Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Blessed Are You Mary, Deserving Of All Praise. From You Rose The Sun Of Justice

Reading 1: Micah 5:1-4

The LORD says:You, Bethlehem-Ephrathah,too small to be among the clans of Judah,From you shall come forth for meone who is to be ruler in Israel;Whose origin is from of old,from ancient times.(Therefore the Lord will give them up, until the timewhen she who is to give birth has borne,And the rest of his brethren shall returnto the children of Israel.)He shall stand firm and shepherd his flockby the strength of the LORD,in the majestic name of the LORD, his God;And they shall remain, for now his greatnessshall reach to the ends of the earth;he shall be peace.

Gospel: Matthew 1:18-23

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 Spiritthat 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 fulfillwhat 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.”
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Before the birth of our Lord, all good men who lived in expectation of Israel’s Redeemer constantly longed for his coming. They ardently desired that the Eternal Father should hasten the hour of sending them their Deliverer; and the transports of joy with which they would have greeted the slightest sign of that hour was approaching may well have been imagined by us.
Suppose, then, that they had known when the Blessed Virgin was born that she was to be the Mother of the Savior, what may we not conclude would have been their delight? Even as those races that worship the sun rejoice at the sign of his herald, the dawn, so would men of faith in Israel have been enraptured at the thought of beholding the glorious birthday of her who was to usher in the coming of the “Desired of all Nations”.

We who come after them can understand their feelings. Moved by reverence for him who chose her for his Mother, we come today to do honor to this newly-risen star; to deck her cradle – not, indeed, with actual lilies and roses – but with the holy desires and heartfelt praise that are the true flowers of the Spirit. This new-born maiden is unspeakably blessed in being predestined to experience such exceeding love for him who is alone worthy of our hearts.

Jacques Benigne Bossuet (+ 1704) French Bishop

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