St. John explains the reason for announcing Christ’s conception to Virgin Mary before it happened. He makes a serious inference about the possible reaction of the Virgin Mary’s reaction. Here is his answer :
“He did it to spare her serious unease and great distress. There was cause for fear, lest she, not knowing the true reason for her pregnancy, imagine that there was something wrong with her and proceed to drown or stab herself rather than endure disgrace.”John Chrysostom,Homily on Matthew 4, 5; PG 57, 45.
Whether this is true or not, we cannot overlook God’s gentleness and love of mankind because He never violates our freedom. From this lens, we can look at the Annunciation that God wanted Virgin Mary to consent to His will. Thus He was revealing His plan to her. God does the same with us, but were we attentive to his voice?
St. John Chrysostom was educated in the school of Antioch where the emphasis was on Christ’s humanity rather than His divinity. Also, at this time, the term “mother of God” was unknown to the Antiochene school. His main concern was correcting Christian behaviour. Therefore, he does not hesitate to attribute defeats or imperfections to Virgin Mary.
Gambero, L., 1999. Mary and the Fathers of the Church 1st ed. Translated by Buffer, T., San Francisco: Ignatius Press.