3_A word from Mary
We often ask God to descend into our lives from above, in a somewhat mystical way. In past encoutners we have seen how his incarnation was an event that had always been prepared: time, care, waiting, patience. Until that favorable, supreme moment, that kairós, which changed history.
Who can tell us about those events, so unique and surprising, and, at the same time, so intimately part of the life that unfolded, if not those who experienced them firsthand? Let us therefore leave the word to Mary.
My name is Mary. I am a young woman originally from Nazareth, a small village in Galilee. I was engaged to Joseph, also from Nazareth, but his family came from Bethlehem. According to genealogical memory, the family traced back to King David and then to the patriarch Abraham. Joseph, a pious and righteous man, was a carpenter; our wedding was near and we were preparing for it following the tradition and behaviors of our faith. In those days of preparation something happened that I have never talked about; I don't know how many would have believed me. But since you ask me about the birth of Jesus, I will have to tell you about these incredible and amazing events. I know I can tell them to you. They will enter your heart.
I must confess in advance that I have always asked myself: Why did all this happen to me? I don't have an answer; I entered into this without seeking it out and I have thought many times that there was the finger of God's hand in all this.
I remember well, however, that I was at home, my house was a simple and humble one, when suddenly the room lit up and an angel of the Lord appeared in front of me; he greeted me; he said his name was Gabriel, that he had been sent by the Lord Most High and he advised me not to be afraid, but rather to rejoice; He asked me if I wanted to collaborate with God in the work of salvation, the same salvation that had been foretold to Abraham and his descendants and would bring mercy to Israel and the world, from generation to generation. I was hesitant, confused, surprised and somewhat frightened. The angel reassured me; after a few moments of bewilderment, I thought that I had to trust in God as I had been taught in the Shema Yisrael, since it was not I who had created plans and expectations for myself; and those words of the Shema, which are in the mind and heart of every good Israelite, told me: remember "The Lord is the only one, you shall love him with all your heart, you shall always remember him, you shall do what is good in his eyes and what he asks of you"! In the depths of my heart, I decided to entrust myself to God and, although with great fear, I said yes. At that time, he told me that this collaboration implied motherhood by the Holy Spirit; then he reassured me several times not to be afraid, adding that the child I would conceive was mine, but also the work of God and would be called Jesus.
In the meantime, I felt that my body was being transformed day by day. It was then that my betrothed became aware of my maternity; concerned, but virtuous as he was, he thought of abandoning me; but he did not want to cause a scandal, until an angel of the Lord, in a dream, explained to him and asked him if he too wished to collaborate in this superior work of God.
So it was that Joseph and I came back together and prepared for the birth of our son. I always thought of Joseph as the shadow of God that accompanied me through life.
Fernando Cardinal Filoni