Mondays, September 8, 2014
Birth of Mary
1st Reading: Mic 5:1-4 or Rom 8:28-30
Gospel: Matthew 1:1-16,18-23 or 1:18-23
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.
(Daily Gospel in the Assimilated Life Experience)
Our Civil Law defines fruits as the periodical additions to the principal thing produced by forces inherent in the thing itself. The definition perfectly describes the fruits of trees, especially those bearing fruits without direct human intervention such as the application of chemicals to induce fruit-bearing out of season. As defined, fruits are supposed to be the result of forces inherent in the nature of trees.
By analogy we describe children as fruit of the womb of the mother. Misleading! No woman bears a child without direct intervention of external forces. This is more glaring in the case of the Blessed Virgin Mary. It was not by a power inherent in the Blessed Virgin Mary that Jesus was conceived. Not even by the human intervention of Joseph was he formed in Mary’s womb. It was by the power of the Holy Spirit that Jesus was conceived and born.
We are not suggesting the ban of the description on Jesus as “fruit of the womb”. After all, the term is biblical. At the Visitation Elizabeth greeted her cousin the Blessed Virgin with this salutation: “Blessed is the fruit of thy womb…” (Luke 1:42). The same is now codified in the “Hail Mary”. Nor are we suggesting the revision of the Civil Code definition of the term “fruit”. The incongruence should remind us each time we use the term that it was not by any power inherent in the Blessed Virgin Mary that Jesus was born.
This raises the status of the Blessed Virgin Mary above all women. All women may be called daughters of God the Father. Yet among all women it is only the Blessed Virgin Mary who is daughter of the Father, mother of the Son, and wife of the Holy Spirit. We marvel at the strong bond she has with the Holy Trinity. Fortunately we too can relatives of Jesus if like her we do the Will of the Father (Mark 3:35). -Rev. Fr. Dan Domingo P. delos Angeles, Jr., DM. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org. Website: www.frdan.org.
Prayer for the day: God our Father, grant us the gift of generosity so that we may never turn our back to occasions of sacrifice necessary for the establishment of your kingdom. Grant this through Christ our Lord. Amen.
FEAST OF THE DAY: BIRTH OF THE BLESSED VIRGIN MARY. She was born at Nazareth in Galilee to Joachim and Ann about 16 years before the birth of Christ. The birth of Mary is closely related with her Immaculate Conception which is celebrated on December 8 exactly nine months earlier. The birth of the Blessed Virgin marked the beginning of the salvation of man, and the feast on September 8 is celebrated to obtain peace for the world. This feast originated in Jerusalem during the early times and was extended to the whole Church in 687 by Pope Sergius.