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Text Of Pope's Homily For Christmas Eve Mass
cbs news ^ | Dec. 24, 2010 | Pope Benedict XVI

Posted on 12/25/2010 10:04:52 AM PST by Not gonna take it anymore

. . . "Mary gave birth to her first-born son" (Lk 2:7). In this sentence Saint Luke recounts quite soberly the great event to which the prophecies from Israel's history had pointed. Luke calls the child the "first-born." In the language which developed within the sacred Scripture of the Old Covenant, "first-born" does not mean the first of a series of children.

The word "first-born" is a title of honor, quite independently of whether other brothers and sisters follow or not. So Israel is designated by God in the Book of Exodus (4:22) as "my first-born Son," and this expresses Israel's election, its singular dignity, the particular love of God the Father.

The early Church knew that in Jesus this saying had acquired a new depth, that the promises made to Israel were summed up in him. Thus the Letter to the Hebrews calls Jesus "the first-born," simply in order to designate him as the Son sent into the world by God (cf. 1:5-7) after the ground had been prepared by Old Testament prophecy.

The first-born belongs to God in a special way and therefore he had to be handed over to God in a special way as in many religions and he had to be ransomed through a vicarious sacrifice, as Saint Luke recounts in the episode of the Presentation in the Temple. The first-born belongs to God in a special way, and is as it were destined for sacrifice. . .

(Excerpt) Read more at ...

TOPICS: Catholic
KEYWORDS: christmas; homily; pope
Lovely homily from a great teacher.
1 posted on 12/25/2010 10:04:57 AM PST by Not gonna take it anymore
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To: Not gonna take it anymore
It takes complete faith to believe in 'The Immaculate Conception' within Mary.

"With men this is impossible, but with God all things are possible."... Matt 19:26

2 posted on 12/25/2010 10:38:03 AM PST by tflabo
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