All in God’s plan

Reflection on the Birth of the Blessed Mother (September 8) by Fr Randy Flores SVD

“Humbling.” This is how Ms Roma Downey described her experience as Mary in The Bible miniseries 2013 on History Channel. A lot of the part is subtext. Mary’s words are few. Downey says that as a mother herself she “can’t even imagine the complexity and profundity of emotions” that Mary had felt. One particular scene is at the foot of the cross. Mary, the disciple John, and Mary Magdalene are there. “When we are filming that,” Downey recounts, “it was so moving to be reminded that in spite of everything Jesus was still thinking of his mom.”

We celebrate today the Nativity of Mary. The Gospel reading is take from Matthew — the annunciation of the birth of the Emmanuel (1,18-23). Unlike in Luke’s account, a lot of it is in the subtext, no words from Mary. The story revolves around Joseph than around her. Matthew, however, introduces Mary as his (Jesus’) mother and that she fufilled the prophecy of Isaiah.

This is significant as it is only Matthew who recalls this prophecy. The other Gospels are silent about it. It goes well, however, with Matthew’s own understanding of salvation history hinted at the very start of his gospel — the Genealogy. The Emmanuel would come from the line of David. Joseph and Mary are from that line and Matthew thus concludes the Genealogy by introducing Joseph as “the husband of Mary” (1,16). It is, perhaps, for reason that the early Christians had put emphasis on the story of the birth of Mary (cf. Apocryphal Gospel of James) — all are in God’s plan of salvation.

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