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Catholic Caucus: Daily Mass Readings, 12-24-12, Solemnity, Nativity of the Lord [Vigil]
USCCB.org/RNAB ^ | 12-24-12 | Revised New American Bible

Posted on 12/23/2012 9:56:34 PM PST by Salvation

December 24, 2012 

Solemnity of the Nativity of the Lord (Christmas) Vigil

 

Reading 1 Is 62:1-5

For Zion's sake I will not be silent,
for Jerusalem's sake I will not be quiet,
until her vindication shines forth like the dawn
and her victory like a burning torch.

Nations shall behold your vindication,
and all the kings your glory;
you shall be called by a new name
pronounced by the mouth of the LORD.
You shall be a glorious crown in the hand of the LORD,
a royal diadem held by your God.
No more shall people call you "Forsaken,"
or your land "Desolate,"
but you shall be called "My Delight,"
and your land "Espoused."
For the LORD delights in you
and makes your land his spouse.
As a young man marries a virgin,
your Builder shall marry you;
and as a bridegroom rejoices in his bride
so shall your God rejoice in you.

Responsorial Psalm Ps 89:4-5, 16-17, 27, 29.

R. (2a) For ever I will sing the goodness of the Lord.
I have made a covenant with my chosen one,
I have sworn to David my servant:
Forever will I confirm your posterity
and establish your throne for all generations.
R. For ever I will sing the goodness of the Lord.
Blessed the people who know the joyful shout;
in the light of your countenance, O LORD, they walk.
At your name they rejoice all the day,
and through your justice they are exalted.
R. For ever I will sing the goodness of the Lord.
He shall say of me, "You are my father,
my God, the rock, my savior."
Forever I will maintain my kindness toward him,
and my covenant with him stands firm.
R. For ever I will sing the goodness of the Lord.

Reading 2 Acts 13:16-17, 22-25

When Paul reached Antioch in Pisidia and entered the synagogue,
he stood up, motioned with his hand, and said,
"Fellow Israelites and you others who are God-fearing, listen.
The God of this people Israel chose our ancestors
and exalted the people during their sojourn in the
land of Egypt.
With uplifted arm he led them out of it.
Then he removed Saul and raised up David as king;
of him he testified,
'I have found David, son of Jesse, a man after my own heart;
he will carry out my every wish.'
From this man's descendants God, according to his promise,
has brought to Israel a savior, Jesus.
John heralded his coming by proclaiming a baptism of repentance
to all the people of Israel;
and as John was completing his course, he would say,
'What do you suppose that I am? I am not he.
Behold, one is coming after me;
I am not worthy to unfasten the sandals of his feet.'"

Gospel Mt 1:1-25

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.

Thus the total number of generations
from Abraham to David
is fourteen generations;
from David to the Babylonian exile,
fourteen generations;
from the Babylonian exile to the Christ,
fourteen generations.

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 conceive and bear a son,
and they shall name him Emmanuel,
which means "God is with us."
When Joseph awoke,
he did as the angel of the Lord had commanded him
and took his wife into his home.
He had no relations with her until she bore a son,
and he named him Jesus.

or Mt 1:18-25

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 conceive and bear a son,
and they shall name him Emmanuel,
which means "God is with us."
When Joseph awoke,
he did as the angel of the Lord had commanded him
and took his wife into his home.
He had no relations with her until she bore a son,
and he named him Jesus.


TOPICS: Catholic; General Discusssion; Prayer; Worship
KEYWORDS: catholic; christmas; jesuschrist; prayer
For your reading, reflection, faith-sharing, comments, questions, discussion.

1 posted on 12/23/2012 9:56:43 PM PST by Salvation
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2 posted on 12/23/2012 10:02:37 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: Salvation
 
Adoration of the Shepherds, by Bartolomé Esteban Murillo, 1650-5
 

3 posted on 12/23/2012 10:08:15 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All

From: Isaiah 62:1-5

Names of the new Jerusalem


[1] For Zion’s sake I will not keep silent,
and for Jerusalem’s sake I will not rest,
until her vindication goes forth as brightness,
and her salvation as a burning torch.
[2] The nations shall see her vindication,
and all the kings your glory;
and you shall be called by a new name
which the mouth of the Lord will give.
[3] You shall be a crown of beauty in the hand of the Lord,
and a royal diadem in the hand of your God.
[4] You shall no more be termed Forsaken,
and your land shall no more be termed Desolate.
but you shall be called My delight is in her,
and your land Married;
for the Lord delights in you,
and your land shall be married.
[5] For as a young man marries a virgin,
so shall your sons marry you,
and as the bridegroom rejoices over the bride,
so shall your God rejoice over you.

*********************************************************************************************
Commentary:

62:1-2. The new city of Jerusalem is now explicitly named; it is “Zion” (v. 1). It
will be praised in this new hymn placed on the prophet’s lips, in which he plays
poetically with the names given the city. The depiction of Zion as the spouse of
the Lord became popular among prophets from Hosea onwards.

The first stanza (vv. 1-9), addressed to the city, describes the new situation that
awaits her in terms of a series of names: no one will any longer feel alone or un-
protected, for God has shown Jerusalem the tenderness of a young husband (he
calls her “My delight and “Married”: v. 4). The advantages that derive from spou-
sal covenant can be seen (as in Hosea: cf. Hos. 2:11-15) in metaphors to do with
rich harvests (vv. 8-9).

The second stanza (vv. 10-12), spoken to those living in the city, is an exhorta-
tion to be prepared for when the Saviour will enter in glory in the last days (vv 10-
11; cf. 40:3). The poem ends (v. 12) with further plays on the names given the
city and its inhabitants.

Since the sixth century, Christian tradition has used this poem in the liturgy of
Christmas Day. The birth of Jesus has brought about the joyful union of God and
mankind in a way that surpasses that described in terms of spousal union. A
monk of the Middle Ages makes this beautiful comment: “Like the bridegroom
who comes out of his chamber the Lord came down from heaven to dwell on earth
and to become one with the Church through his incarnation. The Church was ga-
thered together from among the Gentiles, to whom he gave his dowry and his
blessings — his dowry, when God was made man; his blessings, when he was
sacrificed for their salvation” (Fausto de Riez, “Sermo 5 in Epiphania”).

*********************************************************************************************
Source: “The Navarre Bible: Text and Commentaries”. Biblical text from the
Revised Standard Version and New Vulgate. Commentaries by members of
the Faculty of Theology, University of Navarre, Spain.

Published by Four Courts Press, Kill Lane, Blackrock, Co. Dublin, Ireland, and
by Scepter Publishers in the United States.


4 posted on 12/23/2012 10:15:08 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All

From: Acts 13:16-17, 22-25

Preaching in the Synagogue of Antioch of Pisidia


[16] So Paul stood up, and motioning with his hand said: “Men of Israel, and you
that fear God, listen. [17] The God of this people Israel chose our fathers and
made the people great during their stay in the land of Egypt, and with uplifted arm
He led them out of it.

[22] And when He had removed him, He raised up David to be their king; of whom
He testified and said, “I have found in David the son of Jesse a man after My heart,
who will do all My will.’ [23] Of this man’s posterity God has brought Israel a Sa-
vior, Jesus, as He promised. [24] Before His coming John had preached a baptism
of repentance to all the people of Israel. [25] And as John was finishing his course,
he said, ‘What do you suppose that I am? I am not He. No, but after me One is
coming, the sandals of whose feet I am not worthy to untie.’”

*********************************************************************************************
Commentary:

16-41. Paul’s address here is an excellent example of the way he used to present
the Gospel to a mixed congregation of Jews and proselytes. He lists the benefits
conferred by God on the chosen people from Abraham down to John the Baptism
(verses 16-25); he then shows how all the messianic prophecies were fulfilled in
Jesus (verses 26-37), and, by way of conclusion, states that justification comes
about through faith in Jesus, who died and then rose from the dead (verse 38-41).

This address contains all the main themes of apostolic preaching, that is, God’s
saving initiative in the history of Israel (verses 17-22); reference to the Precursor
(verses 24-25); the proclamation of the Gospel or “kerygma” in the proper sense
(verses 26b-31a); mention of Jerusalem (verse 31b); arguments from Sacred Scrip-
ture (verses 33-37), complementing apostolic teaching and tradition (verses 38-39);
and a final exhortation, eschatological in character, announcing the future (verses
40-41). In many respects this address is like those of St. Peter (cf. 2:14ff; 3:12ff),
especially where it proclaims Jesus as Messiah and in its many quotations from
Sacred Scripture, chosen to show that the decisive event of the Resurrection con-
firms Christ’s divinity.

Paul gives a general outline of salvation history and then locates Jesus in it as
the expected Messiah, the point at which all the various strands in that history
meet and all God’s promises are fulfilled. He shows that all the steps which lead
up to Jesus Christ, even the stage of John the Baptist, are just points on a route.
Earlier, provisional elements must now, in Christ, give way to a new, definitive
situation.

*********************************************************************************************
Source: “The Navarre Bible: Text and Commentaries”. Biblical text from the
Revised Standard Version and New Vulgate. Commentaries by members of
the Faculty of Theology, University of Navarre, Spain.

Published by Four Courts Press, Kill Lane, Blackrock, Co. Dublin, Ireland, and
by Scepter Publishers in the United States.


5 posted on 12/23/2012 10:30:59 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All

From: Matthew 1:1-25

The Ancestry of Jesus Christ


[1] The book of the genealogy of Jesus Christ, the Son of David, the son of Abra-
ham.

[2] Abraham was the father of Isaac, and Isaac the father of Jacob, and Jacob
the father of Judah and his brothers, [3] and Judah the father of Perez and Zerah
by Tamar, and Perez the father of Hezron, and Hezron the father of Ram, [4]
and Ram the father of Amminadab, and Amminadab the father of Nahshon, and
Nahshon the father of Salmon, [5] and Salmon the father of Boaz by Rahab, and
Boaz the father of Obed by Ruth, and Obed the father of Jesse, [6] and Jesse
the father of David the king.

And David was the father of Solomon by the wife of Uriah, [7] and Solomon the
father of Rehoboam, and Rehoboam the father of Abijah, and Abijah the father of
Asa, [8] and Asa the father of Jehoshaphat, and Jehoshaphat the father of Joram,
and Joram the father of Uzziah, [9] and Uzziah the father of Jotham, and Jotham
the father of Ahaz, and Ahaz the father of Hezekiah, [10] and Hezekiah the father
of Manasseh, and Manasseh the father of Amos, and Amos the father of Josiah,
[11] and Josiah the father of Jechoniah and his brothers, at the time of the depor-
tation to Babylon.

[12] And after the deportation to Babylon: Jechoniah was the father of Shealtiel,
and Shealtiel the father of Zerubbabel, [13] and Zerubbabel the father of Abiud,
and Abiud the father of Eliakim, and Eliakim the father of Azor, [14] and Azor the
father of Zadok, and Zadok the father of Aching and Achim the father of Eliud, [15]
and Eliud the father of Eleazar, and Eleazar the father of Matthan, and Matthan
the father of Jacob, [16] and Jacob the father of Joseph the husband of Mary, of
whom Jesus was born, who is called Christ.

[17] So all the generations from Abraham to David were fourteen generations, and
from David to the deportation to Babylon fourteen generations, and from the depor-
tation to Babylon to the Christ fourteen generations.

The Virginal Conception of Jesus, and His Birth


[18] Now the birth of Jesus Christ took place in this way. When His mother Mary
had been betrothed to Joseph, before they came together she was found to be
with child of the Holy Spirit; [19] and her husband Joseph, being a just man and
unwilling to put her to shame, resolved to send her away quietly. [20] But as he
considered this, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying,
“Joseph, son of David, do not fear to take Mary your wife, for that which is con-
ceived in her is of the Holy Spirit; [21] she will bear a son, and you shall call His
name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins.” [22] All this took place
to fulfill what the Lord had spoken by the prophet: [23] “Behold, a virgin shall con-
ceive and bear a son and His name shall be called Emmanuel” (which means
God with us).

[24] When Joseph woke from sleep, he did as the angel of the Lord commanded
him; he took his wife, [25] but knew her not until she had borne a son; and he
called his name Jesus.

*********************************************************************************************
Commentary:

1. This verse is a kind of title to St Matthew’s entire Gospel. The promises God
made to Abraham for the salvation of mankind (Gen 12:3) are fulfilled in Jesus
Christ, as is Nathan’s prophecy to King David of an everlasting kingdom (2 Sam
7:12-16).

The genealogy presented here by St Matthew shows Jesus’ human ancestry and
also indicates that salvation history has reached its climax with the birth of the
Son of God through the working of the Holy Spirit. Jesus Christ, true God and
true man, is the expected Messiah.

The genealogy is presented in a framework of three series, each consisting of
fourteen links which show the progressive development of salvation history.

For the Jews (and for other Eastern peoples of nomadic origin) genealogical trees
were of great importance because a person’s identity was especially linked to fa-
mily and tribe, with place of birth taking secondary importance. In the case of the
Jewish people there was the added religious significance of belonging by blood
to the chosen people.

In Christ’s time each family still kept a careful record of its genealogical tree,
since because of it people acquired rights and duties.

6. Four women are named in these genealogies — Tamar (cf. Gen 38; 1 Chron 2:
4), Rahab (cf. Josh 2:6,17), Bathsheba (cf. 2 Sam 11:12, 24) and Ruth (cf. Book
of Ruth). These four foreign women, who in one way or another are brought into
the history of Israel, are one sign among many others of God’s design to save all
men.

By mentioning sinful people, God’s ways are shown to be different from man’s.
God will sometimes carry out his plan of salvation by means of people whose
conduct has not been just. God saves us, sanctifies us and chooses us to do
good despite our sins and infidelities — and he chose to leave evidence of this
at various stages in the history of our salvation.

11. The deportation to Babylon, described in 2 Kings 24-25, fulfilled the prophets’
warning to the people of Israel and their kings that they would be punished for
their infidelity to the commandments of the Law of God, especially the first com-
mandment.

16. Jewish genealogies followed the male line. Joseph, being Mary’s husband,
was the legal father of Jesus. The legal father is on a par with the real father as
regards rights and duties. This fact provides a sound basis for recognizing St
Joseph as Patron of the whole Church, since he was chosen to play a very spe-
cial role in God’s plan for our salvation; with St Joseph as his legal father, Jesus
the Messiah has David as his ancestor.

Since it was quite usual for people to marry within their clan, it can be concluded
that Mary belonged to the house of David. Several early Fathers of the Church
testify to this — for example, St Ignatius of Antioch, St Irenaeus, St Justin and
Tertullian, who base their testimony on an unbroken oral tradition.

It should also be pointed out that when St Matthew comes to speak of the birth
of Jesus, he uses an expression which is completely different from that used for
the other people in the genealogy. With these words the text positively teaches
that Mary conceived Jesus while still a virgin, without the intervention of man.

18. St. Matthew relates here how Christ was conceived (cf. Luke 1:25-38): “We
truly honor and venerate (Mary) as Mother of God, because she gave birth to a
person who is at the same time both God and man” (”St. Pius V Catechism”, I,
4, 7).

According to the provisions of the Law of Moses, engagement took place about
one year before marriage and enjoyed almost the same legal validity. The mar-
riage proper consisted, among other ceremonies, in the bride being brought so-
lemnly and joyously to her husband’s house (cf. Deuteronomy 20:7).

From the moment of engagement onwards, a certificate of divorce was needed
in the event of a break in the relationship between the couple.

The entire account of Jesus’ birth teaches, through the fulfillment of the prophecy
of Isaiah 7:14 (which is expressly quoted in verses 22-23) that: 1) Jesus has Da-
vid as His ancestor since Joseph is His legal father; 2) Mary is the Virgin who
gives birth according to the prophecy; 3) the Child’s conception without the inter-
vention of man was miraculous.

19. “St. Joseph was an ordinary sort of man on whom God relied to do great
things. He did exactly what the Lord wanted him to do, in each and every event
that went to make up his life. That is why Scripture praises Joseph as ‘a just
man’. In Hebrew a just man means a good and faithful servant of God, someone
who fulfills the divine will (cf. Genesis 7:1; 18:23-32; Ezekiel 18:5ff.; Proverbs 12:
10), or who is honorable and charitable toward his neighbor (cf. Tobias 7:6; 9:6).
So a just man is someone who loves God and proves his love by keeping God’s
commandments and directing his whole life towards the service of his brothers,
his fellow men” (St. J. Escriva, “Christ Is Passing By”, 40).

Joseph considered his spouse to be holy despite the signs that she was going
to have a child. He was therefore faced with a situation he could not explain. Pre-
cisely because he was trying to do God’s will, he felt obliged to put her away; but
to shield her from public shame he decided to send her away quietly.

Mary’s silence is admirable. Her perfect surrender to God even leads her to the
extreme of not defending her honor or innocence. She prefers to suffer suspicion
and shame rather than reveal the work of grace in her. Faced with a fact which
was inexplicable in human terms she abandons herself confidently to the love and
providence of God. God certainly submitted the holy souls of Joseph and Mary to
a severe trial. We ought not to be surprised if we also undergo difficult trials in
the course of our lives. We ought to trust in God during them, and remain faithful
to Him, following the example they gave us.

20. God gives His light to those who act in an upright way and who trust in His
power and wisdom when faced with situations which exceed human understan-
ding. By calling him the son of David, the angel reminds Joseph that he is the
providential link which joins Jesus with the family of David, according to Nathan’s
messianic prophecy (cf. 2 Samuel 7:12). As St. John Chrysostom says: “At
the very start he straightaway reminds him of David, of whom the Christ was to
spring, and he does not wish him to be worried from the moment he reminds
him, through naming his most illustrious ancestor, of the promise made to all
his lineage” (”Hom. on St. Matthew”, 4).

“The same Jesus Christ, our only Lord, the Son of God, when He assumed hu-
man flesh for us in the womb of the Virgin, was not conceived like other men,
from the seed of man, but in a manner transcending the order of nature, that is,
by the power of the Holy Spirit, so that the same person, remaining God as He
was from eternity, became man, which He was not before” (”St. Pius V Cate-
chism”, I, 4, 1).

21. According to the Hebrew root, the name Jesus means “savior”. After our
Lady, St. Joseph is the first person to be told by God that salvation has begun.

“Jesus is the proper name of the God-man and signifies ‘Savior’ — a name given
Him not accidentally, or by the judgment or will of man, but by the counsel and
command of God” [...]. All other names which prophecy gave to the Son of God
— Wonderful, Counsellor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace (cf.
Isaiah 9:6) — are comprised in this one name Jesus; for while they partially signi-
fied the salvation which He was to bestow on us, this name included the force
and meaning of all human salvation” (”St. Pius V Catechism”, I, 3, 5 and 6).

23. “Emmanuel”: the prophecy of Isaiah 7:14, quoted in this verse, foretold about
700 years in advance that God’s salvation would be marked by the extraordinary
event of virgin giving birth to a son. The Gospel here, therefore, reveals two truths.

First, that Jesus is in fact the God-with-us foretold by the prophet. This is how
Christian tradition has always understood it. Indeed the Church has officially con-
demned an interpretation denying the messianic sense of the Isaiah text (cf. Pius
VI, Brief, “Divina”, 1779). Christ is truly God-with-us, therefore, not only because
of His God-given mission but because He is God made man (cf. John 1:14). This
does not mean that Jesus should normally be called Emmanuel, for this name re-
fers more directly to the mystery of His being the Incarnate Word. At the Annun-
ciation the angel said that He should be called Jesus, that is, Savior. And that
was the name St. Joseph gave Him.

The second truth revealed to us by the sacred text is that Mary, in whom the pro-
phecy of Isaiah 7:14 is fulfilled, was a virgin before and during the birth itself. The
miraculous sign given by God that salvation had arrived was precisely that a wo-
man would be a virgin and a mother at the same time.

“Jesus Christ came forth from His mother’s womb without injury to her maternal
virginity. This immaculate and perpetual virginity forms, therefore, the just theme
of our eulogy. Such was the work of the Holy Spirit, who at the conception and
birth of the Son so favored the Virgin Mother as to impart fruitfulness to her while
preserving inviolate her perpetual virginity” (”St. Pius V Catechism”, I, 4, 8).

*********************************************************************************************
Source: “The Navarre Bible: Text and Commentaries”. Biblical text from the
Revised Standard Version and New Vulgate. Commentaries by members of
the Faculty of Theology, University of Navarre, Spain.

Published by Four Courts Press, Kill Lane, Blackrock, Co. Dublin, Ireland, and
by Scepter Publishers in the United States.


