September 8, 2016

Mary's birth

September 8, 2016:  Birth of Mary

  • 'Sheep' tie bar:  "The Lord shall shepherd his flock" (1st reading)
  • 'Peace sign' tie bar:  "He shall be peace" (1st reading), Pope's homily
  • 'Angel' pin:  Angel appeared to Joseph in a dream (gospel)
  • NEW 'Dove' pin:  "The child has been conceived in Mary through the Holy Spirit" (gospel)
  • 'Clocks' tie:  Time passing during genealogy (gospel)
  • White and blue in shirt, suspenders, tie, and cuff links:  White from the liturgical calendar, "Blessed Mother blue"
Listen (some are later than her birth :-)

Pope Francis homily
Peace is a gift from God born in small places:  the heart, or a dream, as happened to Joseph when the angel told him not to fear to take Mary as his wife, because she'd bear “Emmanuel,” “God with us,” Peace.  We pray in today's collect “that we grow in unity and peace.”  Peace is a gift with its own life journey, so each of us must work to develop it.  We ought to take this gift of peace and make it the path in our own life, make it enter into us and the world.
Today's liturgy speaks of the “littleness” of Mary and Bethlehem.  Peace is a handcrafted gift we must work for every day in small things, daily ‘littleness.’  If in your little things, your heart, your family, your neighborhood, your workplace, there's no peace, there won't be world peace.  Ask God for the wisdom to make peace, in each day's little things, but aiming at all humanity, especially today, when we're living a war and seeking peace.  Is your heart at peace today?  If not, make sure it is before you speak of peace.  Is your family at peace today?  If you can't bring peace to your family, rectory, congregation, then words of peace for the world aren't enough....
    The Birth of Mary/ Lorenzetti
  • Mi 5:1-4a  From you, little Bethlehem, shall come the ruler in Israel; he'll shepherd his flock by God's strength, in God's name; his greatness shall reach to the ends of the earth; he shall be peace.
  • Rom 8:28-30  All things work for good for those who love God.  Those he foreknew he predestined, called, justified, and glorified.
  • Ps 13:6  "With delight I rejoice in the Lord."  I sing, “The Lord has been good to me.”
  • Mt 1:1-16, 18-23  The genealogy of Jesus Christ, son of David, son of Abraham:  Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Judah and his brothers, Perez and Zerah (Tamar's sons), Hezron, Ram, Amminadab.  Nahshon, Salmon, Boaz (Rahab's son), Obed (Ruth's son), Jesse, King David.  Solomon (son of Uriah's wife), Rehoboam, Abijah, Asaph.  Jehoshaphat, Joram, Uzziah.  Jotham, Ahaz, Hezekiah.  Manasseh, Amos, Josiah.  Jechoniah and his brothers.  After the Babylonian exile:  Shealtiel, Zerubbabel, Abiud.  Eliakim, Azor, Zadok.  Achim, Eliud, Eleazar.  Matthan, Jacob, Joseph (Mary's husband), Jesus called Christ.
Before Mary and Joseph lived together, she was found with child.  An angel told Joseph, “Don't be afraid to take Mary; she conceived through the Spirit and will bear a son to save people from their sins.”  This fulfilled the prophecy, The virgin shall bear a son, and they'll name him Emmanuel, “God with us.”
The Birth of the Virgin/ Giotto
Geburt Mariä/ Altdorfer
The Birth Of Mary/ Ghirlandaio
The Birth of Mary/ Boccaccino
    • Creighton:   Knowing our past can help us today.  Matthew's genealogy of Jesus involves many people, including some with questionable pedigrees.  It starts with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob but proceeds to wily Gentile Tamar, prostitute Rahab, and loyal Ruth, then mentions Uriah, recalling how David got him killed after sleeping with his wife; truth is sometimes ugly.  But Matthew concludes, "They'll name him... 'God with us,'" reminding us of a greater truth, that despite checkered pasts, God has been and is with us.  Our past shapes us.  Can we rejoice knowing God has been and is with us?  We find hope in our often messy and ugly world while being reminded of God's presence.
    • One Bread, One Body:  "Upside-down":  Mary's birth prefigures our new birth in Christ.  At baptism we were born into new life, adopted into his family, born to a living hope through Christ's resurrection.  God's new creation turns the human order upside-down (Acts 17:6).
    • Passionist:  Church history (from the 2nd century) teaches Mary was born of Anne and Joachim who thought they wouldn't be able to have children.  The Church also teaches that Mary was born without original sin; God was preparing her to carry his Son.  The genealogy gospel recalls how long people were awaiting the Messiah.  God's plan went far back; this is important in today’s culture of immediacy.  We don't like to wait, even for answers to prayer.  Let us follow the example of the Israelites and Mary and trust God with patience.
    •  "Mary's call to be the mother of Jesus the Savior":  Mary's birth prepared for our redemption in Christ.  Matthew concludes his genealogy by indicating that both Mary, Jesus' mother and Joseph, his foster father, came from David's line.  Mary was asked to accept the miracle of Jesus' conception, the risk of pregnancy outside marriage, and possible rejection by Joseph, her family, and her people. She believed and trusted in God. 
    Joseph, believing the angel's message, took Mary as his wife and accepted the child in her womb as the Messiah.  He's a model of faith for us, a faithful witness and servant.
    Matthew's genealogy of Jesus has three sections:  father Abraham through King David, then to the Babylonian exile (time of Israel's shame and disaster due to her unfaithfulness), then to Jesus, heir to David's throne. God fulfilled his promises to Abraham and David to send a Savior and King to rule over Israel and deliver them.   Jesus the hope for all God's people...

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