SEPT. 8: BIRTHDAY OF THE BLESSED VIRGIN MARY. GOSPEL INSIGHT AND COMMENTARY.
SEPT. 8: BIRTHDAY OF THE BLESSED VIRGIN MARY.
Gospel Insight and Commentary.
The Church, in keeping a solemn feast for the birthday of the Blessed Virgin Mary, celebrates the dawning of the Redemption over the world when, after a long period of waiting, she who was to be the Mother of our Savior was born. The Blessed Virgin occupies a unique place in the history of salvation. Heaven rejoices at her birth. The Lord reserves for her the highest mission ever commended to any creature. The feast may have originated somewhere in Syria or Palestine in the beginning of the sixth century, when after the Council of Ephesus, the devotion to the Mother of God was greatly intensified, especially in Syria.
The book of the genealogy of Jesus Christ, the son of David, the son of Abraham.
Abraham became the father of Isaac, Isaac the father of Jacob, Jacob the father of Judah and his brothers. Judah became the father of Perez and Zerah, whose mother was Tamar. Perez became the father of Hezron, Hezron the father of Ram, Ram the father of Amminadab. Amminadab became the father of Nahshon, Nahshon the father of Salmon, 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, Jesse the father of David the king.
David became the father of Solomon, whose mother had been the wife of Uriah. Solomon became the father of Rehoboam, Rehoboam the father of Abijah, Abijah the father of Asaph. Asaph became the father of Jehoshaphat, Jehoshaphat the father of Joram, Joram the father of Uzziah. Uzziah became the father of Jotham, Jotham the father of Ahaz, Ahaz the father of Hezekiah. Hezekiah became the father of Manasseh, Manasseh the father of Amos, Amos the father of Josiah. Josiah became the father of Jechoniah and his brothers at the time of the Babylonian exile.
After the Babylonian exile, Jechoniah became the father of Shealtiel, Shealtiel the father of Zerubbabel, Zerubbabel the father of Abiud. Abiud became the father of Eliakim, Eliakim the father of Azor, Azor the father of Zadok. Zadok became the father of Achim, Achim the father of Eliud, Eliud the father of Eleazar. Eleazar became the father of Matthan, Matthan the father of Jacob, Jacob the father of Joseph, the husband of Mary. Of her was born Jesus who is called the Christ.
Thus the total number of generations from Abraham to David is fourteen generations; from David to the Babylonian exile, fourteen generations; from the Babylonian exile to the Christ, fourteen generations.
The Navarre Bible Commentary to the Gospel of St. Matthew explains:
“1 This verse is a kind of title to St Matthew’s entire Gospel. The promises God made to Abraham for the salvation of mankind (Gen 12:3) are fulfilled in Jesus Christ, as is Nathan’s prophecy to King David of an everlasting kingdom (2 Sam 7:12-16).
- The genealogy presented here by St Matthew shows Jesus’ human ancestry and also indicates that salvation history has reached its climax with the birth of the Son of God through the working of the Holy Spirit. Jesus Christ, true God and true man, is the expected Messiah.
- The genealogy is presented in a framework of three series, each consisting of fourteen links which show the progressive development of salvation history.
- For the Jews (and for other Eastern peoples of nomadic origin) genealogical trees were of great importance because a person’s identity was especially linked to family and tribe, with place of birth taking secondary importance. In the case of the Jewish people there was the added religious significance of belonging by blood to the chosen people.
- In Christ’s time each family still kept a careful record of its genealogical tree, since because of it people acquired rights and duties.
6 Four women are named in these genealogies — Tamar (cf. Gen 38; 1 Chron 2:4), Rahab (cf. Josh 2:6,17), Bathsheba (cf. 2 Sam 11:12, 24) and Ruth (cf. Book of Ruth). These four foreign women, who in one way or another are brought into the history of Israel, are one sign among many others of God’s design to save all men.
- By mentioning sinful people, God’s ways are shown to be different from man’s.
- God will sometimes carry out his plan of salvation by means of people whose conduct has not been just.
