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May 17, 2019

Mary’s May Crowning: Part 3, the Nativity

Sarah Christmyer

This is the third part of a series that follows the biblical story of Mary throughout May. To honor her during her month, we are diving deeper into the mysteries of the Rosary that mention Mary in the corresponding Scripture passage—thereby reflecting on the Blessed Mother’s role through the Gospels.

Need to catch up? You can find the other parts of the series here:

Part 1: The Annunciation

Part 2: The Visitation

The Nativity

Mary is our mother— ever since Jesus gave her to the Beloved Disciple, and him to her, from the Cross.  She watches over us with motherly care, to be sure, but reading the infancy narratives draws our attention to another aspect of motherhood: that she was with child of the Holy Spirit; that she bore Jesus in her womb and gave birth to him. In that sense, anyone who bears Jesus in his or her heart and proclaims him or does his work in the world is doing the same thing—and is a child of Mary.

New Mary study

Mary had just one biological son, Jesus. But in Revelation 12, John describes “the rest of [the] offspring” of the Woman who bears a male child who is to rule the nations—a direct reference to Christ and therefore to Mary, his mother.  They are “those who keep the commandments and bear testimony to Jesus” (Revelation 12:17). I wonder if he had the infancy narratives in mind when he wrote this, as Luke uses the same Greek words:

“Those who keep the commandments”

Mary kept (suntereo) in her heart the word of God she heard from the shepherds (Luke 2:19); her children keep (tereo) the commandments or word of God (Revelation 12).

“Those who bear testimony to Jesus”

“Mary was found to be with child of the Holy Spirit” … “a virgin shall conceive and bear a son” (Matthew 1:18, 23).  Her children also bear testimony to Jesus. The English words “with child,” “conceive,” and “bear” all translate the same Greek word, “echo”.

As we meditate on his word today, let us be true children of Mary so that word might be conceived and born in us—that we might bear it to the world!

Meditate on Luke 2:1-22, the mystery of the birth of Jesus, focusing on the Blessed Mother. Ask the Holy Spirit to help you be open to the word of God, to plant it in your heart and nurture it there. 

If you are enjoying this series, you may also enjoy Ascension’s study program, Mary: A Biblical Walk with the Blessed Mother.

Learn How to Pray Like Mary with Sonja Corbitt’s upcoming book. Pre-order Here.

About Sarah Christmyer

Sarah Christmyer

Sarah Christmyer is co-developer with Jeff Cavins of The Great Adventure Catholic Bible study program. She is author or co-author of a number of the studies. Sarah has thirty years of experience leading and teaching Bible studies. She helped launch Catholic Scripture Study and is co-author of “Genesis Part I: God and His Creation” and “Genesis Part II: God and His Family,” published by Emmaus Road. Raised in a strong evangelical family, she was received into the Catholic Church in 1992. Sarah also writes at

This article was first posted on the Ascension Blog’s former home, The Great Adventure Blog, May 2015.

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