God was an Embryoby Lawrence Fox
The older woman is Elizabeth, which means in Hebrew “my God is an oath.” The origins and existence of her people are the result of many oaths (covenants) and promises made between the Lord God and her ancestors. She knows through the writings of the prophet Jeremiah that the Lord God plans to establish a new covenant with her people,"'The day is coming,' says the LORD, 'when I will make a new covenant with the people of Israel and Judah.'” (Jer. 31:31) Elizabeth is aware her pregnancy is an integral part of that promise.
Elizabeth is a daughter of Aaron, the priest and brother of the prophet Moses — who wanted God to let him see His face. God told Moses, “'You cannot see My face, for no man can
see Me and live!' Then the LORD said, 'While My glory is passing by I will put you in the cleft of the rock and cover you with My hand until I have passed by.'” (Ex. 33:21) What was once forbidden -- seeing God face to face -- will soon be allowed when man looks at the face of the Child Jesus.
Elizabeth is married to Zechariah also a descendent of Aaron, who serves in the temple. Zechariah has been unable to speak for six months. He will not utter a word until the day when his son is born and circumcised. On that day, He will give his son the name, John, in obedience to God according to the message of the Angel Gabriel. John will be known by many in Judea as the baptiser.
Still God’s timing is perfect. Elizabeth is not simply one of many possible woman to be the mother of God’s prophet; she and Zechariah were predestined to be the parents of the Baptist, “I knew you before you were formed in the womb.” For all things which exist do so first in the mind of God. “A thousand years in your sight are like a day that has just gone by, or like a watch in the night.” (Ps. 90:4)
|"Do whatever He tells you," His mother told the servants.|
Mary epitomizes the woman Israel who the prophet Isaiah identified as being clothed with the garments of salvation over whom the Lord God of Israel rejoices. (Isaiah 61:10) The garments of salvation are the flesh and blood of the Incarnate Word of God. The archangel
Gabriel gave to Mary this greeting: “Rejoice Mary, for you have found favor with God.” (Lk. 1:30) Israel in the person of Mary becomes a bride in the fullest sense for she is a virgin overshadowed by the glory cloud of God. She conceives in her heart and her womb the living Word of God. St. Luke writes, “In the sixth month of Elizabeth’s pregnancy, God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a town in Galilee, to a virgin pledged to be married to a man named Joseph, a descendant of David. The virgin’s name was Mary.”
Mary was greatly troubled at his words and wondered what kind of greeting this might be. She ponders in humility God’s spoken word and seeks to understand it. She is the embodiment of faith seeking understanding. She will tell her cousin, “For He who is mighty as done great things to me and Holy is His Name.” (Lk. 1:49)
With great faith and trust, Mary gives the fiat (yes) to God’s Word — which was in the beginning with God and was God. Now God’s Word no longer will be comprehended solely within sacred scrolls nor hidden within an ark made of acacia wood, nor unapproachable within a temple made of stone — but at the moment of her yes, the Word was tabernacled amongst men.
St. Luke writes that Mary makes haste to visit her cousin traveling from Nazareth in Galilee to the hill country of Judea. She enters the house of Zechariah. When Elizabeth hears Mary’s greeting, she is filled with the Holy Spirit and the infant John leaps within the womb of Elizabeth. (Lk. 1:41)
days pregnant. St. Luke the doctor captures in the Gospel, that human nature — composed of body, soul, and will — begins at conception. With Mary’s yes, the hypostatic union exists. Jesus is one divine person, with two natures (human and divine). Jesus to be truly God and truly man must be united to human flesh, spirit (soul), and will.
With the conception of man, a complete human person exists. In essence, Jesus becomes an embryo in His mother’s womb to redeem the human embryo. Jesus becomes an unborn child to redeem the human unborn child. Jesus becomes a baby, a child, a teenager, and an adult so as redeem every aspect of human life.
Elizabeth’s spirituality is passed onto her son John who will one day say to Jesus, “I need to be baptized by you, and do you come to me?” (Matt.3:14) Mothers — so it is said — do pass something more of themselves to their sons; fathers to their daughters. The Catholic Faith teaches that God the Father gave to Mary a pure conception. Mary in turn gave to Jesus a pure human body. What is love but the giving of oneself to another? The Son dwelling in the womb of Mary sanctifies the son dwelling in the womb of Elizabeth. John in return will baptize Jesus who will be anointed with the Holy Spirit by God the Father. John will give his life to Jesus and Jesus will give his life for John and all humanity. Mary under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit will proclaim how much her whole being magnifies the Lord.
St. Luke writes that Mary stayed for three months in the house of Zechariah. After three months the baby John is born and named. Zechariah speaks and it is well worth the wait. Mary returns home to Nazareth and even this is by divine providence.