6 posted on 12/23/2012 10:32:27 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
Scripture readings taken from the Jerusalem Bible, published and copyright © 1966, 1967 and 1968 by Darton, Longman & Todd

Readings at Mass

Readings for the Vigil Mass, celebrated during the afternoon or evening before Christmas Day:


First reading Isaiah 62:1-5 ©
About Zion I will not be silent,
about Jerusalem I will not grow weary,
until her integrity shines out like the dawn
and her salvation flames like a torch.
The nations then will see your integrity,
all the kings your glory,
and you will be called by a new name,
one which the mouth of the Lord will confer.
You are to be a crown of splendour in the hand of the Lord,
a princely diadem in the hand of your God;
no longer are you to be named ‘Forsaken’,
nor your land ‘Abandoned’,
but you shall be called ‘My Delight’
and your land ‘The Wedded’;
for the Lord takes delight in you
and your land will have its wedding.
Like a young man marrying a virgin,
so will the one who built you wed you,
and as the bridegroom rejoices in his bride,
so will your God rejoice in you.

Psalm Psalm 88:4-5,16-17,27,29 ©
I will sing for ever of your love, O Lord.
‘I have made a covenant with my chosen one;
  I have sworn to David my servant:
I will establish your dynasty for ever
  and set up your throne through all ages.’
I will sing for ever of your love, O Lord.
Happy the people who acclaim such a king,
  who walk, O Lord, in the light of your face,
who find their joy every day in your name,
  who make your justice the source of their bliss.
I will sing for ever of your love, O Lord.
‘He will say to me: “You are my father,
  my God, the rock who saves me.”
I will keep my love for him always;
  with him my covenant shall endure.’
I will sing for ever of your love, O Lord.

Second reading Acts 13:16-17,22-25 ©
When Paul reached Antioch in Pisidia, he stood up in the synagogue, held up a hand for silence and began to speak:
  ‘Men of Israel, and fearers of God, listen! The God of our nation Israel chose our ancestors, and made our people great when they were living as foreigners in Egypt; then by divine power he led them out.
  ‘Then he made David their king, of whom he approved in these words, “I have selected David son of Jesse, a man after my own heart, who will carry out my whole purpose.” To keep his promise, God has raised up for Israel one of David’s descendants, Jesus, as Saviour, whose coming was heralded by John when he proclaimed a baptism of repentance for the whole people of Israel. Before John ended his career he said, “I am not the one you imagine me to be; that one is coming after me and I am not fit to undo his sandal.”’

Gospel Acclamation
Alleluia, alleluia!
Tomorrow there will be an end to the sin of the world
and the saviour of the world will be our king.
Alleluia!

Gospel Matthew 1:1-25 ©
A genealogy of Jesus Christ, son of David, son of Abraham:
Abraham was the father of Isaac,
Isaac the father of Jacob,
Jacob the father of Judah and his brothers,
Judah was the father of Perez and Zerah, Tamar being their mother,
Perez was the father of Hezron,
Hezron the father of Ram,
Ram was the father of Amminadab,
Amminadab the father of Nahshon,
Nahshon the father of Salmon,
Salmon was the father of Boaz, Rahab being his mother,
Boaz was the father of Obed, Ruth being his mother,
Obed was the father of Jesse;
and Jesse was the father of King David.
David was the father of Solomon, whose mother had been Uriah’s wife,
Solomon was the father of Rehoboam,
Rehoboam the father of Abijah, Abijah the father of Asa,
Asa was the father of Jehoshaphat,
Jehoshaphat the father of Joram,
Joram the father of Azariah,
Azariah was the father of Jotham,
Jotham the father of Ahaz,
Ahaz the father of Hezekiah,
Hezekiah was the father of Manasseh,
Manasseh the father of Amon,
Amon the father of Josiah;
and Josiah was the father of Jechoniah and his brothers.
Then the deportation to Babylon took place.
After the deportation to Babylon:
Jechoniah was the father of Shealtiel,
Shealtiel the father of Zerubbabel,
Zerubbabel was the father of Abiud,
Abiud the father of Eliakim,
Eliakim the father of Azor,
Azor was the father of Zadok,
Zadok the father of Achim,
Achim the father of Eliud,
Eliud was the father of Eleazar,
Eleazar the father of Matthan,
Matthan the father of Jacob;
and Jacob was the father of Joseph the husband of Mary;
of her was born Jesus who is called Christ.
The sum of generations is therefore: fourteen from Abraham to David; fourteen from David to the Babylonian deportation; and fourteen from the Babylonian deportation to Christ.
  This is how Jesus Christ came to be born. His mother Mary was betrothed to Joseph; but before they came to live together she was found to be with child through the Holy Spirit. Her husband Joseph; being a man of honour and wanting to spare her publicity, decided to divorce her informally. He had made up his mind to do this when the angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, ‘Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because she has conceived what is in her by the Holy Spirit. She will give birth to a son and you must name him Jesus, because he is the one who is to save his people from their sins.’ Now all this took place to fulfil the words spoken by the Lord through the prophet:
The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son and they will call him Emmanuel,
a name which means ‘God-is-with-us.’ When Joseph woke up he did what the angel of the Lord had told him to do: he took his wife to his home and, though he had not had intercourse with her, she gave birth to a son; and he named him Jesus.

Gospel Matthew 1:18-25 ©
This is how Jesus Christ came to be born. His mother Mary was betrothed to Joseph; but before they came to live together she was found to be with child through the Holy Spirit. Her husband Joseph; being a man of honour and wanting to spare her publicity, decided to divorce her informally. He had made up his mind to do this when the angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, ‘Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because she has conceived what is in her by the Holy Spirit. She will give birth to a son and you must name him Jesus, because he is the one who is to save his people from their sins.’ Now all this took place to fulfil the words spoken by the Lord through the prophet:
The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son and they will call him Emmanuel,
a name which means ‘God-is-with-us.’ When Joseph woke up he did what the angel of the Lord had told him to do: he took his wife to his home and, though he had not had intercourse with her, she gave birth to a son; and he named him Jesus.


7 posted on 12/23/2012 10:39:28 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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On the Faith of Mary, the Virgin Mother of Christ
Father Cantalamessa's 1st Advent Sermon (Catholic Caucus)
On The Unfolding of God's Self-Revelation
On the Beauty of God's Plan of Salvation
On Bearing Witness to the Christian Faith
On the Splendor of God's Truth
On the Knowledge of God
Archbishop Chaput says Year of Faith holds solution to relativism
Following the Truth: The Year Of Faith – 10 Things You Should Know [Catholic Caucus]
Papal Encyclical on Faith Announced

On the Desire for God
On the Ecclesial Nature of Faith
On the Nature of Faith
Catechism's benefits explained for Year of Faith (Catholic Caucus)
A Life of Faith: Papal Theologian Speaks on the Grace of Faith
ASIA/LAOS - "Year of Faith" amid the persecutions of Christians forced to become "animists"
From no faith to a mountain-top of meaning: Father John Nepil (Catholic Caucus)
Living the Year of Faith: How Pope Benedict Wants You to Begin [Catholic Caucus]
Share Your Faith in This Year of Faith: Two keys to help you do it.
On A New Series of Audiences for The Year of Faith

Pope will deliver year-long teaching series on restoring faith
Pope Benedict XVI Grants Plenary Indulgence to Faithful [Catholic Caucus]
Pope, at Marian shrine, entrusts Year of Faith, synod to Mary (Catholic Caucus)
Catholic Church Calls for Public Prayers in Offices on Fridays
Highlights in the Plan for Year of Faith: Traditional Events Will Take on Special Perspective
Catholic Church calls for public prayers in offices on Fridays
Vatican Unveils Logo for Year of Faith [Catholic Caucus]
Miami Prelate Recalls Pope's Visit to Cuba, Looks to Year of Faith [Catholic Caucus]
The World-Changing Year of Faith [Catholic Caucus]
Vatican to Issue Recommendations for Celebrating Year of Faith

8 posted on 12/23/2012 10:44:18 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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The Old Testament Foretold that Mary Would Give Birth Without Pain (Catholic Caucus)
Catholic Traditions for Advent and Christmas -- for Families
Is Christmas Pagan? No! It's time to learn some real history....
Pope's childhood letter to Baby Jesus shows his faith
In rare article, Pope asks Christians to reassess priorities at Christmas
On Christmas and Epiphany
On Christmas
URBI ET ORBI MESSAGE OF HIS HOLINESS POPE BENEDICT XVI
Solemn Mass of Christmas Eve with Pope Benedict XVI

Christmas, Pagan Romans and Frodo Baggins
Midnight Masses Canceled in Iraq Because of Growing Security Concerns
Christmas Overview for All
The Tradition of Midnight Mass: History
Which Christmas Mass are you attending? [Catholic/Orthodox Caucus]
Christmas, Christians, and Christ
The Many Meanings of Christmas
Vocations Under the Christmas Tree? [Catholic Caucus]
A Meditation On the “Bloody Octave” of Christmas [Catholic Caucus]
"It (Theosis) can be a somewhat startling theme for western Christian ears..."
Archbishop Wenski brightens Christmas for Krome detainees
The Octave of Christmas: December 25 -- January 1 [Ecumenical]
Pope's Christmas Warning: 'The Future Of The World Is At Stake'
Father Corapi: What Really Matters [at Christmas]?
Papal Midnight Mass With No Communion in The Hand
Christmas Requiem for Iraq's Christian Community
Christmas story shows season’s beauty [nice surprise from the Chicago Sun Times]
Text Of Pope's Homily For Christmas Eve Mass
Merry Christmas: Love is born on Christmas Morn and the Whole World Begins Again
'Christmas is Evil': Group Launches Poster Campaign Against Festive Period [UK]

The Origin of Nativity Scenes
St. Francis and the Christmas Creche
Holy Day Vs. Holiday: Making Christmas Less Commercial
25 Ways We're Different this Christmas
On Christmas: Where Everything Began
Saved by Christmas
Christmas Midnight Mass Canceled in Iraq
Some Christmas History: The Aztec Christmas Flower
Top 10 Christmas Carols (What is your favorite Christmas Carol?)
Where’s the Human in Humanism? Humanist Ads Violate...Own Humanist Standards (Attacking Christmas]
Fr. Corapi: In Reality, Sadness Has No Place At Christmas Time Or Any Time…
Pope's battle to save Christmas: Don't let atheists crush your traditions, Benedict tells Britain
A CHRISTMAS TRADITION IN ROME: THE STREET CLEANERS NATIVITY SCENE
The Days of Christmastide -- more than twelve!
Saint Padre Pio's Christmas Meditation
"Transform Me. Renew Me. Change Me, Change Us All" (Pope's Midnight Mass Homily)
Christmas in Rome. The Pope's Tale of the Crèche
On the Feast of Christ's Birth [Benedict XVI]
The Meaning of Christmas: Look Deeper
St. Francis and the Christmas crib.
Away in a Manger [St. Francis of Assisi and the first Nativity scene]

Message of His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI for the Celebration of the World Day of Peace [Family]
Christmastide and Epiphany
SOLEMNITY OF THE NATIVITY OF THE LORD: HOMILY OF HIS HOLINESS BENEDICT XVI [Catholic Caucus]
A Christmas Message >From Fr. Corapi
Christmas and the Eucharist(Catholic/Orthodox Caucus)
Preface: Memories of Christmas
Christmas Overview
The Manger -- Nativity Scene -- Crêche
Christmas Eve and Christmas Day
Christmas Quiz; How Much Do You Really Know?
Christmas Prayers: Prayers and Collects for the Feast of the Nativity
[Christmas] Customs from Various Countries and Cultures
The 12 Days of Christmas and Christmastide: A Rich Catholic Tradition
The 12 Days of Christmas -- Activities, Customs, Prayers, Blessings, Hymns -- For the Family
Iraqis Crowd Churches for Christmas Mass
Pope Wishes the World a Merry Christmas
On this night, a comforting message(Merry Christmas!)
Advent through Christmas -- 2007
Bethlehem beyond the Christmas calm
The Origin of Nativity Scenes

Various Orthodox Texts for the Feast of the Nativity
The Five Best Christmas Stories
What Are We Celebrating When We Celebrate Christmas?
Secular Christmas Celebration Pointless, Pope Says
The Wonder of Christmas - 1959
The Real Meaning of Christmas Lights
Top ten Carols and things you didn't know about them
The Nativity of Our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ
Christmas Proclamation
Christmas gifts are a reminder of Jesus, the greatest gift given to mankind, Pope tells youth
The Senses of Christmas
Pope celebrates Christmas mass
Christmas: The Turning Point of History
The Original Christmas Story
Bringing Christmas to Life Again
Christmas: the beginning of our redemption
Christmas and the Eucharist
Catholic Caucus: The 16 Days of Christmas (Christmas to the Baptism of the Lord)
Origin of the Twelve Days of Christmas [An Underground Catechism]
Origin of "The Twelve Days of Christmas" [Underground Catechism]

9 posted on 12/23/2012 10:46:47 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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  PRAYERS AFTER
HOLY MASS AND COMMUNION

 


Leonine Prayers
    Following are the Prayers after Low Mass which were prescribed by Pope Leo XIII who composed the Prayer to Saint Michael the Archangel, and were reinforced by Pope Pius XI and Pope Pius XII to pray for the conversion of Russia. Below the normal Leonine Prayers is the longer version of the Prayer to St. Michael, composed by His Excellency Pope Leo XIII to defend against The Great Apostasy.
Latin

Ave Maria, gratia plena, Dominus tecum, benedicta tu in mulieribus et benedictus fructis ventris tui, Jesus. Sancta Maria, Mater Dei, ora pro nobis peccatoribus, nunc et in hora mortis nostrae. Amen.
(Said 3 times)

    Salve Regina, Mater misericordiae, vita, dulcedo, et spes nostra, salve. Ad te clamamus, exsules filii Evae. Ad te suspiramus gementes et fientes in hac lacrymarum valle. Eia ergo, Advocata nostra, illos tuos misericordes oculos ad nos converte. Et Jesum, benedictum fructum ventris tui, nobis, post hoc exilium, ostende. O clemens, o pia, o dulcis Virgo Maria. Ora pro nobis, sancta Dei Genitrix. Ut digni efficiamur promissionibus Christi.

    Oremus. Deus, refugium nostrum et virtus, populum ad te clamantem propitius respice; et intercedente gloriosa, et immaculata Virgine Dei Genitrice Maria, cum beato Joseph, ejus Sponso, ac beatis Apostolis tuis Petro et Paulo, et omnibus Sanctis, quas pro conversione peccatorum, pro libertate et exaltatione sanctae Matris Ecclesiae, preces effundimus, misericors et benignus exaudi. Per eundum Christum Dominum nostrum. Amen.

Sancte Michael Archangele, defende nos in proelio; contra nequitiam et insidias diaboli esto praesidium. Imperet illi Deus, supplices deprecamur: tuque, Princeps militiae Caelestis, satanam aliosque spiritus malignos, qui ad perditionem animarum pervagantur in mundo, divina virtute in infernum detrude. Amen.

Cor Jesu sacratissimum. Miserere nobis.
Cor Jesu sacratissimum. Miserere nobis.
Cor Jesu sacratissimum. Miserere nobis.

Vernacular

   Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee; blessed art thou amongst women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus.
Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death. Amen.
(Said 3 times)

   Hail, Holy Queen, Mother of Mercy, our life, our sweetness, and our hope. To thee to we cry, poor banished children of Eve. To thee do we send up our sighs, mouring and weeping in this valley of tears. Turn then, most gracious advocate, thine eyes of mercy toward us, and after this exile, show unto us the blessed Fruit of thy womb, Jesus. O clement, O loving, O sweet Virgin Mary.

Pray for us, O holy Mother of God. That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.

   Let us pray.
O God, our refuge and our strength, look down with mercy upon the people who cry to Thee; and by the intercession of the glorious and immaculate Virgin Mary, Mother of God, of Saint Joseph her spouse, of the blessed Apostles Peter and Paul, and of all the saints, in Thy mercy and goodness hear our prayers for the conversion of sinners, and for the liberty and exaltation of the Holy Mother the Church. Through the same Christ Our Lord. Amen.

   Saint Michael the Archangel, defend us in battle; be our protection against the wickedness and snares of the devil. May God rebuke him, we humbly pray: and do thou, O Prince of the heavenly host, by the power of God, thrust into hell satan and all the evil spirits who prowl about the world seeking the ruin of souls. Amen.

Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, Have mercy on us.
Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, Have mercy on us.
Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, Have mercy on us.


Complete Prayer to Saint Michael
    The following is the longer version of the vital prayer composed by Pope Leo XIII in 1888 after his startling vision as to the future of the Church. This prayer was dedicated for the Feast of St. Michael 1448 years from the date of the election of the first Leo - Pope Saint Leo the Great. Everyone is familiar with the first prayer below which was mandated by His Holiness as part of the Leonine Prayers after Low Mass. Below are both the short and longer versions of this poignant prayer which should never be forgotten.

    Saint Michael the Archangel, defend us in battle, be our defense against the wickedness and snares of the devil. May God rebuke him we humbly pray, and do thou, O heavenly hosts, by the power of God, thrust into hell satan and all the evil spirits who prowl about the world for the ruin of souls. Amen.

O glorious Archangel Saint Michael, Prince of the heavenly host, be our defense in the terrible warfare which we carry on against principalities and powers, against the rulers of this world of darkness, spirits of evil. Come to the aid of man, whom God created immortal, made in His own image and likeness, and redeemed at a great price from the tyranny of the devil. Fight this day the battle of our Lord, together with the holy angels, as already thou hast fought the leader of the proud angels, Lucifer, and his apostate host, who were powerless to resist thee, nor was there place for them any longer in heaven. That cruel, that ancient serpent, who is called the devil or Satan who seduces the whole world, was cast into the abyss with his angels. Behold this primeval enemy and slayer of men has taken courage. Transformed into an angel of light, he wanders about with all the multitude of wicked spirits, invading the earth in order to blot out the Name of God and of His Christ, to seize upon, slay, and cast into eternal perdition, souls destined for the crown of eternal glory. That wicked dragon pours out. as a most impure flood, the venom of his malice on men of depraved mind and corrupt heart, the spirit of lying, of impiety, of blasphemy, and the pestilent breath of impurity, and of every vice and iniquity. These most crafty enemies have filled and inebriated with gall and bitterness the Church, the spouse of the Immaculate Lamb, and have laid impious hands on Her most sacred possessions. In the Holy Place itself, where has been set up the See of the most holy Peter and the Chair of Truth for the light of the world, they have raised the throne of their abominable impiety with the iniquitous design that when the Pastor has been struck the sheep may be scattered. Arise then, O invincible Prince, bring help against the attacks of the lost spirits to the people of God, and give them the victory. They venerate thee as their protector and patron; in thee holy Church glories as her defense against the malicious powers of hell; to thee has God entrusted the souls of men to be established in heavenly beatitude. Oh, pray to the God of peace that He may put Satan under our feet, so far conquered that he may no longer be able to hold men in captivity and harm the Church. Offer our prayers in the sight of the Most High, so that they may quickly conciliate the mercies of the Lord; and beating down the dragon, the ancient serpent, who is the devil and Satan, do thou again make him captive in the abyss, that he may no longer seduce the nations. Amen.

    V: Behold the Cross of the Lord; be scattered ye hostile powers.
    R: The Lion of the Tribe of Juda has conquered the root of David.
    V: Let Thy mercies be upon us, O Lord.
    R: As we have hoped in Thee.
    V: O Lord hear my prayer.
    R: And let my cry come unto Thee.

    V: Let us pray. O God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, we call upon Thy holy Name, and as suppliants, we implore Thy clemency, that by the intercession of Mary, ever Virgin, immaculate and our Mother, and of the glorious Archangel Saint Michael, Thou wouldst deign to help us against Satan and all other unclean spirits, who wander about the world for the injury of the human race and the ruin of our souls. Amen.


Prayer Before the Crucifix

   Look down upon me, O good and gentle Jesus, while before Thy face I humbly kneel, and with burning soul pray and beseech Thee to fix deep in my heart lively sentiments of faith, hope and charity, true contrition for my sins, and a firm purpose of amendment; the while I contemplate with great love and tender pity Thy five most precious wounds, pondering over them within me, calling to mind the words which David Thy prophet said of Thee, my good Jesus: "They have pierced My hands and My feet; they have numbered all My bones."

Indulgence of ten years; a plenary indulgence if recited after devout reception of Holy Communion, Raccolta 201)

Anima Christi - Soul of Christ

Soul of Christ, sanctify me.
Body of Christ, save me.
Blood of Christ, inebriate me.
Water from the side of Christ, wash me.
Passion of Christ, strengthen me.
O Good Jesus, hear me.
Within Thy wounds, hide me.
Suffer me not to be separated from Thee.
From the malignant enemy, defend me.
In the hour of my death, call me.
And bid me come to Thee, that with
Thy saints I may praise Thee for ever and ever. Amen.

