place for them”. Here is a profound message for Mary about the difficulty and rejection in store for her Son. Like many of the prophets before Him, her son would no doubt meet with some rejection. (Mary may have even gone so far as to possibly relate the Messianic Psalm 22 to her Son even now, before He had even been born: “My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?”; verse 1).
So they end up in a manger, in humility, and she senses the meekness of God’s Plan for her Son, even now before He is born. She intuitively senses here in this manger, the order of Creation, and perceives that her Son has come indeed to restore a proper order to all things; from the animal kingdom to the angelic realms. She will no longer be heavy with child, but her heart will remain full of Incarnation truths and mysteries, both lived and believed.
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