We know very little about Mary. When an angel came and told Mary she would give birth to the Christ child, we know she was young. Nonetheless, in spite of the shame might suffer and did suffer (Matthew 1:18-24), she willing obeyed the angel — and God’s command — and she became pregnant out-of-wedlock. Thus, Mary began the ordeal and joy of motherhood.
Contrary to what the Jews of her time expected, Mary led a difficult life. Instead, of personal glory as the mother of the Messiah, she witnessed the torture and the seemingly ignominious death of her first-born on a Roman cross (John 19:26-27). Even after His resurrection, Christ Jesus soon ascended out of sight into heaven, apparently leaving those who followed Him to struggle on their own. Nevertheless, Mary humbly obeyed God, and her faith now serves as a model for our own. To love and trust God, we too must have faith in Him. We must also have faith in God to love each other. Without hope and faith in the future — even with that blessed assurance that God first loved us (1 John 4:19), we struggle when give of ourselves to another.
If the fruit of our flesh were just doomed to die, would anyone want to bring a child into this world and love that child? Fortunately, God made us to live with Him forever, and because Mary and Joseph had faith in God, they had hope. They could love, and they could give sacrificially of themselves.
Nonetheless, sacrifice does not define love.
1 Corinthians 13:3 Good News Translation (GNT)
3 I may give away everything I have, and even give up my body to be burned — but if I have no love, this does me no good.
Love is about learning to live with other imperfect people; that is the kind of love that nurtures children.
Consider how it began. With God before him, Adam had no trouble loving Eve.
Genesis 2:21-24 Good News Translation (GNT)
21 Then the Lord God made the man fall into a deep sleep, and while he was sleeping, he took out one of the man’s ribs and closed up the flesh. 22 He formed a woman out of the rib and brought her to him. 23 Then the man said,
“At last, here is one of my own kind— Bone taken from my bone, and flesh from my flesh. ‘Woman’ is her name because she was taken out of man.”
24 That is why a man leaves his father and mother and is united with his wife, and they become one.
Yet the moment God confronted him and Eve with their sin, Adam blamed Eve for giving him the forbidden fruit (Genesis 3:12), and his love for Eve threaten to evaporate. So it is that at the same time He pronounced judgment, God gave Adam and Eve hope for the future.
Genesis 3:14-21 Good News Translation (GNT)
God Pronounces Judgment
14 Then the Lord God said to the snake, “You will be punished for this; you alone of all the animals must bear this curse: From now on you will crawl on your belly, and you will have to eat dust as long as you live. 15 I will make you and the woman hate each other; her offspring and yours will always be enemies. Her offspring will crush your head, and you will bite her offspring’s heel.”
16 And he said to the woman, “I will increase your trouble in pregnancy and your pain in giving birth. In spite of this, you will still have desire for your husband, yet you will be subject to him.”
17 And he said to the man, “You listened to your wife and ate the fruit which I told you not to eat. Because of what you have done, the ground will be under a curse. You will have to work hard all your life to make it produce enough food for you. 18 It will produce weeds and thorns, and you will have to eat wild plants. 19 You will have to work hard and sweat to make the soil produce anything, until you go back to the soil from which you were formed. You were made from soil, and you will become soil again.”
20 Adam] named his wife Eve, because she was the mother of all human beings. 21 And the Lord God made clothes out of animal skins for Adam and his wife, and he clothed them.
Even as God drove Adam and Eve from Paradise, He began His plan for our redemption. In addition to nurturing a hatred for evil in man, He aroused hope with the promise a savior born from a woman. With the hope engendered by that promise, God made motherhood and the family keys to our salvation. Finally, for Adam’s and Eve’s sake, God offered the first animal sacrifices. He clothed Adam and Eve, covering their nakedness.
Fulfilling God’s promise of a savior, Mary gave birth to Jesus. Because Mary had faith in God and trusted Him, Mary:
- Became the protector of a baby not yet conceived (Luke 1:26-38).
- Celebrated a baby not yet born (Luke 1:46-55).
- Cared for a child as He grew into manhood (Matthew 2 and Luke 2).
Of course, Mary could not and did not raise Jesus alone. She had her husband Joseph, who also had faith in God. They formed a family, and God made certain they had good friends and sometimes angels who helped them. Therefore, Jesus, the perfect man, grew up surrounded by imperfect people who loved Him and each other.
- There’s Something Special about Mary – by Antonio J. Soave (catholicgrounds.com)
- Free Will: Blessing or Curse? (bibletim.wordpress.com)
- “Holy Mary, Let Us Imitate Your Motherhood by Our Faith” (prayers4reparation.wordpress.com)
- (WWMD) What Would Mary Do? (afhojemann.wordpress.com)
- “Why weren’t Adam and Eve created at the same time (Genesis 2)?” (altruistico.wordpress.com)