Indulgence of 300 days; if recited after devout reception of Holy Communion, seven years Raccolta 131)

Prayer for Vocations

   O Lord Jesus Christ, Who didst take to Thyself a body and soul like ours, to teach us the glory of self-sacrifice and service, mercifully deign to instill in other hearts the desire to dedicate their lives to Thee. Give us PRIESTS to stand before Thine Altar and to preach the words of Thy Gospel; BROTHERS to assist the priests and to reproduce in themselves Thy humility; SISTERS to teach the young and nurse the sick and to minister Thy charity to all; LAY PEOPLE to imitate Thee in their homes and families. Amen

10 posted on 12/23/2012 10:49:04 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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Prayers for The Religion Forum (Ecumenical)
11 posted on 12/23/2012 10:51:42 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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Continue to Pray for Pope Benedict [Ecumenical]
12 posted on 12/23/2012 10:53:40 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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Jesus, High Priest
 

We thank you, God our Father, for those who have responded to your call to priestly ministry.

Accept this prayer we offer on their behalf: Fill your priests with the sure knowledge of your love.

Open their hearts to the power and consolation of the Holy Spirit.

Lead them to new depths of union with your Son.

Increase in them profound faith in the Sacraments they celebrate as they nourish, strengthen and heal us.

Lord Jesus Christ, grant that these, your priests, may inspire us to strive for holiness by the power of their example, as men of prayer who ponder your word and follow your will.

O Mary, Mother of Christ and our mother, guard with your maternal care these chosen ones, so dear to the Heart of your Son.

Intercede for our priests, that offering the Sacrifice of your Son, they may be conformed more each day to the image of your Son, our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Amen.

Saint John Vianney, universal patron of priests, pray for us and our priests

This icon shows Jesus Christ, our eternal high priest.

The gold pelican over His heart represents self-sacrifice.

The border contains an altar and grapevines, representing the Mass, and icons of Melchizedek and St. Jean-Baptiste Vianney.

Melchizedek: king of righteousness (left icon) was priest and king of Jerusalem.  He blessed Abraham and has been considered an ideal priest-king.

St. Jean-Baptiste Vianney is the patron saint of parish priests.


13 posted on 12/23/2012 10:55:20 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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Pray a Rosary each day for our nation.

Pray the Rosary

1.  Sign of the Cross:  In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.  Amen.

2.  The Apostles Creed:  I BELIEVE in God, the Father almighty, Creator of heaven and earth, and in Jesus Christ, His only Son, our Lord, who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried. He descended into hell; on the third day he rose again from the dead; he ascended into heaven, and is seated at the right hand of God, the Father Almighty; from there He shall come to judge the living and the dead.

I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy catholic Church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting. Amen.

3.  The Lord's Prayer:  OUR Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be Thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread and forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. Amen.

4. (3) Hail Mary:  HAIL Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee. Blessed art thou amongst women and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now, and in the hour of our death. Amen. (Three times)

5. Glory Be:  GLORY be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit. As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.

Fatima Prayer: Oh, my Jesus, forgive us our sins, save us from the fires of hell, lead all souls to heaven, especially those in most need of your mercy.

Announce each mystery, then say 1 Our Father, 10 Hail Marys, 1 Glory Be and 1 Fatima prayer.  Repeat the process with each mystery.

End with the Hail Holy Queen:

Hail, Holy Queen, Mother of Mercy, our life, our sweetness and our hope! To thee do we cry, poor banished children of Eve! To thee do we send up our sighs, mourning and weeping in this vale of tears! Turn then, most gracious advocate, thine eyes of mercy towards us; and after this, our exile, show unto us the blessed fruit of thy womb, Jesus!

O clement, O loving, O sweet Virgin Mary! Pray for us, O holy Mother of God, that we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.

Final step -- The Sign of the Cross

 

The Mysteries of the Rosary

By tradition, Catholics meditate on these Mysteries during prayers of the Rosary.
The biblical references follow each of the Mysteries below.


The Joyful Mysteries
(Mondays and Saturdays)

1. The Annunciation (Luke 1:26-38) [Spiritual fruit - Humility]
2. The Visitation (Luke 1: 39-56) [Spiritual fruit - Love of Neighbor]
3. The Nativity (Luke 2:1-20) [Spiritual fruit - Poverty of Spirit]
4. The Presentation (Luke 2:21-38) [Spiritual fruit - Purity of mind & body]
5. The Finding of Jesus in the Temple (Luke 2:41-52) [Spiritual fruit - Obedience ]

14 posted on 12/23/2012 10:56:53 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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~ PRAYER ~

St. Michael, the Archangel, defend us in battle
 Be our protection against the wickedness
and snares of the devil;
May God rebuke him, we  humbly pray,
 and do thou, O Prince of the heavenly host,
 by the power of God,
 Cast into hell Satan and all the evil spirits
who prowl through the world seeking the ruin of souls.
 Amen
+

15 posted on 12/23/2012 10:58:14 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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A Prayer for our Free Nation Under God
God Save Our Country web site (prayer warriors)
Prayer Chain Request for the United States of America
Pray for Nancy Pelosi
Prayer and fasting will help defeat health care reform (Freeper Prayer Thread)
Prayer Campaign Started to Convert Pro-Abortion Catholic Politicians to Pro-Life
[Catholic Caucus] One Million Rosaries
Non-stop Rosary vigil to defeat ObamaCare

From an Obama bumper sticker on a car:

"Pray for Obama.  Psalm 109:8"

   

PLEASE JOIN US -

Evening Prayer
Someone has said that if people really understood the full extent of the power we have available through prayer, we might be speechless.
Did you know that during WWII there was an advisor to Churchill who organized a group of people who dropped what they were doing every day at a prescribed hour for one minute to collectively pray for the safety of England, its people and peace?  


There is now a group of people organizing the same thing here in America. If you would like to participate: Every evening at 9:00 PM Eastern Time (8:00 PM Central) (7:00 PM Mountain) (6:00 PM Pacific), stop whatever you are doing and spend one minute praying for the safety of the United States, our troops, our citizens, and for a return to a Godly nation. If you know anyone else who would like to participate, please pass this along. Our prayers are the most powerful asset we have.    Please forward this to your praying friends.


16 posted on 12/23/2012 10:59:25 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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immaculate_conception.jpg (155743 bytes)
 
December Devotion: The Immaculate Conception

Since the 16th century Catholic piety has assigned entire months to special devotions. The month of December is traditionally dedicated to the Immaculate Conception. The Blessed Virgin Mary, in the first moment of her conception, by a singular privilege of Almighty God, and in view of the merits of Jesus Christ, our Savior and hers, was preserved from all stain of original sin. This age-old belief of the Church was defined by Pope Pius IX in 1854 as an article of revealed truth.

Mary was in need of redemption and she was indeed redeemed by the Precious Blood of Jesus Christ. The manner of Mary's redemption, however, was unique. Instead of being freed from original sin after having contracted it, she was preserved from contracting it. This was a most fitting favor for the Mother of the Redeemer.

INVOCATION
O Mary, conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to thee.

The Immaculate Conception from the Catechism of the Catholic Church

To become the mother of the Savior, Mary “was enriched by God with gifts appropriate to such a role.”  The angel Gabriel at the moment of the annunciation salutes her as “full of grace”. In fact, in order for Mary to be able to give the free assent of her faith to the announcement of her vocation, it was necessary that she be wholly borne by God’s grace.

Through the centuries the Church has become ever more aware that Mary, “full of grace” through God, was redeemed from the moment of her conception. That is what the dogma of the Immaculate Conception confesses, as Pope Pius IX proclaimed in 1854:

The most Blessed Virgin Mary was, from the first moment of her conception, by a singular grace and privilege of almighty God and by virtue of the merits of Jesus Christ, Savior of the human race, preserved immune from all stain of original sin.

The “splendor of an entirely unique holiness” by which Mary is “enriched from the first instant of her conception” comes wholly from Christ: she is “redeemed, in a more exalted fashion, by reason of the merits of her Son”. The Father blessed Mary more than any other created person “in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places” and chose her “in Christ before the foundation of the world, to be holy and blameless before him in love”.

The Fathers of the Eastern tradition call the Mother of God “the All-Holy” (Panagia), and celebrate her as “free from any stain of sin, as though fashioned by the Holy Spirit and formed as a new creature”.  By the grace of God Mary remained free of every personal sin her whole life long.

 

PRAYER OF POPE PIUS XII
This prayer, dedicated to Mary Immaculate, was composed by the Pope for the Marian Year (December 8, 1953-December 8, 1954), which was proclaimed to mark the centenary of the definition of the dogma of the Immaculate Conception.

Enraptured by the splendor of your heavenly beauty, and impelled by the anxieties of the world, we cast ourselves into your arms, 0 Immacuate Mother of Jesus and our Mother, Mary, confident of finding in your most loving heart appeasement of our ardent desires, and a safe harbor from the tempests which beset us on every side.

Though degraded by our faults and overwhelmed by infinite misery, we admire and praise the peerless richness of sublime gifts with which God has filled you, above every other mere creature, from the first moment of your conception until the day on which, after your assumption into heaven, He crowned you Queen of the Universe.

O crystal fountain of faith, bathe our minds with the eternal truths! O fragrant Lily of all holiness, captivate our hearts with your heavenly perfume! 0 Conqueress of evil and death, inspire in us a deep horror of sin, which makes the soul detestable to God and a slave of hell!

O well-beloved of God, hear the ardent cry which rises up from every heart. Bend tenderly over our aching wounds. Convert the wicked, dry the tears of the afflicted and oppressed, comfort the poor and humble, quench hatreds, sweeten harshness, safeguard the flower of purity in youth, protect the holy Church, make all men feel the attraction of Christian goodness. In your name, resounding harmoniously in heaven, may they recognize that they are brothers, and that the nations are members of one family, upon which may there shine forth the sun of a universal and sincere peace.

Receive, O most sweet Mother, our humble supplications, and above all obtain for us that, one day, happy with you, we may repeat before your throne that hymn which today is sung on earth around your altars: You are all-beautiful, O Mary! You are the glory, you are the joy, you are the honor of our people! Amen.

Prayer Source: Prayer Book, The by Reverend John P. O'Connell, M.A., S.T.D. and Jex Martin, M.A., The Catholic Press, Inc., Chicago, Illinois, 1954


Litany of the Blessed Virgin

Lord, have mercy on us
Christ, have mercy on us
Lord, have mercy on us
Christ, hear us
Christ, graciously hear us

God the Father of heaven, have mercy on us God the Son, Redeemer of the World, have mercy on us God the Holy Spirit, ...
Holy Trinity, one God, ...

Holy Mary, pray for us
Holy Mother of God, pray for us
Holy Virgin of virgins, ...
Mother of Christ, ...
Mother of Divine Grace, ...
Mother most pure, ...
Mother most chaste, ...
Mother inviolate, ...
Mother undefiled, ...
Mother most amiable, ...
Mother most admirable, ...
Mother of good counsel, ...
Mother of our Creator, ...
Mother of our Saviour, ...
Virgin most prudent, ...
Virgin most venerable, ...
Virgin most renowned, ...
Virgin most powerful, ...
Virgin most merciful, ...
Virgin most faithful, ...
Mirror of justice, ...
Seat of wisdom, ...
Cause of our joy, ...
Spiritual vessel, ...
Vessel of honour, ...
Singular vessel of devotion, ...
Mystical rose, ...
Tower of David, ...
Tower of ivory, ...
House of gold, ...
Ark of the covenant, ...
Gate of heaven, ...
Morning star, ...
Health of the sick, ...
Refuge of sinners, ...
Comforter of the afflicted, ...
Help of Christians, ...
Queen of Angels, ...
Queen of Patriarchs, ...
Queen of Prophets, ...
Queen of Apostles, ...
Queen of Martyrs, ...
Queen of Confessors, ...
Queen of Virgins, ...
Queen of all Saints, ...
Queen conceived without original sin, ...
Queen assumed into heaven, ...
Queen of the most holy Rosary, ...
Queen of Peace, ...

Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world, spare us, O Lord, Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world, graciously hear us, O Lord, Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world, have mercy on us.

Grant we beseech Thee, O Lord God, 
that we, Thy servants,  may enjoy perpetual health of mind and body:  and, by the glorious intercession of the blessed Mary, ever Virgin,  be delivered from present sorrow and enjoy eternal gladness. 
Through Christ, our Lord. 

Amen.


 

Why Catholics Believe in the Immaculate Conception

IMMACULATE CONCEPTION NOVENA [Prayer]
Essays for Lent: The Immaculate Conception
"I Am The Immaculate Conception"
The Corona of the Immaculate Conception [Catholic Caucus]
Catholic Caucus: Immaculate Conception Novena Prayer Thread
New chapel dedicated to Our Lady of Lebanon at National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception
Feast of the The Conception by St. Anna of the Most Holy Theotokos December 9th
On the Immaculate Conception
Immaculate Mary: "Trust Jesus, he will save you" (Catholic Caucus)
I Love that Woman! My Unworthy Reflections on The Immaculate Conception

LAND OF MARY IMMACULATE [Ecumenical]
Mary as the New Eve - St. Irenaeus
Mary - the Immaculate Ark of the New Covenant [Catholic Caucus]
THE LIFE OF BLESSED JOHN DUNS SCOTUS, Defender of the Immaculate Conception [Catholic Caucus]
An Unfathomable Marian Richness [Catholic Caucus]
Catholic Biblical Apologetics: The Immaculate Conception of Mary
History of the Feast of the Immaculate Conception - December 8 [Catholic Caucus]
Preserved Sinless from the Moment of Humanity (Dogma of the Immaculate Conception) [Catholic Caucus]
I Love that Woman! My Unworthy Reflections on The Immaculate Conception [Catholic Caucus]
Father Marquette's Devotion to the Immaculate Conception (Catholic Caucus)

St. John Neumann and the Doctrine of the Immaculate Conception (Catholic Caucus)
Our Jewish Roots: The Immaculate Conception [Ecumenical]
And It Was Night. The Real Story of Original Sin [Ecumenical]
I Love that Woman! My Unworthy Reflections on The Immaculate Conception
Mary Immaculate: Patroness of the United States [Catholic/Orthodox Caucus]
Catholic/Orthodox Caucus: The Immaculate Conception: A Marvelous Theme - Novena Starts Nov. 30
THE IMMACULATE CONCEPTION - Satan's Mighty Foe(Catholic Caucus)
Ark of the new covenant
Historian reveals how Pius IX decided to proclaim dogma of Immaculate Conception (Catholic Caucus)
The Immaculate Vs. the Proud

Immaculate Conception Novena -- starts November 30th [Catholic/Orthodox Caucus]
Blessed John Duns Scotus Champion Of Mary's Immaculate Conception (CATHOLIC CAUCUS)
The Crusade of Mary Immaculate - St. Maximilian Kolbe (Catholic Caucus)
The Early Church Fathers on the Immaculate Conception - Catholic/Orthodox Caucus
Three Reasons the Church’s Enemies Hate The Immaculate Conception
Her saving grace - the origins of the Immaculate Conception
Mary Is a Model Who Works With Us and in Us
U.S. Catholic bishops to renew consecration of nation to Immaculate Conception
Catholic Meditation: To the Immaculate Conception on this Election Day
Saint Bernadette of Lourdes (Sermon from 1934)

My visit to the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception
On Solemnity of Immaculate Conception - "In Mary Shines the Eternal Goodness of the Creator"
The Belief of Catholics concerning the Blessed Virgin: the Second Eve
Pope makes pilgrimage to Mary statue in Rome, marking the feast of the Immaculate Conception
Pope: Mary the Immaculate Conception... (text of BXVI speech)
"Tota pulchra es, Maria, et macula originalis non est in te" (The Immaculate Conception)
The Immaculate Conception — Essential to the Faith
"Who Are You, Immaculate Conception?"
TURKEY Ephesus: The Feast of the Immaculate Conception at Mary’s House
Coming Dec 8th. Feast of the "Immaculate Conception"

Why the Immaculate Conception?
Catholic Encyclopedia: Immaculate Conception (The Doctrine and Its Roots)
The Immaculate Conception of Our Lady December 8
Mary's Immaculate Conception: A Memorable Anniversary
Ineffabilis Deus: 8 December 1854 (Dogma of the Immaculate Conception)
Why do we believe in the Immaculate Conception?
John Paul II goes to Lourdes; reflections on the Immaculate Conception
Your Praises We Sing--on the Dogma of the Proclamation of the Immaculate Conception, Dec. 8th
Eastern Christianity and the Immaculate Conception (Q&A From EWTN)
Memorandum on the Immaculate Conception [Newman]

17 posted on 12/23/2012 11:00:44 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All

December 2012

Pope's intentions

General Intention: That migrants throughout the world may be welcomed with generosity and authentic love, especially by Christian communities.

Missionary Intention: Christ, light for all humanity. That Christ may reveal himself to all humanity with the light that shines forth from Bethlehem and is reflected in the face of his Church.


18 posted on 12/23/2012 11:02:23 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
Monday, December 24, 2012
Advent Weekday
First Reading:
Psalm:
Gospel:
2 Samuel 7:1-5, 8-12, 14, 16
Psalm 89:2-5, 27, 29
Luke 1:67-79

Now that we are reborn, as I have said, in the likeness of our Lord, and have indeed been adopted by God as his children, let us put on the complete image of our Creator so as to be wholly like him, not in the glory that he alone possesses, but in innocence, simplicity, gentleness, patience, humility, mercy, harmony, those qualities in which he chose to become, and to be, one with us.

-- St Peter Chrysologus


19 posted on 12/23/2012 11:05:48 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
Just A Minute Just A Minute (Listen)
Some of EWTN's most popular hosts and guests in a collection of one minute inspirational messages. A different message each time you click.

20 posted on 12/23/2012 11:07:32 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All



The Angelus 

The Angel of the Lord declared to Mary: 
And she conceived of the Holy Spirit. 

Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee; blessed art thou among women and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus.
Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death. Amen. 

Behold the handmaid of the Lord: Be it done unto me according to Thy word. 

Hail Mary . . . 

And the Word was made Flesh: And dwelt among us. 

Hail Mary . . . 


Pray for us, O Holy Mother of God, that we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ. 

Let us pray: 

Pour forth, we beseech Thee, O Lord, Thy grace into our hearts; that we, to whom the incarnation of Christ, Thy Son, was made known by the message of an angel, may by His Passion and Cross be brought to the glory of His Resurrection, through the same Christ Our Lord.

Amen. 


21 posted on 12/23/2012 11:09:58 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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Information: St. Charbel Makhlouf
Feast Day: December 24
Born: May 8, 1828, Bekaa Kafra (North Lebanon)
Died: December 24, 1898
Canonized: October 9, 1977 by Pope Paul VI

22 posted on 12/24/2012 4:50:55 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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Interactive Saints for Kids

St. Charbel


Feast Day: December 24
Born:1828 :: Died:1898

St. Charbel was born Youssef Zaroun Makhlouf in the mountain village of Beka-Kafra in Lebanon. He was the son of a mule driver and his life was very ordinary.

Youssef attended the small school and the parish church. His favourite book was Thomas a Kempis's The Imitation of Christ. He loved the Blessed Mother and spent lots of time praying.

He had two uncles who were monks. Although Youssef did not tell anyone, he prayed to Our Lady to ask her help in becoming a monk. His parents wanted him to marry. There was a very nice girl in the village who would make an ideal wife, they thought. But Youssef believed it was time to follow his call to become a monk.

He joined the monastery of Our Lady at the age of twenty-three. He took the name Charbel, after an early martyr by that name. Charbel studied for the priesthood and became a priest when he was thirty. He remained at the monastery of St. Maron for sixteen years.

Father Charbel was a special person whose love for prayer became his outstanding quality. From time to time he would go alone to the order's hermitage for stronger prayer times.

The last twenty-three years of his life, Charbel spent in the peace of the hermitage in total silence. He chose to lead a very hard life. He made sacrifices, ate little, slept on the hard ground, and prayed long hours.

The years passed, and Charbel became a person totally in love with Jesus. Then as he celebrated the Mass on December 16, 1898, he suffered a stroke during the consecration. Charbel lingered for eight painful days, then died on December 24, 1898.

Miracles began to happen at the holy monk's grave. Some of those miracles were accepted for declaring Charbel "blessed" and then "saint."

Father Charbel was proclaimed a saint by Pope Paul VI on October 9, 1977. The pope explained that St. Charbel taught us by his life the true way to God. He said that our lives today give so much importance to wealth and comfort. Charbel, instead, teaches by his example the value of being poor, self-sacrificing and prayerful.



