The Catholic Church certainly needs context if we are to understand its relevance today, but...well, we understand if you want to hit the fast forward button. History buff Patrick D. Dinovo tries to to give a more colorful history, here focusing on Mary becoming pregnant with Jesus.
Publish Date: Feb 18, 2021
in seven BC, Herod, now 67 executed two of his sons, causing Augustus to quip that it was better to be Herod's pig than his son. I rather agree with that assessment. They were killed, along with 300 officials from Jericho who were accused of conspiring with them. Herod, trying to pretend that he was young again and would never die, dyed his hair black in Galilee, though it was a different story. Mary and Joseph lived in the town of Nazareth. We have good reason to believe that Mary had pledged her virginity to God with her marriage to Joseph, providing her with protection in legal standing she wouldn't have otherwise had. This is backed up, and I apologize that this is going to get a bit technical again by the use of the Greek present tense in Luke, Chapter one, Verse 34 and Mary said to the angel, How can this be? Since I do not know, man, the Greek present tense doesn't correspond with either the Hebrew or Aramaic perfect, but instead with the active participle, which suggests a permanent condition manual. McGlynn's in the virgin birth and evaluation of scriptural evidence suggests the following the Greek text reads EPA Andhra Ugyen Osco Working backwards, he suggests that the Aramaic is and I apologize for my horrific pronunciation Chi and any Yoda ish where Yoda indicates a permanent condition of virginity. Likewise, we do know that celibacy was practiced in the Cameron community at the time, so it's plausible that others outside that community Dida's well, I only mentioned this in this level of detail because the belief in the perpetual virginity of Mary is a major theological point in the Catholic and indeed the other apostolic churches. Around the same time, a priest, Zachary, was selected to offer incense at the temple and prayed for the coming of the Messiah and likely for his son. Since he and his wife, Elizabeth, who was Mary's cousin, had no Children of their own. The Angel Gabriel came to him and told him that he would have a son, John, who would make ready for the Lord of People prepared, he would be the last of the prophets. Zachary emerged mute from the sanctuary and was only able to tell Elizabeth what had happened by writing it down for her. Mary lived with her parents, traditionally named Joachim and Anne, likely in a natural cave, built up a entrance. Gabriel then appeared to her and offered his famous greeting. Hail Mary, full of grace. The Lord is with you. Okay, I promise. This is the last time in this episode I get this technical. I really do promise that. But I'd be doing you a disservice if I didn't discuss, at least for a second. The Greek text here because it has long been a sticking point between Catholic and Protestant theologians. That phrase hail full of grace in Greek is char can cherry too many. My copy of Nestle Allen's Greek New Testament suggests that all the extent manuscript have this language. So let's break it down. Kyra is easy enough. Hail that second word. Catch Cherry. Too many is tricky, though. Que is thebe present tense prefect which indicates a completed present state based on the past condition Charis means grace See charism in English. The particular form Cherry to with the Omega ending indicates the person has been put into the state of grace. And finally, men A is a passive participle Suffolk's, which indicates that the action was performed by another. Thus literally. We get Hale, who has been perfectly or completely graced with the implication that she was graced by God. Okay, I'm done with Great for the day, I promise. Gabriel made her an offer. She agreed she was to be the mother of God. When asked how this was possible in the first Greek text we discussed a few minutes ago, Gabriel told her that the Holy Spirit would come upon her and the power of the most high would overshadow her. He then told her about John's conception, miraculously, because Elizabeth was barren. She then gave her Fiat Behold, I am the Handmaid of the Lord. Let it be done to me according to your word that moment, Christians. The incarnation was accomplished. She then went to visit Elizabeth, likely on foot, as part of a caravan Zachary and Elizabeth likely lived in in Carom, which is around four days away. When she arrived, Elizabeth greeted her as the mother of my Lord and were told that John leapt for joy in Elizabeth's womb. Mary responded with her Magnificat. My soul magnifies the Lord, and my soul rejoices in God my savior, for he has regarded the low estate of his handmaiden for behold. Henceforth, all generations will call me Blessed, for he who is mighty has done great things for me, and Holy is his name, and his mercy is on those who fear him from generation to generation. She stayed with Elizabeth until John's birth some four months later. At this point, her pregnancy was visible, but she didn't tell anyone. Not even Joseph Joseph, for his part, struggled with what to dio. The usual course of action was to publicly denounce her. This didn't seem right to him, but he couldn't go on with the relationship, not knowing where the child came from. If they married, public blame would fall on him as the child be assumed his under Jewish law. So he decided toe separate from her. Quietly, nay, Angel appeared and told him that it was right to take Mary as his wife and explained what had come to pass