READINGS for 2007-09-08

Didache | Companion | Sabbath

DIDACHE

Feast of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary

WHAT MARY TAUGHT ME

Behold, the virgin... – Matthew 1:23

“I pray for a wife-to-be, Lord. My qualifications are simple: I don’t mind even if she’s rich, pretty, young, and sexy, as long as she’s kind and understanding.”

Joseph may have had more spiritual vocabulary for his Finding-a-Wife Prayer, but he most certainly didn’t pray for a pregnant single woman. Oh Mary, you almost lost an ideal husband, neared the brink of shame and judgment of being an unwed mother, and opened yourself to more uncertainties by participating in God’s purposes.

You taught me that by recklessly abandoning myself to the designs of God, “All things work for the good of those who love God and are called according to His purpose” (Romans 8:28). God sends his angel to do the talking, and arranges circumstances, on behalf of those who obey Him. You taught me that nothing is more powerful than a soul that is totally consumed by the purpose for which he/she is created for. Your submission was the channel of power that redeemed the world. How can I honor you better than by loving the One whom you most love? How can I please you better than by living the life of the “God with us”? How can I imitate you better than by loving the poor which you hold dearly to your heart?

HAPPY BIRTHDAY! Come and be in our midst! Jon E.

REFLECTION:

What is your word of honoring to Our Mother today? Bring it on. She  would love to hear from you.

Mary, please pray for me that the Holy Spirit that brought you joy at the Pentecost may consume my life 

COMPANION

1st READING

Micah 5:1-4 or Romans 8:28-30

We celebrate the birth of Mary and the consequent dawning of the Day of Redemption. As we honor Mary and her place in salvation history, let us not forget that there is still much to be done and that we are the ones called to proclaim and make manifest the Gospel in the early years of the Third Millenium. Everybody enjoys celebrating a birthday and thanking God for the gift of life that it signifies. Let us remember all those lives that have been aborted and thus the multitudes who have not been given the opportunity to celebrate life as we know it.

1 You, Bethlehem-Ephrathah too small to be among the clans of Judah, from you shall come forth for me one who is to be ruler in Israel; whose origin is from of old, from ancient times. 2 (Therefore the Lord will give them up, until the time when she who is to give birth has borne, and the rest of his brethren shall return to the children of Israel.) 3 He shall stand firm and shepherd his flock by the strength of the LORD, in the majestic name of the LORD, his God; and they shall remain, for now his greatness shall reach to the ends of the earth; 4 he shall be peace.

P S A L M

Psalm 13:6ab, 6c

R: With delight I rejoice in the Lord.

5 [6] Though I trusted in your mercy, let my heart rejoice in your salvation. (R) Let me sing of the LORD, “He has been good to me.” (R)

G O S P E L

Matthew 1:1-16.18-23

We know very little of the life of Mary except that she was chosen by God for a special task and was obedient to that call. Here is the simplest example and the essence of a life of discipleship. Mary, the Mother of Jesus, Mother of God and Mother of the Church, is an example for us all to look to when it comes to knowing what it means to do God’s will.

