• 28 JANUARY, 2020
The Visit of Mary to Elizabeth

Mary, a teenager, was engaged to marry a young carpenter when she heard surprising news from the angel that she would conceive by the Holy Spirit, and bear the son of God. . Mary and her parents were able to recover from this shock due to faith in God and in the integrity of each other. Similarly, Joseph and his family eventually overcame this shock by virtue of their faith and resolve to do the will of God. They went on, again in faith, to establish a respectable bond with the family of Joachim. Mary, feeling the trust of her family, was next moved to visit to her relative, Elizabeth, to tell her the news. The Angel had informed Mary that Elizabeth was also expecting a holy child in her old age.

The journey to Elizabeth’s home was rough and strenuous as it would take four days to reach her place. Mary was excited to meet Elizabeth; she had never met her before. Elizabeth, a cousin of Hannah, visited Nazareth when Mary was a toddler. She lived in the hill country of Judea, in the neighborhood of Jerusalem. Mary, due to her being a young woman, was accompanied by her cousin Jonathan. Joachim found that a caravan for Mary and Jonathan to join in order to have a safe journey. Joseph and Mary conveyed heartfelt goodbye to each other. With tears of love and missing her loved ones, Mary set off for this long exhaustive trip that seemed difficult and dangerous too. Mary endured the pains of the journey; the landscape changed from familiar to severe. The weather was unbearable; the caravans passed over markets, towns across mountains and along the Jordan River. Although Mary endured the severity of the trip, she felt worn out and yearned to reach the village soon. As the journey ended on the fourth day, Mary took a sigh of relief. As Mary saw her cousin’s shining face, her heart throbbed with excitement. Mary’s affectionate and beaming smile indicated the great happiness inside her to meet the blessed woman, Elizabeth.

About The Book

To further know how Mary was warmly greeted by Elizabeth when she reached her home, how Mary helped her relative with house chores and assisted the midwife during the childbirth process of Elizabeth’s son, read the religious narrative fiction I Am Only Mary.

The last part of the journey was through Jerusalem. The house of Elizabeth was less than a half day’s walk from the city. The book explains Mary’s emotions when she looked over the house of Elizabeth. “Mary stopped to look—and to rest a moment—and looked at her cousin with a silent smile of excitement.”

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. 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 extant in those times. Yet it presents the human side of life in those days in a way we can recognize, showing people solving survival challenges, softening interpersonal relationships with politeness and care for each other, people making moral choices in their daily lives, and the frightening potential of doctrine and government to cruel. It is a book as dramatic as life itself.

This book is a must-read. I Am Only Mary is available on different online platforms for the readers who have a deep interest in Mary, the mother of Jesus. They can be either Muslims, who have a deep respect for her, as well as Catholics who revere her, and Protestants who are baffled by Catholics’ deep reverence. Everyone with even a remote interest in the person of Mary can gain deep inspiration by reading the book. The probable details of Mary’s journey have been uniquely depicted in narrative 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 sentiment is that it is in our daily living we find our vocations and work out our salvation. It was just the same for Mary. Thomas Atzberger aims to make this religious fiction a fascinating, original prose meditation for the readers.