It seems that we just can’t live without controversies. We just can’t get by without conspiracies theories.  In my younger days, I used to listen to the radio a lot. Maybe that’s why I can remember so many song lyrics. At that time of my life in July 1969, I can remember the controversy about the Beatles Paul McCartney. Some conspiracy theorists came up with the idea that the real Paul McCartney died and somebody by the name of billy shears took his place. I can’t find any evidence for that, but that’s how the story goes.

Another interesting conspiracy theory was that once again back in July of 1969 the Apollo moon landings were faked. Again I can’t find any evidence of this because as a young astronomer with a telescope bs I then and especially the way they make telescopes now, I believed it was a simple fact that was there on the moon in July of 1969. I even fantasized back then about being an astronaut when I grew up.

Another controversy: back in July 1969 there was a famous Beatles song sung by George Harrison called “something in the way she moves me.” A controversy broke about how the song was written by James Taylor but the Beatles got all the credit. Hard to say. You hear so many things it’s hard to decipher fact from fiction.

Today in the readings we find out about a 14-year-old Jewish girl from the town of Nazareth who is called Mary. Controversy followed her wherever she goes. It’s been said back then by the town drunkards that nothing good ever comes from Nazareth. Every Jewish girl back then dreamed about being the mother of the long-awaited Messiah who was to come into the world. This was the number one fantasy among the teenage Jewish girls back then.

We learn that she is pregnant and travels over 80 miles in about 4 or 5 days to visit her cousin Elizabeth. All on foot. I think that should be in the Guinness book of world records. Traveling like this. Remember controversy seems to follow her wherever she goes. Our blessed mother is one tough cookie. I wish I had her mental toughness. I pray they she gives some of that mental toughness to me. Consider: She had no cars or trains, not even a carriage or a bicycle….not even a cell phone….none of that stuff had been invented yet.

We learn that her cousin Elizabeth in over childbearing age yet she was pregnant with the future John the Baptist. More controversy. Elizabeth and Zechariah are well beyond childbearing age. It was said of Elizabeth that she was about 80 years old. Now, I ask you…how’s that going to work? Yet, this all God’s plan.
Zechariah has been held speechless at the thought of his wife having a child. Back then, no matter how wrong this is, it as the thought of that if a married couple could not have biological kids of their own, then this was a sure-fire sign from God they this couple was destined for the gates of hell. But today we know better. We know how painful it is when couples cannot have children of their own. And the self-righteous Jews all hated Zechariah and Elizabeth for it. They were ready to stone them to death as capital punishment. They thought that this was all kind of a conspiracy to get rid of king Herod. All of the country of Israel was upset that the magi. The three wise men told king Herod and all of his court that a newborn king of Jews was coming on the scene. And Herod is very afraid of the competition and all of Israel along with him. And the Jews were watching Mary and Joseph carefully also. This whole incident could explode into a lynch mob at any moment.

Then we are told a profile comment made by Elizabeth: “at the sound of your voice the infant in my womb leaped for joy.” Here we find out that unborn children are not just fetus, they are people who can sense the world around them without being born. We all know today by the ultrasound about what the unborn are capable of. More controversy especially for our modern day media that doesn’t believe in this. You know the stuff they believe in: hashtag me too stuff.  “And how does this happen that the mother of our Lord should come to me?”

More controversy. Elizabeth had no cell phones, no CB radios, no mailmen or pony express…yet how did she know…how did she know…all of this? If you ever stop and think about it it might send chills up your spine. How did she know?
One of my favorite Christmas church songs is “Mary did you know….that your baby boy would walk on water….Mary did you know…your son would be rejected, beaten, and crucified…and rise three days later… Mary, did you know?
Well…as the story turns out…Zechariah was killed by a lynch mob by self-righteous angry Jews…and they sought to put to death Mary and Joseph too.

Kind of ironic. Mary gave no public sermons…she didn’t start her own church…but she did believe the Angel Gabriel ….she knows that Angels cannot lie. So blessed is she who believed what spoken to you by the Lord would be fulfilled. Mary knew that she could be stoned to death by the self-righteous Jews since they knew that she was pregnant before she married Joseph.

That’s why Joseph wanted to divorce her quietly. Such a woman was dragged into the temple of Jerusalem and put to death. However, the angel didn’t tell her that. So blessed is she who believed they what was spoken to you by the Lord would be fulfilled.

Monday night is Christmas Eve…the night we celebrate the birth of Jesus…where Mary a 14-year-old virgin gives birth….talk about controversy….talk about conspiracy theories…well, stay tuned my friends….for the next few days…see how this intrigue and controversies turn out.