Ps 13:6ab, 6c
With delight I rejoice in the Lord.
FEAST OF THE NATIVITY OF THE BLESSED VIRGIN MARY
Psalter: Proper / (White)
1st Reading: Mic 5:1-4a (or Rom 8:28-30)
But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, so small that you are hardly named among the clans of Judah, from you shall I raise the one who is to rule over Israel. For he comes forth from of old, from the ancient times.
Yahweh, therefore, will abandon Israel until such time as she who is to give birth has given birth. Then the rest of his deported brothers will return to the people of Israel.
He will stand and shepherd his flock with the strength of Yahweh, in the glorious Name of Yahweh, his God. They will live safely while he wins renown to the ends of the earth. He shall be peace.
Gospel: Mt 1:1-16, 18-23
This is the account of the genealogy of Jesus Christ, son of David, son of Abraham.
Abraham was the father of Isaac, Isaac the father of Jacob, Jacob the father of Judah and his brothers.
Judah was the father of Perez and Zerah (their mother was Tamar), Perez was the father of Hezron, and Hezron of Aram. Aram was the father of Amina¬dab, Aminadab of Nahshon, Nahshon of Salmon.
Salmon was the father of Boaz. His mother was Rahab. Boaz was the father of Obed. His mother was Ruth. Obed was the father of Jesse.
Jesse was the father of David, the king. David was the father of Solomon. His mother had been Uriah’s wife.
Solomon was the father of Rehoboam. Then came the kings: Abijah, Asaph, Jehoshaphat, Joram, Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz, Hezekiah, Manasseh, Amon, Josiah.
Josiah was the father of Jechoniah and his brothers at the time of the deportation to Babylon.
After the deportation to Babylon Jechoniah was the father of Salathiel and Salathiel of Zerubbabel.
Zerubbabel was the father of Abiud, Abiud of Eliakim, and Eliakim of Azor. Azor was the father of Zadok, Zadok the father of Akim, and Akim the father of Eliud. Eliud was the father of Eleazar, Eleazar of Matthan, and Matthan of Jacob.
Jacob was the father of Joseph, the husband of Mary, and from her came Jesus who is called the Christ – the Messiah.
This is how Jesus Christ was born. Mary his mother had been given to Joseph in marriage but before they lived together, she was found to be pregnant through the Holy Spirit.
Then Joseph, her husband, made plans to divorce her in all secrecy. He was an upright man, and in no way did he want to discredit her.
While he was pondering over this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, “Joseph, descendant of David, do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife. She has conceived by the Holy Spirit, and now she will bear a son. You shall call him ‘Jesus’ for he will save his people from their sins.”
All this happened in order to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet: The virgin will conceive and bear a son, and he will be called Emmanuel which means: God-with-us.
From today’s gospel reading it is abundantly clear that God wanted Mary to be the mother of Jesus, while remaining a virgin. Not that there is anything wrong with sexual union—on the contrary sex, and the pleasure that goes with it, was invented by God; and, on that score, there would have been absolutely nothing wrong with Jesus being the product of the sexual union of Mary and Joseph. But, if this had happened, Jesus would have had a human father. Again, these would have been nothing wrong with that, but it would have had one inconvenience: it would somewhat have blurred the relationship between Jesus and God the Father. In other words, by having a human mother but no human father, Jesus can be seen more clearly for what he really is: he is one hundred percent a man (he takes his human nature from his mother), and at the same time he is one hundred percent God (the only Father he ever had is God, having no human father). In this way, Jesus can say that God is his Father just as literally as when I say, “That man is my father.” This means that, when I look at Jesus-the-man, I can say with utter truth, “That man is the Son of God.”
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