08 September 2016
Thursday, 23rd Week in Ordinary Time
Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary
Mi 5: 1 – 4a / Mt 1: 1-16, 18 -23
1st Reading: Mi 5:1 – 4a.
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 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.
From the Gospel Reading: Mt 1: 1, 16 - 17.
This is the document of the origins of Jesus Christ, son of David, son of Abraham. . . Jacob was the father of Joseph, the husband of Mary, and from her came Jesus who is called the Christ - - the Messiah.
There were then fourteen generations in all from Abraham to David, and fourteen generations from David to the deportation to Babylon, and fourteen generations from the deportation to Babylon to the birth of Christ.
It is interesting that as we celebrate the birth of the Blessed Virgin Mary we read not about the birth or lineage of Mary but about the genealogy of her Son the Christ. It is as if we are celebrating the birthday of a mother while looking at the photos of her child. We wonder what reasons the Church liturgists and writers have for doing so.
It is theologically meaningful to stress that any celebration of Mary the Mother of God cannot be separated from her Son. Our faith in and devotion to Mary cannot be separated from our faith in God and devotion to his Son Jesus. Thus we are reminded that Mary's special role in salvation history is not due to her own merits but due to the infinite mercies and kindness of God.
Is this not the same story of our own lives? We live and breathe and are, not so much because of our own merits and capacities, but because of the God who has looked on us with great mercy and love. Mary's role then is cooperation with the generous favors God has given her.
As we celebrate the nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary, we likewise celebrate the mercy and love God has shown her in using her to be a special channel of his grace. We then get inspiration from Mary who has so generously allowed God's favors to flow through her. Her life teaches us that the graces we receive are not ours to keep but ours to use and share. Her life shows us that these graces should not be like physical things we possess but, like streams of living water, should flow through us for others. Her life instructs us that being "full of grace" does not mean that we are full of and for ourselves but that we empty ourselves to be life-giving to others.
The celebration of the birth of the Blessed Virgin Mary is the celebration of the grace and mercy of God, not so much in how so much grace has been given to one individual but how such grace has been so gratefully received and shared with others. The Blessed Mother has allowed the infinite mercies of God to flow through her, not keeping them for herself, but allowing them to flow to others through her.
God has the same invitation for each of us.
WE PRAY FOR MTQ DAILY PRAYER DIARY INTENTIONS:
Hanani M. Bautista
Bellie Reyes Villanueva
Fr. Rodney A. Hart, SJ
IN MEMORIAM (+)
Esperanza U. Que (May 5, 1919 – Sep 8, 2001)
Finally, we pray for one another, for those who have asked our prayers and for those who need our prayers the most.
Have a good day!
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