.- Pope Benedict XVI said today that the virginity of Mary guarantees Jesusâ divinity because it proves the Incarnation is solely the work of God.
âThe human being that begins to live in her womb takes the flesh from Mary, but his existence is derived entirely from God,â the Pope said Dec. 18 in his final Sunday Angelus address before Christmas.
âThe fact that Mary conceived while remaining a virgin is, therefore, essential to the understanding of Jesus and our faith, because it witnesses that it was Godâs initiative and above all it reveals who is conceived.â
So while Jesus is âfully humanâ and âmade of earth,â he âcomes from above, from heavenâ and is truly âthe Son of God.â
Thus, said the Pope, âthe virginity of Mary and the divinity of Jesus reciprocally guarantee one another.â
Pope Benedict made his remarks to several thousand visitors gathered in St. Peterâs Square. He drew upon todayâs Gospel reading, in which the Angel Gabriel told Mary âbehold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus.â
The Pope noted that this fulfilled the âage-old promiseâ of Isaiah, who prophesied seven to eight centuries before that âa virgin shall conceive and bear a son and call him Immanuel.â
Pope Benedict then explained the importance of the fact that Mary was âvery upsetâ at the Angel Gabrielâs news and asked âhow can this be, since I have no relations with a man?â
âIn her simplicity, Mary is wise,â said the Pope, âshe does not doubt the power of God, but wants to better understand his will, to fully comply with this will.â
While Mary is âinfinitely surpassedâ by the mystery of the Incarnation, the Pope reflected, she also âperfectly occupies the place that, at the very heart of it, she was assigned.â
Her âheart and mind are fully humble,â and because of this âsingular humility, God expects the âyesâ of this young girl to achieve His purposeâ while still fully respecting âher dignity and freedom,â he said.
âMaryâs âyesâ means both motherhood and virginity,â Pope Benedict observed.
He finished his reflection on Mary's virginity and Jesus' conception by highlighting the spiritual significance of her faith. Mary's willingness to trust deeply in God and his plan, despite being a virgin, allowed her to "welcome Jesus and his divine life within."
"This is the mystery of Christmas."