Mary aka the Blessed mother
Just the gist (for small children and others with tiny attention spans):
Mary was a holy woman and wife of Joseph. The angel Gabriel appeared to her and asked her if she would be God’s mother. She said yes and the Holy Spirit overshadowed her and put the little God-baby in her belly.
For those that can handle just a bit more:
This is the girl Isaiah told us about on Day 15 when he said “Behold, a virgin shall conceive and bear a son and shall call his name Immanuel.” (Isaiah 7:14)
The angel Gabriel was sent to a city in Galilee called Nazareth. There he came to a young virgin named Mary who was betrothed to Joseph as we discussed yesterday. Saint Gabriel said, “Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with you.” (Luke 1:28)
Mary looked around to make sure there was no other Mary the angel might be addressing. There was no one else in her living room.
What a curious greeting, she thought. To be full of grace would mean to be absent of sin and she knew not a single human had managed to be absent of sin since the days of Adam and Eve. This was before Eve told God, ”You’re not the boss of me.”
So, for Mary to be full of Grace would mean that God had somehow protected her from the stain of sin. Having chosen her as the mother of His human person, He used His God-powers to make sure her conception was Immaculate. Mary was the new Eve.
“Don’t be afraid, Mary,” Saint Gabriel reassured her. “You have found favor with God. And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a child and you shall call his name Jesus.” (Luke 1: 30-31)
“How will this be since I do not know man?” (Luke 1:34). (Which is Bible talk for something that, worded any other way, isn’t Christmas talk).
The Angel Gabriel then let loose a torrent of explanation about how the Holy Spirit was going to overshadow her and that would mean her son would be the Son of God. And also, her elderly cousin Elizabeth was pregnant.
“What do you say, Mary? Are you in?” The angel Gabriel probably asked.
All of creation held its breath in anticipation of her answer. This is the moment mankind had waited for since being thrown out of paradise.
“Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word.” (Luke 1:38). Which is bible talk for, “Let’s do this.” Mary’s ‘Yes’ undid Eve’s ‘No’ and with that ‘yes’, Mary became the new Eve. Virgin Lady Gets a Baby: The new Eve also became the new Ark of the Covenant in that she now carried the presence of God within her.
And like the old Ark of the Covenant, she wound up in the hill country of Judea. She went there to help her cousin Elizabeth in her final months of pregnancy. Upon greeting Elizabeth, John the Baptist leapt in his womb as David had danced before the old Ark of the Covenant.
“Blessed are you among women and blessed is the fruit of your womb!” Elizabeth exclaimed. “And why is this granted me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me?” (Luke 1:42)
Mary broke out in her famous song of praise for God called the Magnificat and then stayed with Elizabeth for three months before returning home to start nesting. That is, until she had to journey to Bethlehem for the census with her husband Joseph.