• 28 JANUARY, 2020

The birth of Elizabeth’s son John was zealously celebrated by the family and community. Zachary planned a traditional festive meal in honor of young John’s circumcision. All the community people were invited to attend the occasion. It was a glorious day tomorrow, they were excited about preparing the big meal. After having a healthy and functional food breakfast, all four of them got engaged with their tasks of preparing for the day’s festivities. Once Elizabeth and Mary feed John, they began the preparation. It includes bringing water from the well, preparing the clay cooking pans for the lamb and the beef, and mixing spices in the meat. Elizabeth and Mary also roasted vegetables, cabbage, turnips, and onions for the meal. Zachary and Jonathan assisted them by starting the oven fire.

The other list of dishes includes Jacob’s bread prepared from leavened wheat flour, topped with sesame and poppy seed. There were Cheeses made from goat milk and wines made from grapes, cinnamon, and clove. Fruits, such as apples, pears, and apricots mixed with a dressing of date honey, raisin honey, and lemon were a delicious cuisine for the guests.

The visitors and community people of Nazareth were invited to join the feast. During the late afternoon, Elizabeth’s home was filled with friends, neighbors, and guests from the community. They brought additional food offerings and gifts for the baby. One of Elizabeth’s friends Beulah made date pastries, a large bowl with fresh salad greens and vegetables. A bowl of almonds, walnuts, and pistachios was an additional food item.

As evening approached, the guests bid farewell and the house which was filled with greetings and laughter became empty and quiet. The four members of the family cleaned up the house and became busy with routine housework.

The end of the book was heartrending and woeful for the readers as Mary and Elizabeth got separated. It was time for Mary to go back to her home in Nazareth. Mary stated in an emotional tone, “I have such a mixture of longing to go home and longing to stay with you and this new baby. But, I know my visit must be over. I have responsibilities of my own that are beginning to press on my mind.”

Elizabeth and Mary developed a strong bond; it was exhibited through Elizabeth’s words, “When you came here, I thought of you as just a girl. Now I know that you are a woman of great stature. I will always cherish the memory of this visit.”

As Mary began her journey back home, she felt more confident and strong to execute the big responsibilities ahead. She has a new husband and prepares for her baby to be born soon.

Her heart pours out with her favorite phrase, “How wonderful are your works, oh, Lord.”

About The Book

Reading the book will help you know the pious role of Mary. The narrative fiction I Am Only Mary by Thomas W. Atzberger makes Mary accessible to us as a fellow Christian, emphasizing her humanity and her virtuous living of the call God gave to her. Mary, being a righteous and angelic adolescent showed her obedience and love for God by surrendering herself to God’s command.

The book reveals Mary’s life and character elements we rarely know about. The stimulating historical narrative has depicted the true character of Mary. The story explains the Jewish culture, people were affectionate and had warm interpersonal relationships with each other. Community people worship their holy rituals and traditions in their daily life.

The book moves on through other stages of Mary’s growth, ultimately into Mary’s Annunciation by the Angel Gabriel. During her adolescence phase, Mary’s betrothal process with Joseph was planned. At that moment she received a vision from The Holy Spirit that Mary, being a blessed woman will conceive and bear a holy child. Mary plan to visit her relative Elizabeth who was also expecting a child in old age. The book tangibly presents the difficulties of travel in her time, as she visits her cousin Elizabeth. Readers came to know about Jewish rituals and customs performed by Jewish families after the birth of the child. Towards, the end of the book, Mary departed after spending their best time with Elizabeth. However, she felt more confident and strong to execute the big responsibilities ahead. She courageously lived out her life, day to day, and, ultimately, looked forward to the birth of her child.

The end of the book aroused emotional feelings in readers as Mary departed after spending her best time with Elizabeth. Their separation was disheartening for the readers who were deeply absorbed and involved in reading the book

This book is a must-read. The religious fiction, I Am Only Mary is available on different online platforms. Anyone who has a keen interest in knowing about the probable details of Mary’s journey will find narrative fiction more appealing. 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. He completed three years of college-level studies in a Catholic seminary before earning degrees from John Carroll University and the Cleveland-Marshall College of Law. Thomas is an attorney by training and is a supervisor of stockbrokers. He has been married to his wife Christina since 1970, with three adult children. The inspiration to compile this amazing work comes from Thomas's 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 for the readers.