• 28 JANUARY, 2020
Elizabeth and Mary’s Relationship

The New Testament mentions Mary, the Mother of Jesus, as the most honorable and pious woman in history. The miraculous birth of a blessed child is a unique and universal event throughout human history. God chose this young innocent girl to bear a big responsibility to conceive and raise a holy child. The teenage girl was an ardent worshipper and remained compliant to God’s command.

When Mary reached her adolescence, her parents arranged her betrothal with a young carpenter, Joseph. At that moment, she heard an unexpected shocking news from the angel that she would conceive by the Holy Spirit, and bear the son of God. The truth of this surprising news was confirmed by the angel’s declaration that Elizabeth was also with child, in her sixth month. The sensible parents were able to recover from this shock due to faith in God and the integrity of each other. With her parent’s and Joseph’s consent, Mary decided to meet her relative, Elizabeth, to tell her the news. As informed by the Angel Elizabeth was also expecting a holy child in her old age.

Elizabeth, a cousin of Mary’s mother visited Nazareth when Mary was a toddler. She lived in the hill country of Judea, in the neighborhood of Jerusalem. The trip to Elizabeth’s home was long and exhaustive, yet Mary endured the severity for she was excited to see her cousin whom she never met. Mary took a sigh of relief as she saw her cousin’s shining face. Elizabeth was too enthusiastic to meet Mary as she fervently stated, “What a lovely woman you have become.”

When Elizabeth greeted Mary by blessing her, she already knew about her pregnancy, it provided confirmation for Mary about her unique experience. It made her thought that she wasn’t imagining or hallucinating.

As time passed, Mary and Elizabeth developed a close bond. Mary got involved with different tasks and helped Elizabeth with house chores. She visited the village market with Elizabeth to purchase daily foodstuffs, carry water from the well, and prepare the meals. The toughest job for Mary was to assist Naomi, the midwife when Elizabeth's childbirth began. Mary sat on the chair behind Elizabeth to support her during labor. It was a pleasure for Mary to hold the special holy child in her hands as she began to think of her childbirth and the challenges she might face in the community.

When Jonathan informed Mary about her journey back home, both Elizabeth and Mary’s hearts sank in sorrow. Within a few months, they had developed strong intimacy, and thinking of separating from each other was hard to bear. Mary’s pure love for Elizabeth was visible as she spoke to Elizabeth before leaving,“Elizabeth, this visit has been a blessing beyond my dreams. To be here with you, to help you with this baby, to see the wonders. I have come to love you like a mother, like a sister.”

To Elizabeth, it was a memorable visit and she would continue to cherish these moments. She stated, “I know that you are a woman of great stature. You are a blessing already to anyone you meet.” With tears of love, they wailed. Mary set off for a long and strenuous journey once again and was ready to fulfill the big responsibilities ahead.

About The Book

To further know about Mary’s life and unusual events that happened during her adulthood, read the religious narrative fiction I Am Only Mary by Thomas W. Atzberger. The book makes Mary accessible to us as a fellow Christian, emphasizing her humanity and her virtuous living of the call God gave to her. The book reveals Mary’s life and character elements we rarely know about.

The book is organized to give the reader the flavor of Mary’s probable life, it explains the Jewish culture which was her culture at the time of her youth. It explains the limited resources and skills of people in those times. Yet community developed interpersonal relationships with politeness and care for each other. People made good moral choices in their daily lives.

The mid part of the book deals with Mary’s adolescence when her betrothal process with Joseph was planned by both families when she received a vision from The Holy Spirit that Mary, being a blessed woman will conceive and bear a holy child. Then story proceeded with Mary’s visit to Elizabeth who was also expecting a child in old age. The readers learn how Jewish families celebrate the birth of a newborn child. The end of the book aroused deep emotions in readers when Mary departed after spending her best time with Elizabeth. Mary felt more confident and strong to execute the big responsibilities ahead. She courageously lived out her life, fulfilling her role as a caring and loving wife, and, ultimately, looking forward to the birth of her child

This book is a must-read. I Am Only Mary is available on different online platforms. Anyone who has a deep interest in knowing the life of Mary can read the book. The probable details of Mary’s journey have been uniquely depicted in this historical fiction. Since the history and biography about Mary are hardly available, reading this prose meditation brings us close to her.

About the Author

Thomas Atzberger is a retired lawyer from Columbus, Ohio, and has been married to his wife Christina since 1970, with three adult children. Tom is an attorney by training and is a supervisor of stockbrokers. His inspiration for this work came from his life experience as a husband, father, uncle, neighbor, and relative of many in his extended family. His earnest feelings are that we should follow virtuous living like Mary and practice religious acts that work out our salvation. Thomas Atzberger aims to make Mary’s biography more interesting and motivating for the readers.