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The virgin birth

December 20, 2023

“THE Lord himself will grant to you a sign. Behold, a virgin will conceive, and she will give birth to a son, and his name will be called Immanuel,” which means “God is with us.” (Is 7,14)

Thus, the prophecy about Christ’s birth was announced and was fulfilled in Mary. When she asked the Archangel Gabriel how she can conceive a son since, according her, she had “no relations with a man,” the angel told her about the Holy Spirit who will overshadow her and with that she will conceive a son in her womb. (cfr. Lk 1,26-38) And with her faith-filled “Be it done,” the virginal conception took place.

That a virgin can give birth without human intervention clearly tells us that the birth involves a divine intervention that shows that the one to be born is not only man but is also, first of all, God. He is both God and man, perfect God and perfect man!

What can we derive from this truth of our faith? What we can only conclude is that, indeed, God and man share the same life and nature, without of course blurring the distinction between God who is the Creator, and man as a creature made in God’s image and likeness.

This is, of course, a truth of faith that is really incredible! Given the way we are, we can only say, “No way.” But again, whether we believe it or not, the truth still remains that we share the same life and nature of God. It’s just really up to us, if we rev up our faith, to accept the truth about ourselves.

In this regard, the way to go is to follow the example of Mary whose faith in God is so complete and perfect that she, being a creature, could become the daughter of God the Father, mother of God the Son, and spouse of God the Holy Spirit.

All these came to be because of her response, “Fiat” (Be it done) to God’s messenger. Her openness to God’s will, her obedience to the divine designs for man somehow started the healing of the disobedience of our first parents that plunged all of us into a life and a world of sin.

That “Fiat” is the best example of obedience that man as a creature can have in relation to the will of God, our Creator and Father. It perfectly echoes in a mysteriously anticipative way also Christ’s obedience to the will of his Father – “If it is your will, let this cup pass by me, but not my will but yours be done.”

Mary’s “Fiat” is the perfect model of how our will ought to be conformed to God’s will. We have to be reminded that by the very nature of our will, the very seat of our freedom, our will is supposed to be in synch with the will of its Creator. It just cannot be by itself, turning and moving purely on its own.

It is meant to be engaged with the will of God, its creator and lawgiver. It is the very power we have been given by God that enables us to unite ourselves with God in the most intimate way. All the other aspects of our life—physical, biological, chemical, etc. – are also governed by God-given laws but, by themselves, they cannot bring us into intimate union with God.

It is with this faith that the impossible to us becomes not only possible but would be actualized. The virgin birth is proof to this truth of faith!