Be Not Afraid!
A more exact statement is to; Do Not Be Afraid! And we are indeed blessed with four different accounts of the Birth of Jesus. Each of the Gospel narratives have their own theology, creating a unique and somewhat different point of view. In this Year A, we come across Matthew’s encounter with the birth of Jesus. It is important to note and understand that Matthew was writing for a Jewish community—which is why he begins with the male aspect of the family, St. Joseph. Matthew places emphasis on the fact that Joseph is a man that is suffering from the news that Mary is indeed pregnant. And that it is not biologically of his line. Joseph is at a crossroads. What should he do? When we look at Luke’s account, which is at contrast, Mary becomes the central figure. Her fiat from the question posed by the Archangel Gabriel – this narrative is a much different angle of the story of the incarnation. You can see how the different accounts take on new meaning depending on which “lens” one looks through: In Matthew it is through the lens of Joseph, and in Luke’s account it is through Mary’s. The result is in fact the same, the one central difference is that instead of an excited young girl happy to give birth to the Messiah, we get the image of a man who is slightly shocked and saddened that his soon to be bride is pregnant. The one centralized focal point, and point of “unity” in the two differing account is when the angel says to Joseph, as when Gabriel said unto Mary, DO NOT BE AFRAID!