1 The book of the genealogy of Jesus Christ, the son of David, the son of Abraham. 2 Abraham became the father of Isaac, Isaac the father of Jacob, Jacob the father of Judah and his brothers. 3 Judah became the father of Perez and Zerah, whose mother was Tamar. Perez became the father of Hezron, Hezron the father of Ram, 4 Ram the father of Amminadab. Amminadab became the father of Nahshon, Nahshon the father of Salmon, 5 Salmon the father of Boaz, whose mother was Rahab. Boaz became the father of Obed, whose mother was Ruth. Obed became the father of Jesse, 6 Jesse the father of David the king. David became the father of Solomon, whose mother had been the wife of Uriah. 7 Solomon became the father of Rehoboam, Rehoboam the father of Abijah, Abijah the father of Asaph. 8 Asaph became the father of Jehoshaphat, Jehoshaphat the father of Joram, Joram the father of Uzziah. 9 Uzziah became the father of Jotham, Jotham the father of Ahaz, Ahaz the father of Hezekiah. 10 Hezekiah became the father of Manasseh, Manasseh the father of Amos, Amos the father of Josiah. 11 Josiah became the father of Jechoniah and his brothers at the time of the Babylonian exile. 12 After the Babylonian exile, Jechoniah became the father of Shealtiel, Shealtiel the father of Zerubbabel, 13 Zerubbabel the father of Abiud. Abiud became the father of Eliakim, Eliakim the father of Azor, 14 Azor the father of Zadok. Zadok became the father of Achim, Achim the father of Eliud, 15 Eliud the father of Eleazar. Eleazar became the father of Matthan, Matthan the father of Jacob, 16 Jacob the father of Joseph, the husband of Mary. Of her was born Jesus who is called the Messiah. 18 Now this is how the birth of Jesus Christ came about. When his mother Mary was betrothed to Joseph, but before they lived together, she was found with child through the holy Spirit. 19 Joseph her husband, since he was a righteous man, yet unwilling to expose her to shame, decided to divorce her quietly. 20 Such was his intention when, behold, the angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, “Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary your wife into your home. For it is through the holy Spirit that this child has been conceived in her. 21 She will bear a son and you are to name him Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.” 22 All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet: 23 “Behold, the virgin shall be with child and bear a son, and they shall name him Emmanuel,” which means, “God is with us.”

my reflections

think: Let us remember all those lives that have been aborted and thus the multitudes who have not been given the opportunity to celebrate life as we know it.

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God’s special verse/thought for me today________________

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T O D A Y ’ S BLESSING LIST

Thank You Lord for: ____________________________________

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READ THE BIBLE IN ONE YEAR Daniel 7-9 

SABBATH

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, MOMMY!

Before I became a priest, my mother’s birthday was a simple family gathering. We heard Mass, had a family dinner in a special restaurant,  sometimes we watched a movie.

Now that I am a priest, commemorating mommy’s birthday has been “upgraded” and is a concern of more people. These people met mommy because they met me.They developed a special affection for her because I, her son, am a priest. When her birthday comes, she has more gifts than before. More people are excited about April 30.

The same is true with the nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary. We celebrate her birth in a very special way because she gave birth to the Son of God. The Blessed Virgin Mary’s significance to us is always seen in the light of her son, Jesus. Her birth signals the end of the period of promise and expectation of the Old Testament and the beginning of the time of grace, the kairos, of the New Testament. Because she was born, the birth of the Blessed Savior was near. Salvation was at hand more than before.

The Blessed Virgin Mary is karithomene, full of grace, because it was IN her, then THROUGH her, that karis, (“grace”) first appeared. Jesus is Grace in person. And she was not only the first to have been saved, the Blessed Virgin Mary is always the vessel of Salvation, who is Jesus Christ Himself.

But unlike my mother’s birth, the Blessed Mother’s birth was ordained by the birth of her Son, Jesus. Mary was predestined to be the mother of the Lord. This is also the reason why she was immaculately conceived, that she was conceived without original sin, that even before the actual events of the Lord’s Paschal Mystery she was already saved. This must be the reason why on her birthday, the Gospel enumerates not her genealogy but that of her Son’s. The Gospel is not about her birth but the birth of the Lord.

Many people, though they are not my siblings, call my mother, “Mommy.” They met her, they knew her, and they continue to love her. The Blessed Virgin Mary is our mommy too because of Jesus.

Happy Birthday, Mommy! (No, it is not my mom’s birthday today. But, yes, it is Mommy’s birthday.) Fr. Bobby T.

REFLECTION QUESTION: What is my gift to Mama Mary on her birthday today?

“Father of mercy, give Your people help and strength from heaven. The birth of the Virgin Mary’s Son was the dawn of our salvation. May this celebration of her birthday bring us closer to lasting peace. We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ, Your Son, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, forever and ever. Amen” (Opening Prayer of the Mass on the Feast of the Birthday of the Blessed Virgin Mary).

Sts. Adrian and Natalia, pray for us.  




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