Reflection for the 28 Sunday of Ordinary time, week beginning 10 October 2021.
Young Mary was especially chosen by God in the great Divine plan. For God to become fully human, in the Person of His Only Begotten Son, a young girl would have to have been immaculately conceived in her own mother’s womb – totally free from the mark of Original Sin, passed down from Adam and Eve. Otherwise, the unsurpassable event of the Incarnation could never take place.
In due course, for Mary to conceive the Son of God, she would have to be overshadowed by the Holy Spirit. The Word of God, the 2nd Person of the Holy Trinity, would become flesh and would receive the name Jesus within 8 days.
(At the same time, the Word would remain in Heaven – it was an extension of the Word’s role, so to speak – it was not the Word vacating Heaven for earth for 30 or so years. This points to the great Heavenly Mystery of the Holy Trinity, to the greatest mystery of all).
In her visitation from the Angel Gabriel, we see Mary understandably perplexed, at first. Her mindset totally alters when he tells her that her cousin Elizabeth, despite her advanced age, will soon give birth herself. When Gabriel has left, Mary goes to visit Elizabeth in all haste. She will stay with her for three months (i.e. until Elizabeth has given birth – to John the Baptist).
At the Bethlehem manger we see the charity of St. Joseph shining through – his absolute devotion to the care of young Mary and the baby Jesus. The word ‘charity’ here is used in its deepest sense of ‘love’ – love as essentially a spiritual phenomenon – love as a fundamentally inward phenomenon that is then expressed outwardly. At the manger, we have our first sight of, and insight into, the Holy Family of Nazareth. In this Rosary month, let us commend ourselves and our families, and our parish family, to their ongoing intercession – as we journey daily through the pandemic, and beyond.