23 posted on 12/24/2012 4:51:56 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
Catholic
Almanac:

Monday, December 24

Liturgical Color: Violet


St Charbel, priest, died on this day in 1898. Against his parent’s wishes, St. Charbel entered a monastery to study for the priesthood. He had a great devotion to the Blessed Sacrament and strongly believed in the power of prayer and fasting.


24 posted on 12/24/2012 4:53:33 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
Catholic Culture

Daily Readings for: December 24, 2012
(Readings on USCCB website)

Collect: Come quickly, we pray, Lord Jesus, and do not delay, that those who trust in your compassion may find solace and relief in your coming. Who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.

Christmas: December 24th

Christmas Eve

Old Calendar: Vigil of the Nativity of Our Lord

+Hail and blessed be the hour and moment in which the Son of God was born of the most pure Virgin Mary, at midnight, in Bethlehem, in piercing cold. In that hour vouchsafe, O my God! to hear my prayer and grant my desires, through the merits of Our Saviour Jesus Christ, and of His blessed Mother. Amen.

In the General Roman Calendar, this date is the last day of Advent, Christmas Eve, and also (beginning with the vigil Mass) is the first day of Christmas time. The liturgical texts express wholehearted confidence in the imminent coming of the Redeemer. There is much joyous expectation. Most families have their own observances, customs that should be preserved from generation to generation. Today is the last day of our Christmas Novena.

Christmas Eve at Church
The entire liturgy of Christmas Eve is consecrated to the anticipation of the certain and sure arrival of the Savior: "Today you shall know that the Lord shall come and tomorrow you shall see His glory" (Invitatory of Matins for the Vigil of the Nativity). Throughout Advent we have seen how the preparation for Jesus' coming became more and more precise. Isaiah, John the Baptist and the Virgin Mother appeared throughout the season announcing and foretelling the coming of the King. We learn today that Christ according to His human nature is born at Bethlehem of the House of David of the Virgin Mary, and that according to His divine nature He is conceived of the Spirit of holiness, the Son of God and the Second Person of the Trinity.

The certitude of His coming is made clear in two images. The first is that of the closed gate of paradise. Since our first parents were cast forth from the earthly paradise the gate has been closed and a cherubim stands guard with flaming sword. The Redeemer alone is able to open this door and enter in. On Christmas Eve we stand before the gate of paradise, and it is for this reason that Psalm 23 is the theme of the vigil:

Lift up your gates, O princes,
Open wide, eternal gates,
That the King of Glory may enter in. . . .

Christmas Eve at Home
It must be so that the grown-ups may devote themselves with a quiet mind, unhindered by any commotion, to these great mysteries of the Holy Night, that in most Catholic countries the giving of gifts has been advanced to Christmas Eve.

Christmas Eve is an appropriate time for the exchange of gifts, after the Christ-Child has been placed in the manger, and the special prayers before the crib — and a round of Christmas carols — are over. If the gifts are given out before the Midnight Mass, the children can concentrate more easily on the great mystery which is celebrated, when the Greatest Gift is given to all alike, even those who have received no material expression of Christmas love. And then, too, Christmas Day with its two additional Masses can be devoted more to the contemplation of the Christmas mystery and the demands of Christmas hospitality.

The opening of the eternal gates through which the King of Glory may enter is indicated by the wreath on the door of our homes at Christmastide. The Advent wreath, which accompanied the family throughout the season of preparation may be taken down. The violet ribbons are removed, and it is gloriously decorated with white and gold. It is then placed upon the door as a symbol of the welcome of Christ into our city, our home and our hearts. On Christmas Eve the whole house should be strewn with garlands and made ready for the Light of the World. The crib is set in a special place of honor, for tonight the central figure of the Nativity scene is to arrive.

Today is Day Nine of the Christmas Novena.


25 posted on 12/24/2012 4:54:57 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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A Christian Pilgrim

CHRISTMAS 

shoemaker

ON this particular morning Conrad the shoemaker rose very early, cleaned out his workshop, then went back into his living quarters and lighted a fire in the stove and set the table. He was not going to work. He was expecting company, a very special guest: God Himself. Last night God came to him in a dream and let him know that the following day he would come and be his guest. 

So Conrad sat in the cozy room and waited, his heart filled with joy. He then heard some footsteps outside and a knock at the door. “There He is,” thought Conrad, running to the door and throwing it open. 

But it was only the mailman. His face was red and his fingers blue from the cold. He looked longingly at the teapot on the stove. Conrad let him in door, poured him a cup of tea and let him warm himself near the stove. “Thanks,” said the postman. “That tea sure hit the spot.” And then he disappeared out into the cold. 

As soon as he was gone, Conrad cleaned off the table again. Then he sat down near the window to see his guest coming. He was certain that one would soon come. 

Suddenly he noticed a little boy with tears running down his cheeks. Conrad called him in and found out that the lad had lost his mother in town and had no way of finding his way back home. Then he wrote a note and left on the table. The note said, “Wait for me. I’ll be right back.” He then left the door open a bit and took the little boy by the hand and brought him home. 

Shoemaker__TN

But that walk was longer than he thought it would be; in fact it was already getting dark when he got back home. He was shocked to find someone in his house looking out the window. But then his hear skipped a beat. This surely must be God, who had promised to come. 

But Conrad recognized the person, the lady from the flat upstairs. She looked so sad and tired. She told him that she had not slept at all because her son Peter was sick. She did not know what to do any longer. The child lay there so still, his fever high, and he could no longer recognize his mother. 

Conrad felt so sorry for her. There she was all alone with her son, living alone since her husband died in an accident. 

So he went along with her. Together they wrapped Peter in a wet sheet. Conrad sat at the boy’s bedside, while the mother had a bit of a rest. 

When he got back to his room, it was already past midnight. He was tired and completely disappointed as he threw himself into bed. The day was over. God had not come. 

Suddenly he heard a voice. It was God’s voice saying, “Thanks, for letting Me warm Myself in your house today. Thanks for showing Me the way home. And thank for your encouragement and help. Conrad, I thank you that today I could be your guest.” 

Note: Willi Hoffsuemmer – Taken from Fr. Frank Mihalic, SVD, 1000 STORIES YOU CAN USE – Volume One , Manila, Philippines: Divine Word Publications, 1989, pages 32-34. 


26 posted on 12/24/2012 5:26:25 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
A Christian Pilgrim

MARY AND JOSEPH KNEW PEACE FROM GOD 

490248-christmas-card (1)

JUST as Mary and Joseph knew peace from God, so can we. God’s peace can come to us in many ways; through the love of our families, as we develop our talents, or even when we take a quiet walk in the park. Yet the peace we experience in each of these instances is just a portion of the full peace God wants to give us. He wants us to be peaceful in every circumstance – even in the most painful and difficult of times. 

At its heart, this kind of peace is focused on reconciliation and transformation. We experience this kind of peace when we come to understand that Jesus has reconciled us to our Father in heaven and when we know in our hearts that we are right with Him. We need both ingredients – and “understanding” that Jesus has reconciled us, and a “clear conscience” that comes from confessing our sins and receiving Jesus’ forgiveness. When both factors are at work in us, then we can know God’s peace, no matter what our outer circumstances might be. Like Mary and Joseph, our peace won’t be based upon how many things are going our way, but upon the incredible depth of God’s love for us. 

We all know that Christmas is a time for love, gift giving, and family gatherings. More importantly, Christmas is a time for rejoicing in our salvation and thanking God for the way He is working in our lives. Let’s enjoy God’s peace as we celebrate Christmas with our family and friends. Let’s also go to Jesus and tell Him that the deepest desire in our hearts is to be in a right and loving relationship with Him. 


27 posted on 12/24/2012 5:27:51 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
A Christian Pilgrim

THIS IS A DAY OF GREAT REJOICING

(A biblical refection on the NATIVITY OF THE LORD – Tuesday, 25 December 2012) 

Gospel Reading: Hebrews 1:1-6 

First Reading: Is 52:7-10; Psalms: Ps 98:1-6; Gospel Reading: Jn 1:1-18 

BSNBI013

The Scripture Text

In many and various ways God spoke of old to our fathers by the prophets; but in these last days He has spoken to us by a Son, who He appointed the heir of all things, through whom also He created the world. He reflects the glory of god and bears the very stamp of His nature, upholding the universe by His word of power. When He had made purification for sins, He sat down at the right hand of the Majesty of high, having become as much superior to angels as the name He has obtained is more excellent than theirs.

For to what angel did God ever say, “Thou art My Son, today I have begotten Thee”? Or again, “I will be to Him a Father, and He shall be to Me a Son”? And again, when He brings the firstborn into the world, He says, “Let all God’s angels worship Him.” (Heb 1:1-6 RSV) 

The greatest gift you have is your life. But this gift is also a mystery, something that we can’t completely figure out on our own. How do you unwrap a mystery? The answer is found wrapped in a manger, in the mystery of the One who is fully God and fully man. As we unwrap the mystery of Jesus’ life, the mystery of our own lives will make more and more sense.

Scripture tells us that from all eternity, Jesus, the Word, was with God, and that He was God (Jn 1:1). The Word became flesh and lived among us (Jn 1:14). But why did He choose to come among us? A clue is found in His name, Yeshua, which means “God saves.” In Jesus, God has come among us to save us, to rescue us.

From what did Jesus come to save us? From the death that entered the world when our first parents embraced the lies and envy of the devil (Wis 2:23-24). We were created to become like Jesus in all His purity and holiness, but because of sin, our vision became clouded. Restlessly, we search for what might increase our happiness and satisfy the desires of our hearts. But we pursue narrow goals. We strive to fill our lives with meaning and still do not feel complete. There, resting in the manger, is the “Bread of Life,” the only one who can satisfy our hunger.

What does it mean? Take a moment to think of all that this infant child of Bethlehem means. His coming among us as man is the fulcrum of all God’s action, the center from which all His blessings flow out to us. Imagine: If God had only created us in His image, that would have been enough. If He had only sent us His word through the prophets, that would have been enough. If He had only come among us to comfort us and teach us a new way to live, that would have been enough. If He had only forgiven our sins, that would have been enough. If he had only sent His Spirit to guide the Church, that would have been enough. But God has done all these things and more. He has given us Christ Himself to live in our hearts. He has promised us that Jesus will return to take us into His glory.

In the incarnation of His Son, God restored every blessing we forfeited when we fell into sin. From the very beginning, the Son of God was destined to be the source and goal of our lives. In love, God made us like Himself, with the powers of intellect, emotion, and will. In love, He placed within us a hunger for Himself. How could He help but do everything in His power to satisfy that hunger – even to the point of sacrificing His only Son for our sake?

This is a day of great rejoicing, for our destiny has been restored! As we look into the manger, we see innocence, purity, and divine life. This seemingly vulnerable child is the way of our salvation. He died for our sins, was raised for our justification, and will come again to judge the living and the dead. In a sense, the manger is a mirror of our lives, for there we see the glorious power of the indestructible life that God has intended for all of us.

What do you see when you look at the manger? Has your heart thrilled to the good news that this Child has restored you to God? Do you see your greatest Christmas gift here? He has come to give you divine life. Hold Him in your heart. Ask Him to warm your heart. Accept this gift humbly and gratefully. This is the gift that conquers death. This Child is the hope of glory for all of us.

Short Prayer: Heavenly Father, thank you for the gift of life, and for the gift of Your Son in whom we have eternal life. By Your Holy Spirit, reveal to us the treasures held in the mystery of incarnation. Move us to love today, even if we do not feel like loving. Teach each and every one of us to live like this Child, who teaches us that to give is to receive. Amen.


28 posted on 12/24/2012 5:29:21 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
 
Marriage = One Man and One Woman
Til' Death Do Us Part

Daily Marriage Tip for December 24, 2012:

(Christmas Eve) Some families open presents on Christmas Eve; some on Christmas morning. Negotiating Christmas traditions can be a tension between spouses – especially newly marrieds. Get over it. Remember those who have no presents to open.


29 posted on 12/24/2012 5:34:09 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: Salvation
Vultus Christi

The grace of the mystery is not past

 on December 24, 2012 7:04 AM | 
 

nativit.jpg

Mother Mectilde de Bar (1614-1698) gave this Chapter conference on 17 December 1671. I share it for those who may be looking for a text to help them enter the grace of Christmas -- little, poor, and trusting.

To illustrate the text, I chose the work of a contemporary of Mother Mectilde, the French sculptor MIchel Anguier (1613-1686). The piece was originally executed for the altar of the church at Val de Grâce in Paris. Today it is in the Church of Saint-Roch just above the tabernacle. Mother Mectilde says it well: "Holy Communion is an extension of the Incarnation."

As for the text itself, it is representative of the French School with its interest in the perduring grace of the mysteries of Christ, something masterfully developed by Blessed Abbot Marmion in Christ in His Mysteries. At the same time, by reason of her insight into spiritual childhood and littleness, Mother Mectilde is a forerunner of Saint Thérèse of the Child Jesus and of the Holy Face.

It is true that the mystery is past, I recognize it, and that it happened only once, but the grace of the mystery is not, in fact, past for the souls who prepare themselves to give birth to Jesus Christ in their heart. He was born one time in Bethlehem, and he is born every day in us with Holy Communion, which, as the Fathers say, is an extension of the Incarnation.
Do you know why Our Lord did not want to be born in the city of Jerusalem? It is because there all was full of creatures; there was not a single empty house. All was full of business or something other. He preferred to be born in a poor stable, empty and abandoned. This demonstrates to us that, if we want Jesus to abide in us, we must empty ourselves of all things, withour exception. This being done, He will impress in us His spirit, His life, His inclinations, and in such a soul one will see only Jesus.
Those who have received this grace, will be recognized easily by their docility and simplicity, the companion virtues of holy childhood. Who are the first to come to the Infant Jesus to offer Him homage? Poor folk, shepherds. It is what the Gospel says: "Ye who are little, come unto Me." Only the humble are worthy of learning secrets so divine, hidden from the great ones of the earth, who are precisely the proud. The more a soul is little, the more will God communicate Himself to her. He goes to seek her out in the depth of her nothingness, where He fills her with all Himself.

30 posted on 12/24/2012 5:40:20 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: Salvation
Vultus Christi

Ye Shall See His Glory

 on December 24, 2012 3:24 PM |
 
nativity-2.jpg

Lauds on the Vigil of Christmas

One of the most beautiful Offices of the entire liturgical year is, I think, that of Lauds on the Vigil of Christmas. A veritable Pre-Feast! Set amongst antiphons that are poignantly expressive of hope and gladsome anticipation, the festive psalms are sung: 66, 92, 99, 62, the Benedicite, and then, of course, the Laudate Psalms, 148-149-150.

Today's Antiphons

Consider the antiphons we sang at Lauds this morning:

1. O Judah and Jerusalem, * fear not; tomorrow ye shall go out, and the Lord will be with you, alleluia. (Chronicles 20:17)

2. This day ye shall know * that the Lord cometh: and in the morning, then ye shall see His glory. (Exodus 16: 6-7)

3. On the morrow * the sins of the earth shall be washed away, and the Saviour of the world will be our King.

4. The Lord cometh! * --Go ye out to meet Him, and say, How great is His dominion, and of His kingdom there shall be no end: He is the Mighty God, the Ruler, the Prince of Peace, alleluia, alleluia.

5. On the morrow * ye shall be saved, saith the Lord God of hosts.

Recollection

All, or any one of these antiphons, or even a phrase taken from them, is enough to hold the heart recollected in the presence of God through the remaining hours of what, for most of us, will be a very busy day of preparation. The Church herself teaches us to return to the antiphons of the morning Office by repeating them at Prime, at Tierce, at Sext, and at None. This is the very pedagogy of the Church, exercised in the Sacred Liturgy.

Praying the Rosary with Antiphons

For folks (even Benedictine Oblates) who do not have the time to pray the entire Divine Office, or even one or another of the Hours in full, it is always possible to integrate the antiphons of a given feast or mystery into the humble prayer of Our Lady's Rosary. Given that there are five antiphons in this morning's Office, one might read one antiphon before each decade of the Rosary. In this way, the mystery of the Incarnation (recalled in the Joyful Mysteries) becomes the meditation of each decade, while the Rosary itself is more closely bound to The Prayer of the Church. Thus does "Our Lady's Psalter," the Rosary, become a way of entering more fully into the contemplation offered us by the Church in her liturgy.

LIsten to Saint Paul

The Capitulum (short reading) is the incipit of Saint Paul's Epistle to the Romans. The Gospel of Jesus Christ, born a descendant of royal David, is the fulfillment of all that was spoken by the Prophets.

Paul, a servant of Jesus Christ, called to be an Apostle, separated unto the Gospel of God, which He had promised afore by His Prophets, in the holy Scriptures, concerning His Son, Which was made of the seed of David according to the flesh. (Romans 1:1)

The Responsory

The Short Responsory departs from the yearning Fourth Mode melody that we have sung all during Advent and, in anticipation of the joy of the Nativity, returns to the confident and glad-hearted Sixth Mode:

R. Today ye shall know * that the Lord cometh.
V. And in the morning, ye shall see His glory.
R. That the Lord cometh.
V. Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Ghost.
R. Today ye shall know * that the Lord cometh.

The Benedictus Antiphon

The Saviour of the world shall rise like the sun
and come down into the womb of the Virgin
as the showers upon the grass, alleluia.

The Benedictus Antiphon, with its expressive Eighth Mode melody, is exquisite. It joins two images of the mystery of the Incarnation. The first image is the dawning sun, the dayspring; Mary is the dawn, Christ the perfect day. The second is that of a gentle rain falling soft upon the grass. Mary is the virgin earth made fruitful by the Holy Ghost; Christ is the seed sown in her, a seed that, in the Most Holy Eucharist, becomes, for all, the finest wheat, the Bread of Life.

The Collect

Finally, today's Collect asks that we, who welcome the Infant Christ in His lowliness and poverty, may be found worthy of greeting Him without dread on the day of His return in glory. In this prayer there is no vapid sentimentality. It is rigorously theological, embracing, in a few carefully crafted phrases, the immense circle of the Economy of Salvation.

O God Whose mercy doth year by year cause us to rejoice,
looking forward to our deliverance,
grant that as we now make ready with gladness
to receive Thine only-begotten Son as our Saviour,
so we may see Him without dread
at HIs second and terrible coming as our Judge,
even our Lord Jesus Christ, Thy Son,
Who liveth and reigneth with Thee,
in the unity of the Holy Ghost,
one God, world without end.


31 posted on 12/24/2012 5:41:42 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All

The Threshold of Christmas

 

by Food For Thought on December 24, 2012 · 

Whenever God comes, he brings many gifts, the greatest of which is the gift of himself. But in giving himself, he touches some very vulnerable areas of our being. He heals our trauma, lightens our anxiety and soothes our wounded hearts. He casts out fear and our hearts become open to embrace him, the God of love who brings hope, light and peace.

After weeks of longing and preparation, he will once again be born in our midst. Let us offer him our homage. Now just as our God is a Coming God who is always coming to us, let us also be a Coming People who are always coming to him, not just with our petitions, but with songs of praise and thanksgiving.


32 posted on 12/24/2012 5:52:50 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
 
"Love one another as I have loved you."

33 posted on 12/24/2012 5:59:01 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: Salvation
Christmas Gospel Reflections

Christmas
Reading I:
Isaiah 9:1-6 II: Titus 2:11-14
Gospel
Luke 2:1-14

1 In those days a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be enrolled.
2 This was the first enrollment, when Quirin'i-us was governor of Syria.
3 And all went to be enrolled, each to his own city.
4 And Joseph also went up from Galilee, from the city of Nazareth, to Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and lineage of David,
5 to be enrolled with Mary, his betrothed, who was with child.
6 And while they were there, the time came for her to be delivered.
7 And she gave birth to her first-born son and wrapped him in swaddling cloths, and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn.
8 And in that region there were shepherds out in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night.
9 And an angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were filled with fear.
10 And the angel said to them, "Be not afraid; for behold, I bring you good news of a great joy which will come to all the people;
11 for to you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.
12 And this will be a sign for you: you will find a babe wrapped in swaddling cloths and lying in a manger."
13 And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying,
14 "Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among men with whom he is pleased!"


