St. Mary's Anglican Catholic Church

Diocese of the Midwest

Catechist. Rehearse the Articles of thy Belief. 
Answer. I believe in… Jesus Christ… Born of the Virgin Mary….
The third article of the Apostles’ Creed affirms that the Son of God came into the world through the two-fold miracle of the Virgin Birth; for Jesus Christ was “conceived of the Holy Ghost, born of the Virgin Mary.” Last month we examined our Lord’s conception by the Holy Ghost. The second part of the two-part miracle of the Incarnation is His birth to the Virgin Mary from whom He derived His fully human nature, body, soul (or mind), and spirit. Unlike the divine births of pagan mythology, Jesus Christ, the Son of God, was conceived and born in history, in a specific time & place. According to the promise made to King David many centuries before, Christ was made of the seed of David according to the flesh. (Romans 1:3; see also 1 Samuel 7:12; Psalm 132:11; Acts 2:30) Genealogies found the Gospels of Matthew & Luke indicate that the son of God was also the son of David as prophesied in Holy Scripture. Jesus was born in Bethlehem, the city of David, while Caesar Augustus ruled the Roman Empire. (St Luke 2:1-7; St Matthew 2:4-6) Thus, the God-man Jesus’ birth is a matter of history, not mere mythology.
The Son of God was also the son of Mary. At the time of our Lord’s conception Mary was probably a very young woman in her early teens. Mary was the espoused wife of Joseph of Nazareth, a descendant of King David. (St Matthew 1:18, 20; St Luke 1: 26-27; 2:4) Apparently she also had familial ties to the priestly tribe of Levi. (St Luke 1:5, 36) The Genealogies referred to above represent the fact that the time & place for the coming of the Son of God into history were chosen by God before the beginning of history. Likewise, Mary of Nazareth was prepared by God from before the beginning of time to be His chosen vessel; to be the mother of His Son according to the flesh and according to His ultimate purpose. As St Paul tells us: when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law, to redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons. (Galatians 4:4-5) 

This is seen in the account of the Annunciation (celebrated on April 8th this year). When young Mary was told by the Angel Gabriel that she would conceive and bear a son without having known her husband or any other man, she was indeed perplexed; and she asked: How shall this be, seeing I know not a man? (St Luke 1:35) This was not an expression of doubt that God would accomplish His stated purpose. Rather, it was an expression of wonder. And when she heard that the child would be conceived by the Holy Ghost, Mary submitted herself entirely to the will of God as He had revealed it to her (no matter what the consequences of being an unwed mother under the Law of Moses); saying: Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it unto me according to thy word. (St Luke 1:38) 

Christ conceived by the Holy Ghost became the New Adam. (See Romans 5:12-21l 1 Corinthians 15:21-22, 45-49) Recall that the first woman, Eve, the mother of us all, rejected the promises of God and obeyed the serpent, the fallen angel Satan, instead. (Genesis 3) Yet God promised that one day the seed of the woman would come and destroy the devil and all his works. (Genesis 3:15) Unlike Eve, Mary believed with all her heart what the Lord had promised through His Angel. It was at that moment that the Word became flesh and dwelt among us. (St John 1:14) Mary gave birth to her savior and to the savior of us all; and because of her faith and obedience in submitting to God’s will & purpose, she is called blessed among women. (See St Luke 1:28, 42, 46-49; see also St Luke 11:28) And so the ancient fathers of the Church have called the Virgin Mary the New Eve; as her Son is the Second or New Adam. 

The circumstances surrounding our Lord’s conception by the Holy Ghost were most extraordinary. But though His birth was accompanied by the songs of the heavenly host and the rising of a wondrous star in the east, the description of the actual birth of Christ is not only ordinary, but rather homely. This son of David was born in a stable in Bethlehem. When he was presented in the Temple as Mary’s firstborn son, the Holy Family could only offer the sacrifice allowed the poor of two small birds. (St Luke 1:7, 16, 23-24; Exodus 13:2, 12; Leviticus 12:6-8) These were signs of manner of life our Lord would follow among us. The Prophet Isaiah foretold that the Christ would be a Suffering Servant: He shall grow up before him as a tender plant, and as a root out of a dry ground: he hath no form nor comeliness; and when we shall see him, there is no beauty that we should desire him. (Isaiah 53:2) As our Lord told a would-be disciple from among the scribes: The foxes have holes, and the birds of the air have nests; but the Son of man hath not where to lay his head. (St Matthew 8:20) But as St Paul wrote: Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: but made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: and being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. (Philippians 2:5-11)And in another place the Apostle wrote with regard to Christ’s Incarnation: For ye know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that, though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, that ye through his poverty might be rich. (2 Corinthians 8:9) 

As we noted earlier, it is through Christ, taking of our human nature unto Himself, that we receive adoption as sons of God. (Galatians 4:4-5) As we hear at the end of every mass, St John tells us regarding the mystery of the Incarnation: as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name: which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God. (St John 1:12-13) We are born again through the Holy Ghost as a reflection of our Lord’s Incarnation. (See St John 3:5-8) The Incarnation is the ultimate sign of God’s Fatherly love for us. For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. (St John 3:16) In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him. (1 St John 4:9)