Mary and Joseph’s meeting, marriage, return home, and sitting together before the Annunciation* appear in the capital frieze at Chartres. When, like Mary and Joseph, I perceive God’s leading, I try to follow, but sometimes it’s hard to trust. Sometimes I wonder what I have gotten myself into. Faith is not an easy road, but God moves on this path, so I remind myself that it is well worth the bumpy ride.
For faith to say “Yes” to where you lead, I pray.
Now the birth of Jesus the Messiah took place in this way. When his mother Mary had been engaged to Joseph, but before they lived together, she was found to be with child from the Holy Spirit. Matthew 1:18
Invitation to Pray:
What is God asking you to say “Yes” to? What makes it hard? Position yourself as you see Mary below–sitting with your feet well grounded, a straight back, and your hands open to what is ahead. As you do, what prayers are emerging in your body, mind, heart, and imagination? Pray them now.
Small twelfth-century sculptures (1145) that line the west wall, just above the west doorways at the Chartres Cathedral in France. The series of sculptures involving Mary and Joseph’s meeting, marriage, trip home and home scene just before the Annunciation is found on the middle capitals below (between the left central door and the right north door).
*A series of apocryphal stories of Mary’s parents, birth, early years and marriage were told in the Protevangelium of James (an apocryphal gospel written about 145 CE) and the Homilies of the Greek monk Jacobus Kokkinobaphos (12th century). They are depicted at Chartres in these sculptures and the Life of Mary Window.
Other posts in this series on the sculptures of the west capital frieze:
(1) The Pain of Infertility
(2) Needing To Think These Over
(3) When Things Change
(4) Mary’s Birth (First Bath)
(5) Mary Taken to the Temple