Recently I gave a talk at a parish here in the Phoenix Metropolitan area that focused on the Person of the Jesus Christ. One of the points I made is that the Old Testament points directly to Jesus Christ. If you read the Scriptures correctly and through the eyes of the Church, there are many prophesies in the Old Testament fulfilled by Jesus Christ in the New Testament.
Although Mary’s role in the Scriptures of the New Testament is smaller than Jesus, she is always there and the focus is on Him, however, the role she does play is fundamental to Salvation History. Her activities in the Incarnation and Redemption of Jesus Christ are essential and continue after Jesus’ Ascension into Heaven through the teachings of the Church and her appearances in apparitions.
Since we are still in the Month of the Rosary, we will focus on Mary being active in the Incarnation of Jesus Christ for this week. These five events should sound familiar if you pray the Holy Rosary, for they are the Joyful Mysteries. Next week, we will focus on the Mary in the Redemption of Jesus Christ.
For this blog post, you will need your Bibles, so make sure you have it next to you.
1. The Annunciation of the Angel Gabriel to Mary (Read LK 1:26-38)
“Hail, full of grace, the Lord is with you.” The Annunciation is when the Angel Gabriel comes to Mary to announce to the Virgin of Nazareth that she will bear and conceive a son and name him Jesus. It is here at the Annunciation that Mary gives her “fiat” or “let it be done to me.” Her role as Co-Redemptrix begins here and is brought to fulfillment at Calvary. For more on the Annunciation, please read “Mondays with Mary” – Benedict XVI on the Annunciation of the Lord.
2. The Visitation of Mary to Elizabeth (Read Lk 1:39-56)
Mary quickly departs for the hill country, very similar to King David in the Old Testament, where she goes to serve her cousin, Elizabeth. Two major events of grace occur when she goes to Elizabeth. First, Elizabeth declares by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit that Mary is the Mother of her Lord and the child in womb leapt for joy. Second, the same Holy Spirit inspires Mary to declare her “Magnificat” or song of praise. For more on the Visitation, please read “Mondays with Mary” – The Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary and The Magnificat.
3. The Nativity of Jesus (Read Lk 2:4-20)
Mary “brought fourth her first-born Son and wrapped him in swaddling clothes” (Lk 2:7). In a cave, in Bethlehem (“house of bread”), Mary gives birth to God the Son. The second person of the Trinity becomes incarnate – “The Word Became Flesh! God himself becomes Man.
4. The Presentation of the Infant Jesus to the Temple (Read Lk 2:22-39)
To fulfill the Jewish law, Jesus, being only eight days old, is presented in the Temple as Jesus would be presented at Calvary upon the cross. We see at the Presentation in the Temple the beginning of the Immaculate and sorrowful heart of Mary through the prophetic words of Simeon – “And a sword will pierce your own heart too” (Lk 2:35). For more information, please read “Mondays with Mary” – The Immaculate Heart of Mary.
5. The Finding of the Child Jesus in the Temple (Read Lk 2:41-52)
After searching through the caravan of family and friends for three days, Mary and Joseph return to Jerusalem and find the child in the Temple talking with the priests and scholars. The three days foreshadow his time in the tomb. After Mary asks Jesus where he was, his reply is, “I must be about my Father’s business” (Lk 2:49). The gospel writer, St. Luke, tells us that Mary kept all these things and pondered them in her heart. Because Mary is free of original sin, she has an infused knowledge to know the will of God (just like Adam and Eve before the Fall). She can fully reflect on the activities of her Son and truly hold them in her heart.
Miravalle, Mark. Introduction to Mary. Queenship Publishing, 2006.