During the infancy narrative of Jesus in Luke’s Gospel, there are two times when Mary keeps a secret:
After the Shepherds come to the manger, worshiping Jesus, and telling Mary and Joseph that angels have announced that Jesus Christ is the Savior, Mary keeps a secret: “But Mary kept all these things, pondering them in her heart.” (Luke 2:19).
Twelve years later, when Mary and Joseph find Jesus in the Temple with the teachers who are amazed at Jesus, Mary keeps a secret: “…and his mother kept all these things in her heart.” (Luke 2:51).
What secret does Mary keep in her heart?
Mary knows that her Son, Jesus, is the Son of God!
Can you imagine keeping a secret like that? We’d be tempted to tell everyone: “Hey, lemme tell you about my kid…” But Mary, full of the Holy Spirit and awed by the Holy Child does not disclose her secret until after Christ has died and been raised from the dead.
Why would Mary keep Jesus’ true identity a secret?
Mary tells us herself when in her beautiful Magnificat (Luke 1:46-55) when she refers to her “low estate as [the Lord’s] hand maiden.” Blessed Mary, despite being one of only 4 people born without Original Sin (Adam, Eve, Mary and, of course, Jesus Christ), considers herself a lowly hand maiden. As such, it would never be her place to reveal God’s plan, unless God directed her to reveal Jesus’ identity.
Despite the suffering that Mary would experience in her life (the killing of her Son), God offers her consolations: God allows Mary to understand through the shepherds, the Magi and at the Temple when Jesus is twelve, that indeed her Son is God Himself!
In Luke’s Gospel, Mary reveals her secret so that we can meet, know and come to love the Lord Jesus Christ.
How does Luke know anything about the Infancy of Jesus, let alone what Blessed Mary is keeping in her heart?
We assume that it is Mary herself who tells Luke these stories, long after Jesus’ death and resurrection!