Read the introduction here.
In the sixth month of Elizabeth’s pregnancy, God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a village in Galilee, to a virgin named Mary. She was engaged to be married to a man named Joseph, a descendant of King David. Gabriel appeared to her and said, “Greetings, favored woman! The Lord is with you! ”
Confused and disturbed, Mary tried to think what the angel could mean. “Don’t be afraid, Mary,” the angel told her, “for you have found favor with God! You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you will name him Jesus. He will be very great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his ancestor David. And he will reign over Israel forever; his Kingdom will never end!”
Mary asked the angel, “But how can this happen? I am a virgin.”
The angel replied, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the baby to be born will be holy, and he will be called the Son of God. What’s more, your relative Elizabeth has become pregnant in her old age! People used to say she was barren, but she’s now in her sixth month. For nothing is impossible with God. ”
Mary responded, “I am the Lord’s servant. May everything you have said about me come true.” And then the angel left her. (Luk 1:26-38 NLT)
Mary wasn’t an adult, at least by our standards or age. She would have been between 12 and 14, with Joseph much older. (See his story in Matthew 1).
Was she meant to do this? Was she tested and because she passed, she was then made blessed above all women? Because of this event, what is her status in the Church or the lives of the Saints? Also, what does Virgin mean – or, rather, meant? And if it is shown to be something wholly different than what we understand it to mean, what does that do to the Doctrine of the Incarnation?