Now the birth of Jesus Christ happened this way: When his mother Mary was espoused to Joseph, before they came together, she was found to be with child of the Holy Spirit.
All Commentaries on Matthew 1:18 Go To Matthew 1
Chromatius of Aquileia
For blessed Matthew, after enumerating the genealogy of Christ, added the following regarding hope for our salvation: “After Mary, mother of Jesus, had been betrothed to Joseph, she was found to be pregnant by the Holy Spirit before they were married.” This is the heavenly mystery, this sacrament obscured and hidden by the Holy Spirit. Luke describes in greater detail the manner of the Lord’s incarnation, for he recounts how an angel came to Mary and greeted her saying, “Hail woman full of grace,” and the rest that follows. And when Mary asked him how what he had been proclaiming to her could take place—because she had never had relations with a man—he said to her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. And thus what is born from you will be called the Son of God.” It was right that holy Mary, who was about to conceive the Lord of glory in her womb, be informed about the Holy Spirit and the excellence of the Most High when she received into her blessed womb the Creator of the world. Indeed, both Matthew and Luke began their narratives with the corporeal birth of the Lord. John, however, addresses the issue of Jesus’ divine birth in the preface to his Gospel: “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and God was the Word. This was with God in the beginning. All things were made through him and without him nothing was made.” The Evangelists help us to recognize both the divine and corporeal birth of the Lord, which they describe as a twofold mystery and a kind of double path. Indeed, both the divine and the bodily birth of the Lord are indescribable, but that from the Father vastly exceeds every means of description and wonder. The bodily birth of Christ was in time; his divine birth was before time. The one in this age, the other before the ages. The one from a virgin mother, the other from God the Father. Angels and men stood as witnesses at the corporeal birth of the Lord, yet at his divine birth there was no witness except the Father and the Son, because nothing existed before the Father and the Son. But because the Word could not be seen as God in the glory of his own divinity, he assumed visible flesh to demonstrate his invisible divinity. He took from us what is ours in order to give generously what is his.