Unborn Jesus Our Hope
Chapter 5 - Excerpt
The Return to Nazareth
She is the first Christian missionary. She carries the Christ across the land from this town to that. But He dwells within her – within and beneath her heart. The mystery of this particular heart to Heart, body to Body communion between mother and Child, Christian and Christ, is impossible to fathom.
Many years later both Saints Peter and Paul described their own sense of oneness with Christ in words that may help us in our appreciation of Mary’s experience. Reflecting on his own personal identification with Christ's death on the cross, St. Paul would say; "I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me..." (Gal 2:20).
But what of Mary's intimate identification with our Lord's Incarnation, the singular experience of Mary's maternity? Her sentiments may have resembled those of St. Paul; paraphrasing now: "I have been conceived with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me..."
And as each day passed, did she not sense that she was becoming, as St. Peter would later say, a partaker "of the divine nature" (II Pet 1:4)? No other human soul has experienced the wonder and grace of this mystical passage from youthful human simplicity into the eternal mystery of mothering God! Words fail us here: "Christ is all, and in all" (Col 3:11).
Mary carries not only Christ within her, but also the original kernel of Christian doctrine and spirituality. She already holds fast to a Creed of Christian belief which is developing even as her Child develops within her. Her profound vision and grasp of her own Hebrew religion have laid the foundation for her faith.
Her sources of this doctrine thus far are the angel Gabriel (sent by God to both Mary and Zechariah), Elizabeth, the unborn John, as well as Zechariah (all inspired by the Holy Spirit), and most directly, the Incarnate Word of God speaking within her.
The most recent installment of this Credo came through the prophesy of Zechariah which she must have recalled and repeated to herself now, letting the words play upon memory and heart together as a blessed melody but with a difference; this was a message from almighty God for her and for others.
She realized even now she should remember these words of the Holy Spirit spoken through Zechariah and pray God to understand them (as she had previously committed to memory also the words of Elizabeth and her own "Magnificat"). She may well have smiled too recalling the last words spoken "...to guide our feet into the way of peace." She walked on peacefully, her Divine Guide within her, leading.