Interesting Details
  • (v.2) Quirinius: The governor of Syria in A.D. 6-7. It is difficult to identify the exact year of Jesus' birth, because the census mentioned in this passage took place after A.D. 6, while Luke 1:5 situated Jesus' birth during the reign of Herod the Great, who ruled before Quirinius, from 37-4 B.C.
  • (v.3) Nazareth is a village in Galilee fifteen miles southwest of the Sea of Galilee. Bethlehem means "house of bread" and is the ancestral home of the line of David.
  • (v.7) "First-born son" is a legal designation for the one who has special privileges and position under Mosaic law (Deut. 21:15-17). Christian faith understands Jesus to be the "first-born of many brothers" in a spiritual sense (Rom 8:29).
  • The swaddling clothes and manger are symbols of poverty and humility; "No room for them in the inn" and "laid him in a manger" are two factors that indicate their staying in a shelter for farm animals.
  • A manger is a place to hold food. Jesus lying in the manger is food for the world. [JEROME]
  • (vv.13-14) The angels' sing of glory as the highest praise to Jesus despite his humble birth.
  • The shepherds were poor, uneducated, commonly regarded as thieves, and classed along with tax collectors and prostitutes [FULLER]. The young David was also a shepherd. Thus, the presence of the shepherds has two meanings: Jesus came to the poor, and Jesus is closely associated with the Kingship of David.

One Main Point

This passage describes the humble birth of Jesus the Savior of humanity. Jesus was born in a very lowly setting and was welcomed into the world by the lowliest and poorest people, yet His birth was announced by the angels as 'good news of a great joy which will come to all people'.


Reflections
  1. How do I receive the good news of the coming of Jesus Christ as the Savior of humanity, and as my personal Savior?
  2. As I am determined to follow Jesus, how do I reach out to those who are lowly or 'poor' in different aspects of life, and those who are suffering physically or emotionally? How do I bring the 'good news of a great joy' to them?
  3. What am I willing to give up, like Jesus gives up His throne in heaven, to reach out to the poorest and lowliest? My material life? My time? My comfort zones?

34 posted on 12/24/2012 9:14:06 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: Salvation
Christmastide - Christmas Eve

Christmastide - Christmas Eve

An excellent introduction to the Christmas season and celebrations in the "Domestic Church" is found in the following excerpts from the Directory on Popular Piety and the Liturgy (on theVatican web site). Links to resources on our web site are provided.

Christmastide 
106. During Christmastide, the Church celebrates the mystery of the Lord's manifestation: His humble birth in Bethlehem which was made known to the shepherds, the first of Israel to welcome the Savior; the Epiphany to the three wise men who had "come from the East" (Mt 2:1), the first of the Gentiles who recognized and adored Christ the Messiah in the child of Bethlehem; the theophany at the river Jordan in which the Father declares that Jesus is His "well-beloved Son" (Mt 3:17) at the outset of His messianic mission; the miracle of Cana in which Jesus "manifested His glory and His disciples believed in Him" (John 2:11).

107. In addition to these celebrations recalling the primary meaning of Christmas, there are also other celebrations closely connected with the mystery of the Lord's manifestation: the martyrdom of the Holy Innocents (December 28) whose blood was shed because of hatred for Jesus and because of Herod's rejection of His lordship; the memorial of the Holy Name of Jesus, January 13; the feast of the Holy Family (Sunday in the octave of Christmas) celebrating the holy family in which Jesus "grew in wisdom and grace before God and men" (Lk 2:52); the solemnity of January 1, which recalls the divine, virginal and salvific motherhood of the Blessed Virgin Mary; and, although outside of Christmastide, the feast of the Presentation of the Lord (February 2), celebrating the encounter between the Messiah and His people, represented by Simeon and Anna, and the prophecy of Simeon.

108. Much of the richness and complexity of the mystery of the Lord's manifestation is reflected in displays of popular piety, which is especially sensitive to the childhood of Christ which reveals His love for us. Popular piety intuitively grasps:

Popular piety, precisely because it can intuit the values inherent in the mystery of Christ's birth, is called upon to cooperate in preserving the memory of the manifestation of the Lord, so as to ensure that the strong religious tradition surrounding Christmas is not secularized by consumerism or the infiltration of various forms of neopaganism.

Christmas Eve
109. In the space of time between the first Vespers of Christmas and Midnight Mass, both the tradition of Christmas carols, which are potent means of conveying the Christmas message of peace and joy, and popular piety propose certain forms of prayers, differing from country to country, which should be cherished and, where necessary, made consonant with the celebration of the Liturgy: These would include:

110. Where possible, the Church desires that the faithful should prepare for the celebration of Midnight Mass on December 24 with the Office of Readings. Where such is not possible, it may be opportune to arrange a vigil of hymns, readings, and elements drawn from popular piety.

111. At Midnight Mass, an event of major liturgical significance and of strong resonance in popular piety, the following could be given prominence:

See also Christmas Eve: Blessings for Tree and Crib - Mealtime Prayers for the Christmas Season


CHRISTMAS SEASON | Christmas Readings | Christmas Hymns & Carols | Christmas Meal Prayers | Christmas Tree & Crib (Creche) ] Origin of Christmas Customs

35 posted on 12/25/2012 8:56:57 AM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: Salvation
Matthew
  English: Douay-Rheims Latin: Vulgata Clementina Greek NT: Byzantine/Majority Text (2000)
  Matthew 1
1 THE book of the generation of Jesus Christ, the son of David, the son of Abraham: Liber generationis Jesu Christi filii David, filii Abraham. βιβλος γενεσεως ιησου χριστου υιου δαυιδ υιου αβρααμ
2 Abraham begot Isaac. And Isaac begot Jacob. And Jacob begot Judas and his brethren. Abraham genuit Isaac. Isaac autem genuit Jacob. Jacob autem genuit Judam, et fratres ejus. αβρααμ εγεννησεν τον ισαακ ισαακ δε εγεννησεν τον ιακωβ ιακωβ δε εγεννησεν τον ιουδαν και τους αδελφους αυτου
3 And Judas begot Phares and Zara of Thamar. And Phares begot Esron. And Esron begot Aram. Judas autem genuit Phares, et Zaram de Thamar. Phares autem genuit Esron. Esron autem genuit Aram. ιουδας δε εγεννησεν τον φαρες και τον ζαρα εκ της θαμαρ φαρες δε εγεννησεν τον εσρωμ εσρωμ δε εγεννησεν τον αραμ
4 And Aram begot Aminadab. And Aminadab begot Naasson. And Naasson begot Salmon. Aram autem genuit Aminadab. Aminadab autem genuit Naasson. Naasson autem genuit Salmon. αραμ δε εγεννησεν τον αμιναδαβ αμιναδαβ δε εγεννησεν τον ναασσων ναασσων δε εγεννησεν τον σαλμων
5 And Salmon begot Booz of Rahab. And Booz begot Obed of Ruth. And Obed begot Jesse. Salmon autem genuit Booz de Rahab. Booz autem genuit Obed ex Ruth. Obed autem genuit Jesse. Jesse autem genuit David regem. σαλμων δε εγεννησεν τον βοοζ εκ της ραχαβ βοοζ δε εγεννησεν τον ωβηδ εκ της ρουθ ωβηδ δε εγεννησεν τον ιεσσαι
6 And Jesse begot David the king. And David the king begot Solomon, of her that had been the wife of Urias. David autem rex genuit Salomonem ex ea quæ fuit Uriæ. ιεσσαι δε εγεννησεν τον δαυιδ τον βασιλεα δαυιδ δε ο βασιλευς εγεννησεν τον σολομωνα εκ της του ουριου
7 And Solomon begot Roboam. And Roboam begot Abia. And Abia begot Asa. Salomon autem genuit Roboam. Roboam autem genuit Abiam. Abias autem genuit Asa. σολομων δε εγεννησεν τον ροβοαμ ροβοαμ δε εγεννησεν τον αβια αβια δε εγεννησεν τον ασα
8 And Asa begot Josaphat. And Josaphat begot Joram. And Joram begot Ozias. Asa autem genuit Josophat. Josophat autem genuit Joram. Joram autem genuit Oziam. ασα δε εγεννησεν τον ιωσαφατ ιωσαφατ δε εγεννησεν τον ιωραμ ιωραμ δε εγεννησεν τον οζιαν
9 And Ozias begot Joatham. And Joatham begot Achaz. And Achaz begot Ezechias. Ozias autem genuit Joatham. Joatham autem genuit Achaz. Achaz autem genuit Ezechiam. οζιας δε εγεννησεν τον ιωαθαμ ιωαθαμ δε εγεννησεν τον αχαζ αχαζ δε εγεννησεν τον εζεκιαν
10 And Ezechias begot Manasses. And Manesses begot Amon. And Amon begot Josias. Ezechias autem genuit Manassen. Manasses autem genuit Amon. Amon autem genuit Josiam. εζεκιας δε εγεννησεν τον μανασση μανασσης δε εγεννησεν τον αμων αμων δε εγεννησεν τον ιωσιαν
11 And Josias begot Jechonias and his brethren in the transmigration of Babylon. Josias autem genuit Jechoniam, et fratres ejus in transmigratione Babylonis. ιωσιας δε εγεννησεν τον ιεχονιαν και τους αδελφους αυτου επι της μετοικεσιας βαβυλωνος
12 And after the transmigration of Babylon, Jechonias begot Salathiel. And Salathiel begot Zorobabel. Et post transmigrationem Babylonis : Jechonias genuit Salathiel. Salathiel autem genuit Zorobabel. μετα δε την μετοικεσιαν βαβυλωνος ιεχονιας εγεννησεν τον σαλαθιηλ σαλαθιηλ δε εγεννησεν τον ζοροβαβελ
13 And Zorobabel begot Abiud. And Abiud begot Eliacim. And Eliacim begot Azor. Zorobabel autem genuit Abiud. Abiud autem genuit Eliacim. Eliacim autem genuit Azor. ζοροβαβελ δε εγεννησεν τον αβιουδ αβιουδ δε εγεννησεν τον ελιακειμ ελιακειμ δε εγεννησεν τον αζωρ
14 And Azor begot Sadoc. And Sadoc begot Achim. And Achim begot Eliud. Azor autem genuit Sadoc. Sadoc autem genuit Achim. Achim autem genuit Eliud. αζωρ δε εγεννησεν τον σαδωκ σαδωκ δε εγεννησεν τον αχειμ αχειμ δε εγεννησεν τον ελιουδ
15 And Eliud begot Eleazar. And Eleazar begot Mathan. And Mathan begot Jacob. Eliud autem genuit Eleazar. Eleazar autem genuit Mathan. Mathan autem genuit Jacob. ελιουδ δε εγεννησεν τον ελεαζαρ ελεαζαρ δε εγεννησεν τον ματθαν ματθαν δε εγεννησεν τον ιακωβ
16 And Jacob begot Joseph the husband of Mary, of whom was born Jesus, who is called Christ. Jacob autem genuit Joseph virum Mariæ, de qua natus est Jesus, qui vocatur Christus. ιακωβ δε εγεννησεν τον ιωσηφ τον ανδρα μαριας εξ ης εγεννηθη ιησους ο λεγομενος χριστος
17 So all the generations, from Abraham to David, are fourteen generations. And from David to the transmigration of Babylon, are fourteen generations: and from the transmigration of Babylon to Christ are fourteen generations. Omnes itaque generationes ab Abraham usque ad David, generationes quatuordecim : et a David usque ad transmigrationem Babylonis, generationes quatuordecim : et a transmigratione Bayblonis usque ad Christum, generationes quatuordecim. πασαι ουν αι γενεαι απο αβρααμ εως δαυιδ γενεαι δεκατεσσαρες και απο δαυιδ εως της μετοικεσιας βαβυλωνος γενεαι δεκατεσσαρες και απο της μετοικεσιας βαβυλωνος εως του χριστου γενεαι δεκατεσσαρες
18 Now the generation of Christ was in this wise. When as his mother Mary was espoused to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child, of the Holy Ghost. Christi autem generatio sic erat : cum esset desponsata mater ejus Maria Joseph, antequam convenirent inventa est in utero habens de Spiritu Sancto. του δε ιησου χριστου η γεννησις ουτως ην μνηστευθεισης γαρ της μητρος αυτου μαριας τω ιωσηφ πριν η συνελθειν αυτους ευρεθη εν γαστρι εχουσα εκ πνευματος αγιου
19 Whereupon Joseph her husband, being a just man, and not willing publicly to expose her, was minded to put her away privately. Joseph autem vir ejus cum esset justus, et nollet eam traducere, voluit occulte dimittere eam. ιωσηφ δε ο ανηρ αυτης δικαιος ων και μη θελων αυτην παραδειγματισαι εβουληθη λαθρα απολυσαι αυτην
20 But while he thought on these things, behold the angel of the Lord appeared to him in his sleep, saying: Joseph, son of David, fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife, for that which is conceived in her, is of the Holy Ghost. Hæc autem eo cogitante, ecce angelus Domini apparuit in somnis ei, dicens : Joseph, fili David, noli timere accipere Mariam conjugem tuam : quod enim in ea natum est, de Spiritu Sancto est. ταυτα δε αυτου ενθυμηθεντος ιδου αγγελος κυριου κατ οναρ εφανη αυτω λεγων ιωσηφ υιος δαυιδ μη φοβηθης παραλαβειν μαριαμ την γυναικα σου το γαρ εν αυτη γεννηθεν εκ πνευματος εστιν αγιου
21 And she shall bring forth a son: and thou shalt call his name JESUS. For he shall save his people from their sins. Pariet autem filium : et vocabis nomen ejus Jesum : ipse enim salvum faciet populum suum a peccatis eorum. τεξεται δε υιον και καλεσεις το ονομα αυτου ιησουν αυτος γαρ σωσει τον λαον αυτου απο των αμαρτιων αυτων
22 Now all this was done that it might be fulfilled which the Lord spoke by the prophet, saying: Hoc autem totum factum est, ut adimpleretur quod dictum est a Domino per prophetam dicentem : τουτο δε ολον γεγονεν ινα πληρωθη το ρηθεν υπο του κυριου δια του προφητου λεγοντος
23 Behold a virgin shall be with child, and bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us. Ecce virgo in utero habebit, et pariet filium : et vocabunt nomen ejus Emmanuel, quod est interpretatum Nobiscum Deus. ιδου η παρθενος εν γαστρι εξει και τεξεται υιον και καλεσουσιν το ονομα αυτου εμμανουηλ ο εστιν μεθερμηνευομενον μεθ ημων ο θεος
24 And Joseph rising up from sleep, did as the angel of the Lord had commanded him, and took unto him his wife. Exsurgens autem Joseph a somno, fecit sicut præcepit ei angelus Domini, et accepit conjugem suam. διεγερθεις δε ο ιωσηφ απο του υπνου εποιησεν ως προσεταξεν αυτω ο αγγελος κυριου και παρελαβεν την γυναικα αυτου
25 And he knew her not till she brought forth her firstborn son: and he called his name JESUS. Et non cognoscebat eam donec peperit filium suum primogenitum : et vocavit nomen ejus Jesum. και ουκ εγινωσκεν αυτην εως ου ετεκεν τον υιον αυτης τον πρωτοτοκον και εκαλεσεν το ονομα αυτου ιησουν

36 posted on 12/25/2012 1:25:58 PM PST by annalex (fear them not)
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To: annalex
1. The book of the generation of Jesus Christ, the Son of David, the Son of Abraham.

JEROME; 'The face of a man' (in Ezekiel's vision) signifies Matthew, who accordingly opens his Gospel with the human genealogy of Christ.

RABANUS; By this introduction he shows that it is the birth of Christ according to the flesh that he has undertaken to narrate.

PSEUDO-CHRYS; Matthew wrote for the Jews, and in Hebrew; to them it was unnecessary to explain the divinity which they recognized; but in necessary to unfold the mystery of the Incarnation. John wrote in Greek for the Gentiles who knew nothing of a Son of God. They required therefore to be told first, that the Son of God was God, then that this Deity was incarnate.

RABANUS; Though the genealogy occupies only a small part of the volume, he yet begins thus, The book of the generation. For it is the manner of the Hebrews to name the books from that with which they open; as Genesis.

GLOSS. The full expression would be This is the book of the generation; but this is a usual ellipse; e g. The vision of Isaiah, for, 'This is the vision.' Generation, he says in the singular number, though there be many here given in succession, as it is for the sake of the one generation of Christ that the rest are here introduced.

CHRYS; Orhe therefore entitles it, The book of the generation, because this is the sum of the whole dispensation, the root of all its blessings; viz. that God became man; for this once effected, all other things followed of course.

RABANUS. He says, The book of the generation of Jesus Christ, because he knew it was written, 'The book of the generation of Adam' he begins this then, that he may oppose book to book, the new Adam, to the old Adam, for by the one were all things restored which had been corrupted by the other.

JEROME; We read in Isaiah, Who shall declare His generation? but it does not follow that the Evangelist contradicts the Prophet, or undertakes what he declares impossible for Isaiah is speaking of the generation of the Divine nature; St. Matthew of the incarnation of the human.

CHRYS. And do not consider this genealogy a small thing to hear; for truly it is a marvelous thing that God should descend to be born of a woman, and to have as His ancestors David and Abraham.

REMIGIUS; Though any affirm that the prophet (Isaiah) does speak of His human generation, we need not answer to his inquiry, Who shall declare it? "No man;" but," Very few;" because Matthew and Luke have.

RABANUS; By saying, of Jesus Christ, he expresses both the kingly and priestly office to be in Him for Jesus, who first bore this name, was after Moses, the first who was leader of the children of Israel; and Aaron, anointed by the mystical ointment, was the first priest under the Law.

HILARY; What God conferred on those, who, by the anointing of oil were consecrated as kings or priests, this the Holy Spirit conferred on the Man Christ; adding moreover a purification. The Holy Spirit cleansed that which taken of the Virgin Mary was exalted into the Body of the Savior and this is that anointing of the Body of the Savior's flesh whence He was called Christ. Because the impious craft of the Jews denied that Jesus was born of the seed of David, he adds, The son of David, the son of Abraham.

CHRYS. But why would it not have been enough to name one of them, David alone, or Abraham alone? Because the promise had been made to both of Christ to be born of their seed. To Abraham, And in your seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed. To David, Of the fruit of your body will l set upon your seat. He therefore calls Christ the Son of both, to show that in Him was fulfilled the promise to both. Also because Christ was to have three dignities; King, Prophet, Priest; but Abraham was prophet and priest; priest, as God says to him in Genesis, Take an heifer; Prophet, as the Lord said to Abimelech concerning him, He is a prophet, and shall pray for you. David was king and prophet, but not priest. Thus He is expressly called the son of both, that the threefold dignity of His forefathers might be recognized by hereditary right in Christ.

AMBROSE; He therefore names specially two authors of His birth-one who received the promise concerning the kindreds of the people, the other who obtained the oracle concerning the generation of Christ; and though he is later in order of succession is yet first named, inasmuch as it is greater to have received the promise concerning Christ than concerning the Church, which is through Christ; for greater is He who saves than that which is saved.

JEROME. The order of the names is inverted, but of necessity; for had he written Abraham first, and David afterwards, he would have to repeat Abraham again to preserve the series of the genealogy.

PSEUDO-CHRYS Another reason is that royal dignity is above natural, though Abraham was first in time, yet David in honor.

GLOSS. But since from this title it appears that the whole book is concerning Jesus Christ, it is necessary first to know what we must think concerning Him; for so shall be better explained what this book relates of Him.

AUG. Cerinthus then and Ebion made Jesus Christ only man; Paul of Samosata, following them, asserted Christ not to have had an existence from eternity, but to have begun to be from His birth of the Virgin Mary; he also thought Him nothing more than man. This heresy was afterwards confirmed by Photinus.

PSEUDO-ATHAN. The Apostle John, seeing long before by the Holy Spirit this man's madness, rouses him from his deep sleep of error by the preaching of his voice, saying, In the beginning was the Word. He therefore, who in the beginning was with God, could not in this last time take the beginning of His being from man. He says further, (let Photinus hear his words,) Father, glorify Me with that glory which I had with You before the world was.

AUG. The error of Nestorius was that he taught that a man only was born of the Blessed Virgin Mary, whom the Word of God received not into Unity of person and inseparable fellowship; a doctrine which Catholic ears could not endure.

CYRIL OF ALEXANDRIA; Said the Apostle of the Only-begotten, Who being in the form of God, thought it no robbery to be equal with God. Who then is this who is in the form of God? or how emptied He Himself, and humbled Himself to the likeness of man? If time above mentioned heretics dividing Christ into two parts, i. e the Man and the Word, affirm that it was the Man that was emptied of glory, they in must first show what form and equality with the Father are understood to be, and did exist, which might suffer any manner of emptying. But there is no creature, in its own proper nature, equal with the Father; how then can any creature be said to he emptied? or from what eminence to descend to become man? Or how can he be understood to have taken upon Him, as though he had not at first, the form of a servant? But, they say, the Word being equal with the Father dwelt in Man born of a woman, and this is the emptying. I hear the Son truly saying to the Holy Apostles, If any man love Me he will keep My saying; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him, and make Our abode with him. Hear how he said that He and the Father will dwell in them that love Him. Do you then suppose that we shall grant that He is there emptied of His glory and has taken upon Him the form of a servant, when He makes His abode in the hearts of them that love Him? Or the Holy Spirit, does He fulfill an assumption of human flesh, when He dwells in our hearts?

