FEAST OF THE NATIVITY OF THE BLESSED VIRGIN MARY, SEPTEMBER 8, 2020
A Gospel according to Matthew 1:1-16, 18-23
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.
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.”
REFLECTION: "Joseph, the husband of Mary. Of her was born Jesus who is called the Christ."
Have you ever researched your own family tree? Our family has. In looking in the past we have not discovered royalty or famous people but simple everyday people. And here and there someone that has not been exactly a "good person".
When trying to find out more about them we have encountered barriers such as pictures lost and conflicting stories about their last known whereabouts, etc. We don't want to talk ill of the dead, but also, we don't want people to know that some of the ancestors were not exactly models of virtue.
In the opening of Matthew's Gospel we see a different attitude.
We read how the genealogy includes men and women that achieved greatness: Abraham, Jacob, Isacc, Ruth, David, Solomon. But also men and women that had many, many flaws: Judah, Tamar, Rahab, Bathsheba.
Even those who we deem as "outstanding" for sure would be victims of our cancel culture. And would promptly shame, remove all written accounts, and topple statues and monuments of Abraham for trying to murder his son; David and Bathsheba for their adulterous affair and murder of her first husband, Uriah; Ruth for having been born in the "wrong side of the tracks", i.e. from a country where they committed human sacrifices, who is to know if she ever joined in those practices before meeting her first husband. Why is Judah mentioned after he tried to murder his brother Joseph, and then sold him into slavery? And so on and so forth.
Who would boast publicly harlots and attempted murderers in their family tree? What is the lesson Matthew is trying to convey for us here?
Then we see something else. When we read about a woman, the author refers to her as "whose mother was...", so we read who the father of the child was.
Except with Mary.
Matthew writes: "Joseph, the husband of Mary. Of her was born Jesus who is called the Christ"
Matthew is telling us that there is something exceptional about Mary. And of Jesus. On how He was conceived in a miraculous way by the Holy Spirit. And of Joseph His foster father.
Mary became our adopted mother at the foot of the cross when Jesus asked Mary to take care of the Apostle John. And then to John to take care of her (Jn 19:26-27).
Today we celebrate Mary's birthday. How do we usually celebrate our earthly mothers? How much more should we celebrate Our Mother in Heaven?
Let's spend some time honoring our Mother Mary. Our PAPA Momma in Heaven, who is the closest person to Jesus, and who will do anything for us, so we can eventually be in Heaven with them.