Thursday 17 December 2015

What did she know?

It’s amazing how sometimes a chance remark or a word spoken in jest can lead one to think something anew or with a fresh point of view.

Father Ignatius was helping with the dismantling of the Nativity scene in church and putting away the various statues safely for use the following Christmas. One of the helpers lifted the statue of the Virgin Mary and remarked: “Look at her face. She looks sad. It’s as if she knew what was to happen to Jesus when He grew up.”

“She’s probably tired after giving birth,” replied another helper.

“No … she looks sad, not tired. Do you think she knew that Jesus would be crucified Father?”

Father Ignatius sat down on a nearby chair.

“I think we need a rest, at least I know I do …” he said.

The other helpers stopped for a while.

“It’s a good question you ask …” continued the priest, “many people have argued about the Virgin Mary over the years, and no doubt will continue to do so. Not everyone holds her in such high regards as we do. Some see her as a woman who gave birth to the Son of God, and just that.

“Many doubt her various Apparitions throughout the world.

“As for how much she knew … well that’s another matter.”

“What do you mean Father?”

The priest finished cleaning his glasses and put them on again. It was a trick he had perfected when he wanted some thinking time.

“Let’s consider Mary when the Angel Gabriel announced what is to happen. Did the Angel just tell her about the Birth of Jesus, or did he, or the Holy Spirit perhaps, also tell her of what is to happen after that?

“Was she told that Jesus would grow up to perform many miracles? That His Mission on earth was to redeem us from our sins? That He would be arrested, beaten, tortured, have a crown of thorns put on His head, made to carry His own Cross and then nailed cruelly to it until He died in agony?”

“I’m not sure … the Bible doesn’t say much about this,” said one of his listeners.

“No, the Bible doesn’t …” continued the priest, “it does not record everything. For example, we have a gap in Christ’s life from the age of twelve when He was found in the temple by His parents to the age of thirty or so when He started His Mission on earth.

“The Gospels in particular focus mainly on Christ, as they should, and don’t mention Mary or Joseph very much.”

“Well what do you think Father?” he was asked again.

“What I think is only a personal point of view.

“I doubt that God would have asked her to become the Mother of Jesus without telling her what this entailed.

“I believe the Holy Spirit would have told her what is to happen. We don’t know in how much details … we can only guess at that. And throughout her life, from the moment the Angel Gabriel visited her, she had snippets of confirmation of what is to happen.

“When she visited Elizabeth … we learn that Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit and confirmed ‘you are the most blessed amongst women, and blessed is the child you will bear!’

“When she presented the baby Jesus in the temple, Simeon warned her ‘and sorrow, like a sharp sword, will break your own heart.’

“And when at the age of twelve His parents found Jesus in the temple He said ‘Didn’t you know I had to be in my Father’s house?’ And Mary treasured all these things in her heart.

“Yes … I believe she knew quite a lot what was to happen to Jesus.”

“Wow … no wonder she looks so sad …” exclaimed one of the helpers.

“This leads us to consider something else,” added the priest.

“Imagine you knew every detail that is to happen in your life. Every illness, sad moment and unhappiness that is to happen. And you could not change it. You had to go through it. How would you feel? Would you be able to cope with the fear and agony of knowing what is to happen to you?

“We don’t know how much Mary knew of her future and that of Jesus.

“But Jesus certainly knew what would happen to Him. Every detail from the moment of His arrest to His death. Peter’s denial, Judas’ betrayal, His disciples fleeing in fear. The agony of His torture and Crucifixion.

“Can you imagine how He must have felt as He grew up, as a teenager and young man, knowing that this day was still to come? The horror of it must have been unbearable.

“Yet He went through with it … just for us!”

They were all silent for a few moments as they considered the seriousness of what they’d just heard.


  1. Deep thoughts for us to ponder, Victor!

  2. Beautifully written Victor and yes, deep thoughts to ponder!

    1. It's great to see you visiting again Lynn. Thanx.

      We'll always wonder what she knew.

      God bless you and your family.

  3. Well, according to the Holy Scriptures, there where some things hidden by God from all us humans of course (like the grace period we're in right now), but being a good Jew Mary knew quite a bit. She knew her conception was a miracle. She knew the child was the Saviour of her people because the angel said to call Him "Joshua". [Matthew 1:20-21; Luke 1:31; etc.] "She treasured these things in her heart ..." [Luke 2:19] Anyway, good post because it makes one stop and read the Scriptures so that our lives may please Him.
    Have a blessed day Victor! Merry CHRISTmas. ~:)

    1. I guess we'll never know how much Mary really knew, Sparky.

      God bless. Merry Christmas to you and yours.

  4. I read this in tears! Oh, my! Just thinking of what our Lord did for us, and what dear Mary must have gone through. Can you imagine? Being a mother has made me feel an even deeper regard for her and what she must have felt. 15 years ago, I was due to have our precious son right at this same time. God opened my barren womb for one moment in time, and after 12 1/2 years of marriage and many years of infertility struggles, He sent us one dear son. I thought much of Mary during those expectant days, as I compared her situation to my own. She had no prepared nursery for her Son, she had no hospital or modern conveniences, and, as you brought out here, she must have known the pain of heart that was ahead of her. Thank you for always making me think, dear Victor, and I leave here much encouraged, as always. God bless you for your obedience to Him!

    1. Thank you so much Cheryl for sharing your story with us. Yes indeed, the Lord does hear our prayers and so often responds to our needs.

      As you say, Mary must have worried so much knowing what is yet to come in Christ's life. He too, as a child and young man must have known about the suffering on the Cross ... all for us.

      May I wish you and all your family a very Blessed Christmas and a Splendid New Year filled with hope, joy, faith and good health.

      God bless.

  5. Thank you for giving us this to ponder during Advent season. It is easy to forget that our Savior had to go through every day knowing what was to come. I imagine it got harder and harder the close He got to His crucifixion. I often wonder how He got through the Last Supper at all! God Bless you!

    1. That's true Michael. He knew what was to happen; even if Mary perhaps did not know all the details.

      God bless you and yours always.



God bless you.