ISIDORE; But not to mention all arguments, let us bring forward that one to which all arguments point, that, for one who was God to assume a lowly guise both has an obvious use, and is an adaptation and in nothing contradicts the course of nature. But for one who is human to speak things divine and supernatural is the highest presumption; for though a king may humble himself, a common soldier may not take on him the state of an emperor. So, if He were God made man, all lowly things have place; but if a mere man, high things have none.

AUG. Sabellius they say was a disciple of Noctus, who taught that the same Christ was one and the same Father and Holy Spirit.

PSEUDO-ATHAN. The audaciousness of this most insane error I will curb by the authority of the heavenly testimonies, and demonstrate the distinct personality of the proper substance , of the Son. I shall not produce things which are liable to be explained away as agreeable to the assumption of human nature; but shall offer such passages as all will allow to be decisive in proof of His divine nature. In Genesis we find God saying, Let Us make man in Our own Image. By this plural number showing, that there was some other person to whom He spoke. Had He been one, He would have been said to have made Him in His own Image, but there is another; and He is said to have made man in the Image of that other.

GLOSS. Others denied the reality of Christ's human nature. Valentinus said, that Christ sent from the Father, carried about a spiritual or celestial body, and took nothing of the Virgin, but passed through her as through a channel, taking nothing of her flesh. But we do not therefore believe Him to have been born of the Virgin, because by no other means He could have truly lived in the flesh, and appeared among men; but because it is so written in the Scripture, which if we believe not we cannot either be Christians, or be saved. But even a body taken of spiritual, or ethereal, or clayey substance, had He willed to change into the true and very quality of human flesh, who will deny His power to do this? The Manichaeans said that the Lord Jesus Christ was a phantasm, and could not be born of the womb of a woman. But if the body of Christ was a phantasm, He was a deceiver , and if a deceiver, then He was not the truth. But Christ is the Truth; therefore His Body was not a phantasm.

GLOSS. And as the opening both of this Gospel, and of that according to Luke, manifestly proves Christ's birth of a woman, and hence His real humanity, they reject the beginning of both these Gospels.

AUG. Faustus affirms, "that the Gospel both begins, and begins to be so called, from the preaching of Christ, in which He no where affirms Himself to have been born of men." Nay, so far is this genealogy from being part of the Gospel, that the writer does not venture so to entitle it, beginning, 'The book of the generation,' not 'The book of the Gospel.' Mark again, who cared not to write of the generation, but only of the preaching of the Son of God, which is properly The Gospel, begins thus accordingly, The Gospel of Jesus Christ the Son of God. Thus then, all that we read in Matthew before the words, Jesus began to preach the Gospel of the kingdom, is a part of the genealogy, not of the Gospel. I therefore betook myself to Mark and John, with whose prefaces I had good reason to be satisfied, as they introduce neither David, nor Mary, nor Joseph." To which Augustine replies, What will he say then to the Apostle's words, Remember the resurrection of Jesus Christ of the seed of David according to my Gospel. But the Gospel of the Apostle Paul was likewise that of the other Apostles, and of all the faithful, as he says, Whether I, or they, thus have we preached the Gospel.

AUG. The Arians will not have the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, to be of one and the same substance, nature, and existence; but that the Son is a creature of the Father, and the Holy Spirit a creature of a creature, i.e. created by the Son; further, they think that Christ took the flesh without a soul. But John declares the Son to be not only God, but even of the same substance as the Father; for when He had said, The Word was God, he added, all things were made by Him; whence it is clear that He was not made by Whom all things were made; and if not made, then not created; and therefore of one substance with the Father, for all that is not of one substance with the Father is creature. I know not what benefit the person of the Mediator has conferred upon us if He redeemed not our better part, but took upon Him our flesh only, which without the soul cannot have consciousness of the benefit. But if Christ came to save that which had perished, the whole man had perished, and therefore needs a Savior; Christ then in coming saves the whole man, taking on Him both soul and body. How too do they answer innumerable objections from the Gospel Scriptures, in which the Lord speaks so many things manifestly contrary to them? as is that, My soul is sorrowful even to death, and, l have power to lay down My life; and many more things of the like kind. Should they say that He spoke thus in parables, we have at hand proofs from the Evangelists themselves, who in relating His actions, bear witness as to the reality of His body, so of His soul, by mention of passions which cannot be without a soul; as when they say, Jesus wondered, was angry, and others of like kind. The Apollinarians also as the Arians affirmed that Christ had taken the human flesh without the soul. But overthrown on this point by the weight of Scripture proof, they then said that that part which is the rational soul of man was wanting to the soul of Christ, and that its place was filled by the Word itself. But if it be so, then we must believe that the Word of God took on Him the nature of some brute with a human shape and appearance. But even concerning the nature of Christ's body, there are some who have so far swerved from the right faith, as to say, that the flesh and the Word were of one and the same substance, most perversely insisting on that expression, The Word was made flesh; which they interpret that some portion of the Word was changed into flesh, not that He took to Him flesh of the flesh of the Virgin.

CYRIL. We account those persons mad who have suspected that so much as the shadow of change could take place in the nature of the Divine Word; it abides what it ever was, neither is nor can be changed.

LEO; We do not speak of Christ as man in such a sort as to allow that any thing was wanting to Him, which it is certain pertains to human nature, whether soul, or rational mind, or flesh, and flesh such as was taken of the Woman, not gained by a change or conversion of the Word into flesh. These three several errors, that thrice false heresy of the Apollinarists has brought forward. Eutyches also chose out this third dogma of Apollinaris, which denying the verity of the human body and soul, maintained that our Lord Jesus Christ was wholly and entirely of one nature, as though the Divine Word had changed itself into flesh and soul, and as though the conception, birth, growth, and such like, had been undergone by that Divine Essence, which was incapable of any such changes with the very and true flesh for such as is the nature of the Only-begotten, such is the nature of the Father, and such is the nature of the Holy Ghost, both impassable and eternal. But if to avoid being driven to the conclusion that the Godhead could feel suffering and death, he departs from the corruption of Apollinaris, and should still dare to affirm the nature of the incarnate Word, that is of the Word and the flesh, to be the same, he clearly falls into the insane notions of Manichaens and Marcion, and believes that the Lord Jesus Christ did all His actions with a false appearance, that His body was not a human body, but a phantasm, which imposed on the eyes of the beholders. But what Eutyches ventured to pronounce as an episcopal decision, that in Christ before His incarnation were two natures, but after his incarnation only one, it is necessary that he should have been urgently pressed to give the reason of this his belief. I suppose that in using such language he supposed the soul which the Savior took, to have had its abode in heaven before it was born of the Virgin Mary. This Catholic hearts and ears endure not, for that the Lord when He came down from heaven showed nothing of the condition of human attire, nor did He take on any soul that had existed before, nor any flesh that was not taken of the flesh of His mother. Thus what was justly condemned in Origen, must needs be rebuked in Eutyches, to wit, that our souls before they were placed in our bodies had actions not only wonderful but various.

REMIG. These heresies therefore the Apostles overthrow in the opening of their Gospels, as Matthew in relating how He derived His descent from the kings of the Jews proves Him to have been truly man and to have had true flesh. Likewise Luke, when he describes the priestly stock and person; Mark when he says, The beginning of the Gospel of Jesus Christ the Son of God; and John when he says, In the beginning was the Word; both show Him to have been before all ages God, with God the Father

2. Abraham begat Isaac; and Isaac begat Jacob; and Jacob begat Judas and his brethren.

AUG. Matthew, by beginning with Christ's genealogy, shows that he has undertaken to relate Christ's birth according to the flesh. But Luke, as rather describing Him as a Priest for the atonement of sin, gives Christ's genealogy not in the beginning of his Gospel, but at His baptism, when John bare that testimony, Lo, He that takes away the sins of the world. In the genealogy of Matthew is figured to us the taking on Him of our sins by the Lord Christ; in the genealogy of Luke, the taking away of our sins by the same; hence Matthew gives them in a descending, Luke in an ascending, series. But Matthew, describing Christ's human generation in descending order, begins his enumeration with Abraham.

AMBROSE; For Abraham was the first who deserved the witness of faith; He believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness. It is necessary therefore that he should be set forth as the first in the line of descent, who was the first to deserve the promise of the restoration of the Church, In you shall all the nations of the earth be blessed. And it is again brought to a period in David, for that Jesus should be called his Son; hence to him is preserved the privilege, that from him should come the beginning of the Lord's genealogy.

CHRYSOST. Matthew then, desiring to preserve ( in memory the lineage of the Lord's humanity through the succession of His parents), begins with Abraham, saying, Abraham begat Isaac.Why does he not mention Ismael, his first-born? And again, Isaac begat Jacob; why does he not speak of Esau his first-born? Because through them he could not have come down to David.

GLOSS. Yet he names all the brethren of Judah with him in the lineage. Ismael and Esau had not remained in the worship of the true God; but the brethren of Judah were reckoned in God's people.

CHRYSOST. Or, he names all the twelve Patriarchs that he may lower that pride which is drawn from a line of noble ancestry. For many of these were born of maidservants, and yet were Patriarchs and heads of tribes.

GLOSS. But Judah is the only one mentioned by name, and that because the Lord was descended from him only. But in each of the Patriarchs we must note not their history only, but the allegorical and moral meaning to be drawn from them; allegory in seeing whom each of the Fathers foreshowed; moral instruction n that through each one of the Fathers some virtue may be edified in us either through the signification of his name, or through his example. Abraham is in many respects a figure of Christ and chiefly in his name, which is interpreted the Father of many nations, and Christ is Father of many believers. Abraham moreover went out from his own kindred, and abode in a strange land; in like manner Christ, leaving the Jewish nation, went by His preachers throughout the Gentiles.

PSEUDO-CHRYS. Isaac is interpreted 'laughter' but the laughter of the saints is not the foolish convulsion of the lips but the rational joy of the heart, which was the mystery of Christ. For as he was granted to his parents in their extreme age to their great joy, that it might be know that he was not the child of nature but of grace, thus Christ also in this last time came of a Jewish mother to be the joy of the whole earth; the one of a virgin, the other of a woman past the age, both contrary to the expectation of nature.

REMIG. Jacob is interpreted ' supplanter,' and it is said of Christ, You have cast down beneath Me them that rose up against Me.

PSEUDO-CHRYS. Our Jacob in like manner begot the twelve Apostles in the Spirit, not in the flesh; in word, not in blood. Judah is interpreted ' confessor'; for he was a type of Christ who was to be the confessor of His Father as He spoke, I confess to You, Father, Lord of heaven and earth.

GLOSS. Morally; Abraham signifies to us the virtue of faith in Christ, as an example himself, as it is said of him, Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to Him for righteousness. Isaac may represent hope; for Isaac is interpreted 'laughter,' as he was the joy of his parents; and hope is our joy, making us to hope for eternal blessings and of joy in them. Abraham begat Isaac, and faith begets hope. Jacob signifies ' love,' for love embraces two lives; active in the love of our neighbor, contemplative in the love of Gods the active is signified by Leah, the contemplative by Rachel. For Leah is interpreted 'laboring,' for she is active in labor; Rachel 'having seen the beginning,' because by the contemplative, the beginning, that is God, is seen. Jacob is born of two parents, as love is born of faith and hope; for what we believe, we both hope for and love.

3-6. And Judas begat Phares and Zara of Thamar; and Phares begat Esrom; and Esrom begat Aram; and Arain begat Aminadab; and Aminadab begat Naasson;and Naasson begat Salmon; and Salmon begat Booz of Rachab; and Booz begat Obed of Ruth; and Obed begat Jesse; and Jesse begat David the king.

GLOSS. Passing over the other sons of Jacob, the Evangelist follows the family of Judah, saying But Judah begat Phares and Zara of Thamar.

AUG. Neither was Judah himself a first-born, nor of these two sons was either his first-born; he had already had three before them. So that he keeps in that line of descent, by which he shall arrive at David, and from him whither he purposed.

JEROME; It should be noted, that none of the holy women are taken into the Savior's genealogy, but rather such as Scripture has condemned, that He who came for sinners being born of sinners might so put away the sins of all; thus Ruth the Moabitess follows among the rest,

AMBROSE; But Luke has avoided the mention of these, that he might set forth the series of the priestly race immaculate, But the plan of St. Matthew did not exclude the righteousness of natural reason; for when he wrote in his Gospel, that He who should take on Him the sins of all, was born in the flesh, was subject to wrongs and pain, he did not think it any detraction from His holiness that He did not refuse the further humiliation of a sinful parentage. Nor, again, would it shame the Church to be gathered from among sinners, when the Lord Himself was born of sinners; and, lastly, that the benefits of redemption might have their beginning with his own forefathers: and that none might imagine that a stain in the blood was any hindrance to virtue, nor again any pride themselves insolently on nobility of birth.

CHRYSOST. Beside this, it shows that all are equally liable to sin; for here is Thamar accusing Judah of incest, and David begat Solomon with a woman with whom he had committed adultery. But if the Law was not fulfilled by these great ones, neither could it be by their less great posterity, and so all have sinned, and the presence of Christ is become necessary.

AMBROSE . Observe that Matthew does not name both without a meaning for though the object of his writing only required the mention of Phares, yet in the twins a mystery is signified; namely the double life of the nations, one by the Law, the other by Faith.

PSEUDO-CHRYS. By Zarah is denoted the people of the Jews, which first appeared in the light of faith, coming out of the dark womb of the world, and was therefore marked with the scarlet thread of the circumciser, for all supposed they were to be God's people; but the Law was set before their face as it had been a wall or hedge. Thus the Jews were hindered by the Law, but in the times of Christ's coming the hedge of the Law was broken down that was between Jew and Gentiles, as the Apostle speaks, Breaking down the middle wall of partition; and thus it fell out that time Gentiles, who were signified by Phares, as soon as the Law was broken through the Christ's commandments, first entered into the faith, and after followed the Jews.

GLOSS. Judah begat Phares and Zarah before he went into Egypt, whither they both accompanied their father. In Egypt, Phares begat Esrom; amad Esrom begat Aram; Arami begat Aminadab; Aminadab begat Naasson; and then Moses led them out of Egypt. Naasson was head of a tribe of Judah under Moses in the desert, where he began Salmon; and this Salmon it was who, as prince of the tribe of Judah, entered the hand of promise with Joshua.

PSEUDO-CHRYS. But as we believe that the names of these Fathers were given for some special reason under the providence of God, it follows, but Naasson begat Salmon. This Salmon after his father's death entered the promised land with Joshua as prince of the tribe of Judah. He took a wife of the name of Rahab. This Rahab is said to have been that Rahab the harlot of Jericho who entertained the spies of the children of Israel, and hid them safely. For Salmon being noble among the children of Israel, inasmuch as he was of the tribe of Judah, and son of the prince thereof, beheld Rahab so ennobled through her great faith, that she was worthy whom he should take to wife. Salmon is interpreted 'receive a vessel ,' perhaps as if invited in God's providence by his very name to receive Rahab a vessel of election.

GLOSS. This Salmon in the promised land begat Booz of this Rahab. Booz begat Obeth of Ruth.

PSEUDO-CHRYS. How Booz took to wife a Moabitess whose name was Ruth, I thought it needless to tell, Seeing the Scripture concerning them is open to all. We need but say thus much, that Ruth married Booz for the reward of her faith, for that she had cast off the gods of her forefathers, and had chosen the living God. And Booz received her to wife for reward of his faith, that from such sanctified wed-lock might be descended a kingly race.

AMBROSE; But how did Ruth who was an alien marry a man that was a Jew? and wherefore in Christ's genealogy did His Evangelist so much as mention a union, which in the eye of the law was bastard? Thus the Savior's birth of a parentage not admitted by the law appears to us monstrous, until we attend to that declaration of the Apostle, The Law was not given for the righteous, but for the unrighteous. For this woman who was an alien, a Moabitess, a nation with whom the Mosaic Law forbade all intermarriage, and shut them totally out of the Church, how did she enter into the Church, unless that she were holy and unstained in her life above the Law? Therefore she was exempt from this restriction of the Law, and deserved to be numbered in the Lord's lineage, chosen from the kindred of her mind, not of her body. To us she is a great example, for that in her was prefigured the entrance into the Lord's Church of all of us who are gathered out of the Gentiles.

JEROME; Ruth the Moabitess fulfills the prophecy of Isaiah, Send forth, O Lord, the Lamb that shall rule over the earth, out of the rock of the desert to the mount of the daughter of Sion.

GLOSS. Jesse, the father of David, two names, being more frequently called Isaiah, but the Prophet says, There shall come a rod from the stem of Jesse; therefore to show that this prophecy was fulfilled in Mary and Christ, the Evangelist puts Jesse.

REMIG. It is asked, why this epithet King is thus given by the holy Evangelist to David alone? Because he was the first king in the tribe of Judah. Christ Himself is Phares 'time divider,' as it is written, You shall divide the sheep from the goats; He is Zaram, 'the east,' Lo the man, the east is His name; He is Esrom, 'an arrow,' He has set me as a polished shaft.'

RABAN. Or following another interpretation, according to the abundance of grace, and the width of love. He is 'Aram the chosen', according to that, Behold my Servant whom I have chosen. He is Amninadab, that is 'willing' in that he says, . I will freely sacrifice to You. Also He is Naasson, i.e. 'augury' as he knows the past, the present , and the future; or, 'like a serpent,' according to that, Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness. He is Salmon, i.e. 'that feels', as He said, I feel that power is gone forth out of me.

GLOSS; Christ himself espouses Rahab, i.e. the Gentile Church; for Rehab is interpreted either 'hunger,' or 'breadth,' or 'might;' for the Church of the Gentiles hungers and thirsts after righteousness, and converts philosophers and kings by the might of her doctrine. Ruth is interpreted either 'seeing' or 'hastening,' and denotes the Church which in purity of heart sees God, and hastens to the prize of the heavenly call;

REMIG. Christ is also Booz, because He is strength, for when I am lifted up, I will draw all men to Me. He is Obeth, 'a servant,' for, the Son of man came not to be ministered to but to minister. He is Jesse, or 'burnt,' for, I am come to send fire on earth. He is David, 'mighty in arm,' for, the Lord is great and powerful; 'desirable,' for, He shall come, the Desire of all nations; 'beautiful to behold'; according to that, Beautiful in form before the sons of men.

GLOSS. Let us now see what virtues they be which these fathers edify in us; for faith, hope, and charity are the foundation of all virtues; those that follow are like additions over and above them. Judah is interpreted 'confession,' of which there are two kinds, confession of faith, and of sin. If then, after we be endowed with the three forementioned virtues, we sin, confession not of faith only but of sin is needful for us. Phares is interpreted 'division,' Zamar 'the east,' and Thamar 'bitterness.' Thus Confession begets separation from vice, the rise of virtue, and the bitterness of repentance. After Phares follows Esron, 'an arrow,' for when one is separated from vice and secular pursuits, he should become a dart wherewith to slay by preaching the vices of others. Aram is interpreted 'elect' or 'lofty,' for as soon as one is detached from this world, and profits for another, he must needs be held to be elect of God, famous among men, high in virtue. Naasson is 'augury,' but this augury is of heaven, not of earth. It is that of which Joseph boasted when he said, You have taken away the cup of my Lord, where with He is wont to divine. The cup is the divine Scripture wherein is the draught of wisdom; by this the wise man divines, since in it he sees things future, that is, heavenly things. Next is Salomon, 'that perceives,' for he who studies divine Scripture becomes perceiving, that is, he discerns by the taste of reason, good from bad, sweet from bitter. Next is Booz, that is 'brave,' for who is well taught in Scripture becomes brave to endure all adversity.

PSEUDO-CHRYS. This brave one is the son of Rahab, that is, of the Church; for Rahab signifies 'breadth' Church of the Gentiles was called from all quarters of the earth, it is called 'breadth'

GLOSS. Then follows Obeth, i.e. 'servitude,' for which none is fit but he who is strong; and this servitude is begotten of Ruth, that is ' haste,' for it is necessary for a slave to be quick, not slow.