- God saves us, sanctifies us and chooses us to do good despite our sins and infidelities — and he chose to leave evidence of this at various stages in the history of our salvation.
11 The deportation to Babylon, described in 2 Kings 24-25, fulfilled the prophets’ warning to the people of Israel and their kings that they would be punished for their infidelity to the commandments of the Law of God, especially the first commandment.
16 Jewish genealogies followed the male line.
- Joseph, being Mary’s husband, was the legal father of Jesus.
- The legal father is on a par with the real father as regards rights and duties. This fact provides a sound basis for recognizing St Joseph as Patron of the whole Church, since he was chosen to play a very special role in God’s plan for our salvation: with St Joseph as his legal father, Jesus the Messiah has David as his ancestor.
- Since it was quite usual for people to marry within their clan,it can be concluded that Mary belonged to the house of David.
- Several early Fathers of the Church testify to this — for example, St Ignatius of Antioch, St Irenaeus, St Justin and Tertullian, who base their testimony on an unbroken oral tradition.
- It should also be pointed out that when St Matthew comes to speak of the birth of Jesus, he uses an expression which is completely different from that used for the other people in the genealogy. With these words the text positively teaches that Mary conceived Jesus while still a virgin, without the intervention of man.”
Together with the Holy Child Jesus, we wish you, dearest Mother Mary, a very Happy Birthday! May countless children of yours offer you numerous details of love and affection which will surely please not only you, but also Our Lord Jesus Christ, together with God the Father and God the Holy Spirit!
A big, strong hug from all of us!
Fr. Rolly Arjonillo
TOPIC: IS YOUR FAMILY TREE FILLED WITH DIVERSE CHARACTERS AND PERSONALITIES?
Looking at our own family trees, we may find both famous and infamous people, illustrious and insignificant people. Without them though, we would not even be here today.
Topic: As we celebrate today the birth of the Blessed Virgin Mary, shouldn’t we also recognize the power of her intercession?
Today is the birthday of our Blessed Virgin Mary. Her birth comes nine months after her Immaculate Conception on December 8, a feast we celebrate to commemorate Mary’s freedom from original sin. This purity bestowed upon her by God makes her a logical and powerful intercessor to Jesus, which was made evident as early as the first miracle of Jesus at the wedding in Cana.
In her intercession, too, is a capability for us to win our spiritual battles, be recipients of physical healing, and beneficiaries of protection from harm. Through praying the Rosary, the mysteries of Christ’s birth, ministry, passion and resurrection to glory are not just commemorated but launches the Holy Spirit to bring us life, healing and protection.
Her and Jesus’ genealogy, as described in today’s gospel, indicate to us that God’s will can be fulfilled even through sinners, as through saints. Four women, non-Jews, were mentioned. Tamar was scheming, Rahab was a prostitute, Bathsheba was raped and became a murderer, Ruth was a seducer. His will is always accomplished with or without us, but preferably with us. Paul, in today’s alternative reading said it well: “Brothers and sisters: We know that all things work for good for those who love God, who are called according to his purpose.” (Romans 8:28)
What is most striking is that Jesus’ birth is already foretold in the Old Testament. In the book of Micah, in today’s first reading, a Messiah, whose “greatness will reach to the ends of the earth” will come from a small town called Bethlehem. All these pieces of historical information, indeed, show us that Jesus is real and that Mary, His mother, is our go-to mother, too, for all things that we hold dear, are important for our transformation, and are in accordance with God’s will for us.
YOU MIGHT WANT TO SEE AS WELL:
HISTORY OF THE FEAST OF THE NATIVITY OF OUR LADY in https://catholicsstrivingforholiness.org/sept-8-the-nativity-of-the-blessed-virgin-mary-happy-birthday-dearest-mother-mary-best-with-sound/
A SERMON OF ST. ANDREW CRETE ON THE NATIVITY OF OUR LADY in https://catholicsstrivingforholiness.org/sept-8-happy-birthday-mother-mary/
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