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. Joseph her husband, since he was a righteous man, yet unwilling to expose her to shame, decided to divorce her quietly. 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. She will bear a son and you are to name him Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.” All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet: Behold, the virgin shall be with child and bear a son, and they shall name him Emmanuel, which means “God is with us.”
This is your mother. And she will always be our mother who continues to accompany us, in these days through her Marian apparitions, where she invites us to listen to her son. The story of the incarnation reveals not only how God prepared the way for his Son, but particularly how God accompanied the chosen and consecrated individuals, including Joseph.
God needs all of us, with our limitations certainly, even today, so that the saving mission that His Son initiated in Him, continues, is completed and the world is saved. Even if we do not have a biblical account of Mary's nativity, we do have the tradition that helps us to understand the divine wonders in her.
Today's Gospel tells us, "All this happened so that the word of the Lord spoken by the prophet might be fulfilled: 'Behold, the Virgin shall conceive and bear a son, to whom shall be given the name Emmanuel, which is translated "God-with-us". The imitation of her Son, Jesus Christ, even if it is difficult in human terms and perfect for our salvation, the imitation of Mary, is a perfect path to the imitation of her Son. In her we can easily reach her Son.
In all Marian feasts, the Church celebrates her victory, the victory of humanity, the victory of saved man. Each and every one of us is called to discover in Mary how we can accomplish the divine mission, in our poverty, humility, docility to the Word of God and most importantly, in our fidelity and contemplation. God trusted in her and He continues to trust in us. Let us dare, like her, as sons and daughters of Mary, to say always YES to the Lord.
Action of the day: Believe that God is active in you.
«Behold, the virgin shall be with child and bear a son, and they shall name him Emmanuel»
+ Fr. Agustí ALTISENT i Altisent Monk of Santa Maria de Poblet
Today, Jesus' genealogy, the Savior that had to come and be born of Mary, shows us how the work of God is interwoven into human history, and how God acts in the secret and silence of every single day. At the same time, we can see his reliability to accomplish his promises. Even Ruth and Rahab (cf. Mt 1:5), foreigners, converted to the faith of the only God, were our Savior's ancestors.
The Holy Spirit, that mysteriously had to incarnate the Son in Mary, entered, therefore, into our history a long time before, and traced a path leading to the Virgin Mary of Nazareth and, through her, to her Son Jesus. “Behold, the virgin shall be with child and bear a son, and they shall name him Emmanuel” (Mt 1:23). How spiritually delicate Mary's entrails, her heart and her will, must have been, to engage the attention of the Father and make her become the mother of “God-with-mankind”; He, who had to bring the supernatural light and grace for the redemption of all of us. In this work, everything brings us to contemplate, admire and worship, through prayer, the greatness, the generosity and the simplicity of the divine action that will extol and rescue our human lineage through our Lord’s personal involvement.
Further away, in Today's Gospel, we see how Mary was advised she would conceive God, the Savior of his People. And let us realize that this girl, virgin and Jesus' mother, had to be also our mother. The special election of Mary, “Most blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb” (Lk 1:42), makes us admire God's tenderness in his way of proceeding; because He did not redeem us —so to speak— “by remote control”, but by closely binding himself with our family and our history. Who could ever imagine God to be so great and so acquiescent as to so intimately bind Himself to us?