PSEUDO-CHRYS. They who look to wealth and not temper, to beauty and not faith, and require in a wife such endowments as are required in harlots, will not beget sons obedient to their parents or to God, but rebellious to both; that their children may be punishment of their ungodly wedlock. Obeth begat Jesse that is 'refreshment,' for whoever is subject to God and his parents, begets such children as prove his 'refreshment'

GLOSS. Or Jesse may be interpreted ' incense .' For it we serve God in love and fear, there will be a devotion is the heart, which in the heat and desire of the heart offers the sweetest incense to God. But when one has become a fit servant, and a sacrifice of incense to God, it follows that he becomes David, (i.e. 'of a strong hand,') who fought mightily against his enemies, and made the Idumeans tributary. In like manner ought he to subdue carnal men to God by teaching and example.

6-8. David the king begat Solomon of her that had been the wife of Urias; and Solomon begat Roboam and Roboam begat Abia; and Abia begat Asa;and Asa begat Josaphat.

The Evangelist has now finished the first fourteen generations, and is come to the second, which consists of royal personages, and therefore beginning with David, who was the first king in the tribe of Judah, he calls him David the king

AUG. Since in Matthew's genealogy is shown forth by taking on Him by Christ of our sins. Therefore he descends from David to Solomon, in whose mother David had sinned Luke ascends to David through Nathan, for through Nathan the prophet God punished David's sin; because Luke genealogy is to show the putting away of our sins.

ID. That is it, must be said, through a prophet of time same name, for it was not Nathan the son of David who reproved him, but a prophet of the same name.

REMIG. Let us inquire why Matthew does not mention Bathsheba by name as he does the other women. Because the others, though deserving of much blame, were yet commendable for many virtues. But Bathsheba was not only consenting in the adultery, but in the murder of her husband, hence her name is not introduced in the Lord's genealogy.

GLOSS. Besides, he does not name Bathsheba, that, by naming Urias, he may recall to memory that great wickedness which she was guilty of towards him.

AMBROSE. But the holy David is the more excellent in this, that he confessed himself to be but man, and neglected not to wash out with the tears of repentance the sin of which he bad been guilty, in so taking away Urias' wife. Herein showing us that none ought to trust in his own strength for we have a mighty adversary whom we cannot overcome without God's aid. And you will commonly observe very heavy sins befalling to the share of illustrious men, that they may not from their other excellent virtues be thought more than men, but that you may see that as men they yield to temptation.

PSEUDO-CHRYS. Solomon is interpreted 'peace-maker,' because having subdued all the nations round about, and made them tributary, he had a peaceful reign. Roboam is interpreted 'by a multitude of people', for multitude is the mother of sedition; for where many are joined in a crime, that is commonly not punishable. But , limit in numbers is the mistress of good order.

8-11. And Josaphat begat Joram; and Joram begat Ozias; and Ozias begat Joatham; and Joatham begat Achaz; and Achaz begat Ezekias; and Ezekias begat Manasses; and Manasses begat Amon; and Amon begat Josias; and Josias begat Jechonias and his brethren, about the time they were carried away to Babylon.

JEROME; In the fourth book of Kings we read, that Ochoezias was the son of Joram. On his death, Josabeth, sister of Ochozias and daughter of Joram, took Joash, her brother's son, and preserved him from the slaughter of the royal seed by Athalias. To Joash succeeded his son Amasias; after him his son Azarias, who is called Ozias; after him his son Joathiam. Thus you see according to historical truth there were three intervening kings, who are omitted by the Evangelist. Joram, moreover, begot not Ozias, but Ochozias, and the rest as we have related. But because it was the purpose of the Evangelist to make each of the three periods consist of fourteen generations, and because Joram had connected himself with Jezebel's most impious race, therefore his posterity to the third generation is omitted in tracing time lineage of the holy birth.

HILARY. Thus the stain of the Gentile alliance being purged, the royal race is again taken up in the fourth following generation.

PSEUDO-CHRYS. What the Holy Spirit testified through the Prophet, saying, that He would cut off every male from the house of Ahab, and Jezebel, that Jehu the son of Nausi fulfilled, and received the promise that his children to the fourth generation should sit on time throne of Israel. As great a blessing then as was given upon the house of Ahab, so great a curse was given on the house of Joram, because of the wicked daughter of Ahab and Jezebel, that his sons to the fourth generation should be cut out of the number of the Kings. Thus his sin descended on his posterity as it had been written, I will visit the sins of the fathers upon the children to the third and fourth generation. Thus see how dangerous it is to marry with the seed of the ungodly.

AUG. Or, Ochozias, Joash, and Amasias, were excluded from time number, because their wickedness was continuous and without interval. For Solomon was suffered to hold the kingdom for his father's deserts, Roboam for his son's. But these three doing evil successively were excluded. This then is an example how a race is cut off when wickedness is shown therein in perpetual succession. And Ozias begat Joatham; and Joatham begat Ahaz; and Ahaz begat Ezekias.

GLOSS; This Ezekias was he to whom, when he had no children , it was said, Set your house in order, for you shall die. He wept, not from desire of longer life, for he knew that Solomon had thereby pleased God, that he had not asked the length of days; but he wept, for he feared that God's promise should not be fulfilled, when himself, being in the line of David of whom Christ should come, was without children. And Ezekias begat Manasses; and Manassas begat Amon; and Amon begat Josias.

PSEUDO-CHRYS. But the order in the Book of Kings is different, thus namely; Josias begot Eliakim; afterwards called Joakim; Joakim begot Jechonias. But Joakim is not reckoned among the Kings in the genealogy, because God's people had not set him on the throne, but Pharaoh by his might. For if it were just that only for their intermixture with time race of Ahab, three kings should be shut out of the number in the genealogy, was it not just that Joakim should be likewise shut out, whom Pharaoh had set up as king by hostile force? And thus Jechonias, who is the son of Joakim, and the grandson of Josiah, is reckoned among the kings as the son of Josiah, in place of his father who is omitted.

JEROME. Otherwise, we may consider the first Jeconias to be the same as Joakim, and the second to be the son not the father, the one being spelled with k and m, the second by ch and n. This distinction has been confounded both by Greeks and Latins, by the fault of writers and the lapse of time.

AMBROSE. That there were two kings of the name of Joakim, is clear from the Book of Kings. And Joakim slept with his fathers:, and Joachin his son reigned in his stead. This son is the same whom Jeremiah calls Jeconias. And rightly did St. Matthew purpose to differ from the Prophet, because he sought to show therein the great abundance of the Lord's mercies. For the Lord did not seek among men nobility of race, but suitably chose to be born of captives and of sinners, as He came to preach remission of sin to the captives. The Evangelist therefore did not conceal either of these; but rather showed them both, inasmuch as both were called Jeconias.

REMIG. But it may be asked, why the Evangelist says they were born in the carrying away, when they were born before the carrying away. He says this because they were born for this Purpose, that they should be led captive, from the dominion of the whole nation, for their own and others' sins. And because God foreknew that they were to be carried away captive, therefore he says, they were born in the carrying away to Babylon. But of those whom the holy Evangelist places together in the Lord's genealogy it should be known, that they were alike in good or ill fame. Judas and his brethren were notable for good, in like manner Pimares and Zara, Jechonias andhis brethren, were notable for evil.

GLOSS. Mystically, David is Christ, who overcame Golias, that is, the Devil. Urias, i.e. God is my light, is the Devil who says, I will be like the Highest. To Him the Church was married, when Christ on the Throne of the majesty of His Father loved her, and having made her beautiful, united her to Himself in wedlock. Or Urias is the Jewish nation who through the Law boasted of their light, from them Christ took away the Law, having taught it to speak of Himself. Bersabee is 'the well of satiety,' that is, the abundance of spiritual grace.

REMIG. Bersabee is interpreted ' the seventh well,' or 'the well of the oath;' by which is signified the grant of baptism, in which is given the gift of the sevenfold Spirit, and the oath against the Devil is made. Christ is also Solomon, i.e. the peaceful, according to that of the Apostle, He is our peace. Roboam is, ' the breadth of the people,' according to that, Many shall come from the East and from the West.

RABAN. Or; 'the might of the people,' because he quickly converts the people to the faith.

REMIG. He is also Abias, that is, 'the Lord Father,' according to that, One is your Father who is in heaven. And again, You call me Master and Lord. He is also Asa, that is, 'lifting up'; according to that, Who takes away the sins of the world. He is also Josaphat, that is, 'judging,' for, The Father has committed all judgment to the Son. He is also Joram, that is, 'lofty,' according to that, No man has ascended up to heaven, but He that came down from heaven. He is also Ozias, that is, ' the Lord's strength,' for, The Lord is my strength and my praise. He is also Jotham that is, 'completed,' or 'perfected,' for Christ is the end of the Law. He is also Ahaz, that is, ' turning,' according to that, Be you turned to Me.

RABAN. Or, 'embracing' because None knows the Father but the Son.

REMIG. He is also Ezekias, that is, 'the strong Lord,' or, 'the Lord shall comfort;' according to that, Be of good cheer, I have overcome the world. He is also Manasses, that is, 'forgetful,' or, ' forgotten,' according to that, I will not remember your sins any more. He is also Aaron , that is, 'faithful,' according to that, The Lord is faithful in all His words. He is also Josias, that is, 'the incense of the Lord ,' as, And being in an agony, He prayed more earnestly.

RABAN. And that incense signifies prayer, the Psalmist witnesses, saying, Let my prayer come up as incense before You. Or, 'The salvation of the Lord,' according to that, My salvation is forever.

REMIG. He is Jechonias, that is, ' preparing', or 'the Lord's preparation,' according to that, If I shall depart, I will also prepare a place for you.

GLOSS. Morally; after David follows Solomon, which is interpreted, 'peaceful.' For one then becomes peaceful, when unlawful motions being composed, and being as it were already set in the everlasting rest, he serves God, and turns others to Him. Then follows Roboam, that is 'the breadth of the people.' For when there is no longer any thing to overcome within himself, it is necessary for a man to look abroad to others, and to draw with him the people of God to heavenly things. Next is Abias, that is, ' the Lord Father'; for these things premised, He may proclaim Himself the Son of God, and then He will be Asa, that is, 'raising up,' and will ascend to His Father from virtue to virtue: and He will become Josaphat, that is, 'judging,' for He will judge others, and will be judged of none. Thus he becomes Joram, that is, 'lofty,' as it were dwelling on high; and is made Oziah, that is, ' the strong One of the Lord,' as attributing all his strength to God, and persevering in his path. Then follows Jotham, that is, 'perfect,' for he grows daily to greater perfection. And thus he becomes Ahaz, that is, 'embracing,' for by obedience knowledge is increased according to that, They have proclaimed the worship of the Lord, and have understood His doings. Then follows Ezekias, that is, 'the Lord is strong,' because he understands that God is strong, amid so turning to His love, he becomes Manasses 'forgetful,' because he gives up as forgotten all worldly things; and is made thereby Amon, that is ' faithful,' for he who despises all temporal things, defrauds no man of his goods. Thus he is made Josias, that is, 'in certain hope of the Lord's salvation;' for Josias is interpreted ' the salvation of the Lord.'

12-15. And after they were brought to Babylon, Jechonias begat Salathiel; and Salathiel begat Zorobabel; and Zorobabel begat Abiud; and Abiud begat Eliakim; and Eliakim begat Azor; and Azor begat Sadoc; and Sadoc begat Achim; and Achirn begat Eliud; and Eliud begat Eleazar; and Eleazar begat Matthan; and Matthan begat Jacob.

PSEUDO-CHRYS. After the carrying away, he sets Jeconiah again, as now become a private person.

AMBROSE. Of whom Jeremiah speaks. Write this man dethroned; for there shall not spring of his seed one sitting on the throne of David. How is this said of the Prophet, that none of the seed of Jeconias should reign? For if Christ reigned, and Christ was of the seed of Jeconiah, then the Prophet has spoken falsely. But it is not there declared that there shall be none of the seed of Jeconiah, and so Christ is of his seed; and that Christ did reign, is not in contradiction to the prophecy; for He did not reign with worldly honors, as He said, My kingdom is not of this world.

PSEUDO-CHRYS. Concerning Salathiel, we have read nothing either good or bad, but we suppose him to have been a holy man, and in the captivity to have consistently besought God in behalf of afflicted Israel, and that hence he was named Salathiel, 'time petition of God' Salathiel begot Zorobabel, which is interpreted, 'flowing postponed,' or, 'of the confusion,' or here, 'the doctor of Babylon." I have read, but know not whether it be true, that both the priestly line and the royal line were united in Zorobabel; and that it was through him that the children of Israel returned into their own country. For that in a disputation held between three, of which Zorobabel was one, each defending his own opinion, Zorobabel's sentence that Truth was the strongest thing, prevailed; and that for this Darius granted him that the children of Israel return to their country; and therefore after this providence of God, he was rightly called Zorobabel, 'time doctor of Babylon.' For what doctrine is greater than to show that Truth is the mistress of all things?

GLOSS; But this seems to contradict the genealogy which is read in Chronicles. For there it is said, that Jeconias begot Salathiel and Phadaias, and Phadaias begot Zorobabel, and Zorobabel Mosollah, Ananias, and Salomith their sister. But we know that many parts of the Chronicles have been corrupted by time, and error of transcribers. Hence come many and controverted questions of genealogies which the Apostle bids us avoid. Or it may be said, that Salathiel and Phadaias are the same man under two different names. Or that Salathiel anti Phadaias were brothers, and both had sons of the same name, and that the writer of the history followed the genealogy of Zorobabel, the son of Salathiel. From Abiud down to Joseph, no history is found in the Chronicles; but we read that the Hebrews had many other annals, which were called the Words of the Days, of which much was burned by Herod, who was a foreigner, in order to confound the descent of the royal line. And perhaps Joseph had read in them the names of his ancestors, or knew them from some other source. And thus the Evangelist could learn the succession of this genealogy. It should be noted, that the first Jeconiah is called the resurrection of the Lord, the second, the preparation of the Lord. Both are very applicable to the Lord Christ, who declares, I am the resurrection, and the life; and I go to Prepare a place for you. Salathiel, i.e. the Lord is my 'petition' is suitable to Him who said, Holy Father, keep them whom You have given Me.

REMIG. He is also Zorobabel, that is, ' the master of confusion,' according to that, Your Master eats with publicans and sinners. He is Abiud that is, 'He is my Father,' according to that, I and the Father are One. He is also Eliacin, that is, 'God the Reviver,' according to that, I will revive him again in the last day. He is also Azor, that is, 'aided,' according to that He who sent Me is with Me. He is also Sadoch, that is; 'the just,' or, ' the justified,' according to that, He was delivered, the just for the unjust. He is also Achim, that is ' my brother is he,' according to that, Who so does the will of My Father, he is My brother. He is also Eliud, that is; 'He is my God,' according to that, My Lord, and my God.

GLOSS. He is also Eleazar, i.e. 'God is my helper,' as in the seventeenth Psalm, My God, my helper. He is also Mathan, that is, 'giving,' or, 'given,' for, He gave gifts for men; and, God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son.

REMIG. He is also Jacob, 'that supplants,' for not only has He supplanted the evil, but has given His power to His faithful people; as, Behold I have given you power to tread upon serpents. He is also Joseph , that is, 'adding,' according to that, I came that they might have life, and that they might have it abundantly.

RABAN. But let us see what moral signification these names contain. After Jeconias, which means 'the preparation of the Lord,' follows Salathiel, i.e. 'God is my petition for he who is rightly prepared, prays not but of God. Again he becomes Zorobabel, 'the master of Babylon,' that is, the men of time earth, whom He makes to know concerning God, that He is their Father, which is signified in Abiud. Then that people rise again from their vices, whence follow Eliacim, 'the resurrection;' and thence rise to good work which is Azor, and becomes Sadoch, i.e. 'righteous;' and then they are taught the love of their neighbor. He is my brother, which is signified in Achim; and through love to God he says of Him, 'My God,' which Eliud signifies. Then follows Eleazar, i.e. 'God is my helper;' he recognizes God his helper. But whereto he tends is shown in Matthan, which is interpreted 'gift,' or 'giving;' for he looks to God as his benefactor; and as he wrestled with and overcame his vice in the beginning, so he does in the end of life, which belongs to Jacob, and thus he reaches Joseph, that is,' The increase of virtues.

16. And Jacob begat Joseph the husband of Mary, of whom was born Jesus, who is called Christ.

GLOSS. In the last place, after all the patriarchs, he sets down Joseph the husband of Mary, for whose sake all time rest are introduced, saying, But Jacob begot Joseph.

JEROME. This passage is objected to us by the Emperor Julian in his Discrepancy of the Evangelists. Matthew calls Joseph the son of Jacob, Luke makes him the son of Heli. He did not know the Scripture manner, one was his father by nature, the other by law; For we know that God commanded by Moses, that if a brother or near kinsman died without children, another should take his wife, to raise up seed to his brother or kinsman. But of this matter Africanus the chronologist, and Eusebius of Caesarea, have disputed more fully.

EUSEB. For Matthan and Melchi at different periods had each a son by one and the same wife Jesca. Matthan, who traced through Solomon, first had her, and died leaving one son, Jacob by name. As the Law forbade not a widow, either dismissed from her husband, or after the death of her husband, to be married to another, so Melchi, who traced through Matthan, being of the same tribe but of another race, took this widow to his wife, and begat Heli his son. Thus shall we find Jacob and Heli, though of a different race, yet by the same mother, to have been brethren. One of whom, namely Jacob, after Heli his brother was deceased without issue, married his wife, and begat on her the third, Joseph, by nature indeed and reason his own son, where also it is written, And Jacob begat Joseph. But by the Law, he was the son of Heli; for Jacob, being his brother, raised up seed to him. Thus the genealogy, both as recited by Matthew, and by Luke, stands right and true; Matthew saying, And Jacob begot Joseph; Luke saying, Which was the son, as it was supposed, (for he adds this withal,) of Joseph, which was the son of Heli, which was the son of Melchi. Nor could he have more significantly or properly expressed that Way of generation according to the Law, which was made by a certain adoption that had respect to the dead, carefully leaving out the word begetting throughout even to the end.

AUG. He is more properly called his son, by whom he was adopted, than had he been said to have been begotten or him of whose flesh he was not born. Wherefore Matthew, in saying Abraham begot Isaac, and continuing the same phrase throughout down to Jacob begot Joseph, sufficiently declared that he gives the father according to the order of nature, so as that we must hold Joseph to have been begotten, not adopted, by Jacob. Though even if Luke had used the word begotten, we need not have thought it any serious objection; for it is not absurd to say of an adopted son that he is begotten, not after the flesh, but by affection.

EUSEB. Neither does this lack good authority; nor has it been suddenly devised by us for this purpose. For the kinsmen of our Savior according to the flesh, , either out of desire to show forth this their so great nobility of stock, or simply for the truth's sake, have delivered it to us.

AUG. And suitably does Luke, who relates Christ's ancestry not in the opening of his Gospel, but at his baptism, follow the line of adoption, as thins more dearly pointing Him out as the Priest that should make atonement for sin. For by adoption we are made the sons of God, by believing in the Son of God. But by the descent according to the flesh which Matthew follows, we rather see that the Son of God was for us made man. Luke sufficiently shows that be called Joseph the son of Heli, because he was adopted by Heli, by his calling Adam the son of God, which he was by grace, as he was set in Paradise, though he lost it afterwards by sinning.

CHRYSOST. Having gone through all the ancestry, and ended in Joseph, he adds, The husband of Mary, thereby declaring that it was for her sake that he was included in the genealogy.

JEROME; When you hear this word husband, do not straight think of wedlock, but remember the Scripture manner, which calls persons only betrothed husband and wife.

GENNADIUS; The Son of God was born of human flesh, that is of Mary, and not by man after the way of nature, as Ebion says; and accordingly it is significantly added, Of her Jesus was born.

AUG. This is said against Valentinus, who taught that Christ took nothing of the Virgin Mary, but passed through her as through a channel or pipe.

ID. Wherefore it pleased Him to take flesh of the womb of a woman, is known in His own secret counsels; so that He might confer honor on both sexes alike, by taking the form of a man, and being born of a woman, or from some other reason which I would not hastily pronounce on;

HILARY; What God conveyed by the anointing of oil on those who were anointed to be kings, thus the Holy Spirit conveyed upon the man Christ, adding thereto the expiation; wherefore when born He was called Christ; and thus it proceeds, who is called Christ.

AUG. It was not lawful that he should think to separate himself from Mary for this, that she brought forth Christ as yet a Virgin. And here the faithful may gather, that if they be married, and preserve strict continence on both sides, yet may their wedlock hold with union of love only, without carnal; for here they see that it is possible that a son be born without carnal embrace.

AUG. In Christ's parents was accomplished every good benefit of marriage, fidelity, progeny, and a sacrament. The progeny we see in the Lord Himself; fidelity, for there was no adultery; sacrament, for there was no divorce.

JEROME; The attentive reader may ask, Seeing Joseph was not the father of the Lord and Savior, how does his genealogy traced down to him in order pertain to the Lord? We will answer, first, that it is not the practice of Scripture to follow the female line in its genealogies; secondly, that Joseph and Mary were of the same tribe, and that he was thence compelled to take her to wife as, a kinsman, and they were enrolled together at Bethlehem, as being come of one stock.

AUG. Also, the line of descent ought to be brought down to Joseph, that in wedlock no wrong might be done to the male sex, as the more worthy, provided only nothing was taken away from the truth; because Mary was of the seed of David.

ID. Hence we believe that Mary was in the line of David; namely, because we believe the Scripture which affirms two things, both that Christ was of the seed of David according to the flesh, and that He should be conceived of Mary not by knowledge of man, but as yet a virgin.

THE COUNCIL OF EPHESUS. Herein we must beware of the error of Nestorius, who thus speaks; "When Divine Scripture is to speak either of the birth of Christ which is of the Virgin Mary, or His death it is never seen to put God, but either, Christ, or Son, or Lord; since these three are significative of the two natures, sometimes of this, sometimes of that, and sometimes of both this and that together. And here is a testimony to this, Jacob begot Joseph the husband of Mary, of whom was born Jesus, who is called Christ. For God the Word needed not a second birth of a woman."

PSEUDO-AUG. But not one was the Son of God, and another the son of a man; but the same Christ was the Son of both God and man. And as in one man, the soul is one and the body is another, so in the mediator between God and man the Son of God was one, and the son of man another; yet of both together was one Christ the Lord. Two in distinction of substance, one in unity of Person. but the heretic objects; " how can you teach Him to have been born in time whom you say was before coeternal with His Father? For birth is as it were a motion of a thing not in being, before it be born bringing about this, that by benefit of birth it come into being. Whence it is concluded, that He who was in being cannot be born; if He could be born He was not in being." (To this it is replied by Augustine;) Let us imagine, as many will have it, that the universe has a general soul, which by some unspeakable motion gives life to all seeds, so as that it itself is not mixed up with the things it produces. When this then passes forth into the womb to form passible matter to its own uses, it makes one with itself the person of that thing which it is clear has not the same substance. And thus, the soul being active and the matter passive, of two substances is made one man, the soul and the flesh being distinct; thus it is that our confession is, that that soul is born of the womb which in coming to the womb we say conferred life on the thing conceived. He, I say, is said to be born of His mother, who shaped to Himself a body out of her in which He might be born; not as though before He was born, His mother might, as far as pertained to Him, not have been in being, in like manner, in a manner more incomprehensible and sublime, the Son of God was born, by taking on Him perfect manhood of His Mother. He who by his singular almighty power is the cause of their being born to all things that are born.

17. So all the generations from Abraham to David are fourteen generations; and from David until the carrying away into Babylon are fourteen generations; and from the carrying away into Babylon to Christ are fourteen generations.

PSEUDO-CHRYS. Having enumerated the generations from Abraham to Christ, He divides them into three divisions of fourteen generations, because three times at the end of fourteen generations the state of the people of the Jews was changed. From Abraham to David they were under Judges; from David to the carrying away into Babylon under Kings; from the carrying away to Christ under the High Priests. What he would show then is this; like as ever at the end of fourteen generations the state of men has changed, so there being fourteen generations completed from the carrying away to Christ, it must needs be that the state of men be changed by Christ. And so since Christ all the Gentiles have been made under one Christ Judge, King, and Priest. And for that Judges, Kings, and Priests prefigured Christ's dignity, their beginnings were always in a type of Christ; the first of the Judges was Joshua the son of Nave; the first of the Kings, David; the first of the Priests, Jesus son of Josedech. That this was typical of Christ none doubts.

CHRYS. Or he divided the whole genealogy into three parts, to show that not even by the change of their government were they made better, but under Judges, AMBROSE; Let us not think this is to be overlooked, that though there were seventeen Kings of Judaea between David and Jeconiah, Matthew only recounts fourteen. We must observe that there might be many more successions to the throne than generations of men; for some may live longer and beget children later; or might be altogether without seed; thence the number of Kings and of generations would not coincide.

GLOSS. Or we may say, that there are three Kings overlooked, as was said above.

AMBROSE; Again, from Jeconiah to Joseph are computed twelve generations; yet he afterwards calls these also fourteen. But if you hook attentively, you will be able to discover the method by which fourteen are reckoned here. Twelve are reckoned including Joseph, and Christ is the thirteenth; and history declares that there were two Joakims, that is two Jeconiahs, father and son. The Evangelist has not passed over either of these, but has named them both. Thus, adding the younger Jeconiah, fourteen generations are computed.

PSEUDO-CHRYS. Or, the same Jeconiah is counted twice in the Gospel, once before time carrying away, and again after the carrying away. For this Jeconiah being one person, had two different conditions; before the carrying away he was King, as being made King by the people of God, but he became a private man at the carrying away; hence he is reckoned once among the Kings before the carrying away; and after the carrying away once among private men.

AUG. Or, one of Christ's forefathers is counted twice, because in him, Jeconiah to wit, there was made a passing off to nations since he was carried to Babylon. Wherever a series turns out of the right line to go in any other direction there is an angle made, and that part that is in the angle is reckoned twice. Here is a figure of Christ, who passes from the circumcision to the uncircumicision, and is made a cornerstone.

REMIG. He made fourteen generations, because the ten denotes the decalogue, and the four, the four books of the Gospel; whence this shows the agreement of the Law and the Gospel. And He put the fourteen three times over, that he might show that the perfection of Law, prophecy, and grace, consists in the faith of the Holy Trinity.

GLOSS. Or in this number is signified the sevenfold grace of the Holy Spirit. The number is made up of seven, doubled, to show that the grace of the Holy Spirit is needed both for soul and body to salvation. Also the genealogy is divided into three portions of fourteen thus. The first from Abraham to David, so as that David is included in it; the second from David to the carrying away, in which David is not included, but the carrying away is included; the third is from the carrying away to Christ, in which if we say that Jeconiah is included, then the carrying away is included. In the first are denoted the men before the Law, in which you will find some of the men of the Law of nature, such as Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, all as far as Solomon. In the second are denoted the men under the Law; for all who are included in it were under the Law. In the third are found the men of grace; for it is finished in Christ, who was the giver of grace; and because in it was the deliverance from Babylon, signifying the deliverance from captivity that was made by Christ.

AUG. After having divided the whole into three periods of fourteen generations, he does not sum them all up and say, The sum of the whole is forty and two; because one of those fathers, that is Jeconiah, is reckoned twice; so that they do not amount to forty-two, as three times fourteen does, but because one is reckoned twice over, there are only forty-one generations. Matthew therefore, whose purpose was to draw out Christ's kingly character, counts forty successions in the genealogy exclusive of Christ. This number denotes the time for which we must be governed by Christ in this world, according to that painful discipline which is signified by the iron rod of which it is written in the Psalms, you shalt rule them with a rod of iron. That this number should denote this our temporal life, a reason offers at hand, in this, that the seaisons of the year are four, and that the world itself is bounded by four sides, the east, and west, the north, and the south. But forty contains ten four times. Moreover, ten itself is made up by a number proceeding from one to four.

GLOSS. Or, the ten refers to the decalogue, the four to this life present, which passes through four seasons; or by the ten is meant the Old Testament, by the four the New.

REMIG. But if any, maintaining that it is not the same Jeconiah, but two different persons, make the number forty and two, we then shall say that the Holy Church is signified; for this number is the product of seven, and six; (for six times seven make forty-two;) the six denotes labor, and the seven rest.

Kings, High Priests, and Priests, held the same evil course. For which cause also he mentions the captivity in Babylon, showing that neither by this were they corrected. But the going down into Egypt is not mentioned, because they were not still in terror of the Egyptians as they were of the Assyrians or Parthians; and because that was a remote, but this a recent event; and because they had not been carried thither for sin as they had to Babylon.

AMBROSE; Let us not think this is to be overlooked, that though there were seventeen Kings of Judaea between David and Jeconiah, Matthew only recounts fourteen. We must observe that there might be many more successions to the throne than generations of men; for some may live longer and beget children later; or might be altogether without seed; thence the number of Kings and of generations would not coincide.

GLOSS. Or we may say, that there are three Kings overlooked, as was said above.

AMBROSE; Again, from Jeconiah to Joseph are computed twelve generations; yet he afterwards calls these also fourteen. But if you hook attentively, you will be able to discover the method by which fourteen are reckoned here. Twelve are reckoned including Joseph, and Christ is the thirteenth; and history declares that there were two Joakims, that is two Jeconiahs, father and son. The Evangelist has not passed over either of these, but has named them both. Thus, adding the younger Jeconiah, fourteen generations are computed.

PSEUDO-CHRYS. Or, the same Jeconiah is counted twice in the Gospel, once before time carrying away, and again after the carrying away. For this Jeconiah being one person, had two different conditions; before the carrying away he was King, as being made King by the people of God, but he became a private man at the carrying away; hence he is reckoned once among the Kings before the carrying away; and after the carrying away once among private men.

AUG. Or, one of Christ's forefathers is counted twice, because in him, Jeconiah to wit, there was made a passing off to nations since he was carried to Babylon. Wherever a series turns out of the right line to go in any other direction there is an angle made, and that part that is in the angle is reckoned twice. Here is a figure of Christ, who passes from the circumcision to the uncircumicision, and is made a cornerstone.

REMIG. He made fourteen generations, because the ten denotes the decalogue, and the four, the four books of the Gospel; whence this shows the agreement of the Law and the Gospel. And He put the fourteen three times over, that he might show that the perfection of Law, prophecy, and grace, consists in the faith of the Holy Trinity.

GLOSS. Or in this number is signified the sevenfold grace of the Holy Spirit. The number is made up of seven, doubled, to show that the grace of the Holy Spirit is needed both for soul and body to salvation. Also the genealogy is divided into three portions of fourteen thus. The first from Abraham to David, so as that David is included in it; the second from David to the carrying away, in which David is not included, but the carrying away is included; the third is from the carrying away to Christ, in which if we say that Jeconiah is included, then the carrying away is included. In the first are denoted the men before the Law, in which you will find some of the men of the Law of nature, such as Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, all as far as Solomon. In the second are denoted the men under the Law; for all who are included in it were under the Law. In the third are found the men of grace; for it is finished in Christ, who was the giver of grace; and because in it was the deliverance from Babylon, signifying the deliverance from captivity that was made by Christ.

AUG. After having divided the whole into three periods of fourteen generations, he does not sum them all up and say, The sum of the whole is forty and two; because one of those fathers, that is Jeconiah, is reckoned twice; so that they do not amount to forty-two, as three times fourteen does, but because one is reckoned twice over, there are only forty-one generations. Matthew therefore, whose purpose was to draw out Christ's kingly character, counts forty successions in the genealogy exclusive of Christ. This number denotes the time for which we must be governed by Christ in this world, according to that painful discipline which is signified by the iron rod of which it is written in the Psalms, you shalt rule them with a rod of iron. That this number should denote this our temporal life, a reason offers at hand, in this, that the seaisons of the year are four, and that the world itself is bounded by four sides, the east, and west, the north, and the south. But forty contains ten four times. Moreover, ten itself is made up by a number proceeding from one to four.

GLOSS. Or, the ten refers to the decalogue, the four to this life present, which passes through four seasons; or by the ten is meant the Old Testament, by the four the New.

REMIG. But if any, maintaining that it is not the same Jeconiah, but two different persons, make the number forty and two, we then shall say that the Holy Church is signified; for this number is the product of seven, and six; (for six times seven make forty-two;) the six denotes labor, and the seven rest.

18. Now the birth of Jesus Christ was on this wise: When as His mother Mary was espoused to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Ghost.

PSEUDO-CHRYS. Having said above, And Jacob begat Joseph, to whom Mary being espoused bore Jesus; that none who heard should suppose that His birth was as that of any of the forementioned fathers, he cuts off the thread of his narrative, saying, But Christ's generation was thus. As though He were to say, The generation of all these fathers was as I have related it; but Christ's was not so, but as follows, His mother Mary being espoused.

CHRYS. He announces that He is to relate the manner of the generation, showing therein that he is about to speak some new thing; that you may not suppose when you hear mention of Mary's husband, that Christ was born by the law of nature.

REMIG. Yet it might be referred to time foregoing in this way, The generation of Christ was, as I have related, thus, Abraham begat Isaac.

JEROME; But why is He conceived not of a Virgin merely, but of a Virgin espoused? First, that by the descent of Joseph, Mary's family might be made known; secondly, that she might not be stoned by the Jews as an adulteress; thirdly, that in her flight into Egypt she might have the comfort of a husband. The Martyr Ignatius adds yet a fourth reason, namely, that his birth might be hid from the Devil, looking for Him to be born of a wife and not of a virgin.

PSEUDO-CHRYS. Therefore both espoused and yet remaining at home; for as in her who should conceive in the house of her husband, is understood natural conception; so in her who conceives before she be taken to her husband, there is suspicion of infidelity.

JEROME; It is to be known, that Helvidius, a certain turbulent man, having got matter of disputation, takes in hand to blaspheme against the Mother of God. His first proposition was, Matthew begins this, When she was espoused. Behold, he says, you have her espoused, but, as you say, not yet committed but surely not espoused for any other reason except to be married.

ORIGEN; She was indeed espoused to Joseph, but not united in wedlock; that is to say, His mother immaculate, His mother incorrupt, His mother pure. His mother! Whose mother? The mother of God, of the Only-begotten, of the Lord, of the King, of the Maker of all things, and the Redeemer of all.

CYRIL; What will any One see in the Blessed Virgin more than in other mothers, if she be not the mother of God but of Christ, or the Lord, as Nestorius says? For it would not be absurd should anyone please to name mother of any anointed son, the Mother of Christ. Yet she is alone and is called the Holy Virgin, and the mother of Christ. For she bore not a simple man as you say, but rather the Word incarnate, and made man of God the Father. But perhaps you say, Tell me, do you think the Virgin was made the mother of His divinity? To this also we say, that the Word was born of the very substance of God Himself; and without beginning of time always coexisted with the Father. But in these last times when He was made flesh, that is united to flesh, having a rational soul, He is said to be born of a woman after the flesh. Yet is this sacrament in a manner brought out like birth among us; for the mothers of earthly children impart to their nature that flesh that is to be perfected by degrees in the human form; but God sends the life into the animal. But though these are mothers only of the earthly bodies, yet when they bear children, they are said to bear the whole animal, and not a part of it only. Such do we see to have been done in the birth of Emmanuel; the Word of God was born of the substance of His Father; but because He took on Him flesh, making it His own, it is necessary to confess that He was born of a woman according to the flesh. Where seeing He is truly God, how shall any one doubt to call the Holy Virgin the Mother of God?

CHRYSOLOGUS; If you are not confounded when you hear of the birth of God, let not His conception disturb you, seeing the pure virginity of the mother removes all that might shock human reverence. And what offense against our awe and reverence is there, when the Deity entered into union with purity that was always dear to Him, where an Angel is mediator, faith is bridemaid, where chastity is the giving away, virtue the gift, conscience the judge, God the cause; where the conception is inviolateness, the birth virginity, and the mother a virgin.

CYRIL; But if we were to say that the Holy Body of Christ came down from heaven, and was not made of His mother, as Valentinius does in what sense could Mary be the Mother of God?

GLOSS. The name of His Mother is added, Mary.

BEDE Mary is interpreted, 'Star of the Sea,' after the Hebrew; 'Mistress,' after the Syriac; as she bore into the world the Light of Salvation, and the Lord .

GLOSS. And to whom she was a betrothed is shown, Joseph.

PSEUDO-CHRYS. Mary was therefore betrothed to a carpenter, because Christ the Spouse of the Church was to work the Salvation of all men through the wood of the Cross.

CHRYS. What follows, Before they came together, does not mean before she was brought to the bridegroom's house, for she was already within. For it was a frequent custom among the ancients to have their betrothed wives home to their house before marriage; as we see done now also, and as the sons-in-law of Lot were with him in the house.

GLOSS. But the words denote carnal knowledge.

PSEUDO-CHRYS. That He should not be born of passion, of flesh and blood, who was therefore born that He might take away all passion of flesh and blood.

AUG. There was no carnal knowledge in this wedlock, because in sinful flesh this could not be without carnal desire which came of sin and which He would be without, who was to be without sin; and that hence He might teach us that all flesh which is born of sexual union is sinful flesh, seeing that Flesh alone was without sin, which was not so born.

PSEUDO-AUG. Christ was also born of a pure virgin, because it was not holy that virtue should be born of pleasure, chastity of self-indulgence, incorruption of corruption. Nor could He come from heaven but after some new manner, who came to destroy the ancient empire of death. Therefore she received the crown of virginity who bore the King of chastity. Farther, our Lord sought out for Himself a virgin abode, wherein to be received, that He might show that God ought to be borne in a chaste body. Therefore He that wrote on tables of stone without an iron pen, the same wrought in Mary by the Holy Spirit; She was found with child of the Holy Ghost.

JEROME; And found by none other than by Joseph who knew all as being her espoused husband.

PSEUDO-CHRYS. For, as a not incredible account relates, Joseph was absent when the things were done which Luke writes. For it is not easy to suppose; that the Angel came to Mary and said those words, and Mary wade her answer when Joseph was present. And even if we suppose thus much to have been possible, yet it could not be that she should have gone into the hill country, and abode there three months when Joseph was present, because he must needs have inquired the causes of her departure and long stay. And so when after so many months she returned from abroad, he found her manifestly with child.

CHRYSOST. He says exactly was found, for so we use to say of things not thought of. And that you should not molest the Evangelist by asking in what way was this birth of a virgin, he clears himself shortly, saying, Of the Holy Ghost. As much as to say, it was the Holy Ghost that wrought this miracle. For neither Gabriel nor Matthew could say any further.

GLOSS. Therefore the words, Is of the Holy Ghost, were set down by the Evangelist, to the end, that when it was said that she was with child, all wrong suspicion should be removed from the minds of the hearers.

PSEUDO-AUG. But not, as some impiously think, are we to suppose, that the Holy Spirit was as seed, but we say that He wrought with the power and might of a Creator.

AMBROSE; That which is of any thing is either of the substance or the power of that thing; of the substance, as the Son who is of the Father; of the power; as all things are of God, even as Mary was with child of the Holy Spirit.

AUG. Furthermore, this manner in which Christ was born of the Holy Spirit suggests to us the grace of God, by which man without any previous merits, in the very beginning of his nature, was united with the Word of God into so great unity of person, that he was also made son of God. But inasmuch as the whole Trinity wrought to make this creature which was conceived of the Virgin; though pertaining only to the person of the Son, (for the works of the Trinity are indivisible,) why is the Holy Spirit only named in this work? Must we always when One of the Three is named in any work, understand that the whole Trinity worked in that?

JEROME; But says Helvidius; Neither would the Evangelist have said Before they came together, if they were not to come together afterward as none would say, Before dinner, where there was to be dinner. As if One should say, Before I dined in harbor, I sail for Africa, would this have no meaning in it, unless were at some time or other to dine in the harbor? Surely we must either understand it thus, that at before, though it implies something to follow, yet often is said of things that follow only in thought; and it is not necessary that the things so thought of should take place, for that something else has happened to prevent them from taking place.

JEROME; Therefore it by no means follows that they did come together afterwards; Scripture however shows not what did happen.

REMIG. Or the word come together may not mean carnal knowledge, but may refer to the time of the nuptials, when she who was betrothed begins to be wife. Thus, before they came together, may mean before they solemnly celebrated, the nuptial rites.

AUG. How this was done Matthew omits to write, but Luke relates after the conception, In the sixth month the Angel was sent; and again, The Holy Ghost shall come upon you. This is what Matthew relates in these words, She was found with child of the Holy Ghost. And it is no contradiction that Luke has described what Matthew omits; Or again that Matthew relates what he has omitted; that namely which follows, from Now Joseph her husband being a just man, to that place where it is said of the Magi, that They returned into their own country another way. If one desired to digest into One narrative the two accounts of Christ's birth, he would arrange thus; beginning with Matthew's words, Now the birth of Christ was on this wise; then taking up with Luke, from There was in the days of Herod, to, Mary abode with her three months, and returned to her house; then taking up again Matthew, add, She was found with child of the Holy Ghost.

19. Then Joseph her husband, being a just man, and not willing to make her a public example, was minded to put her away privately.

CHRYSOST. The Evangelist having said that she was found with child of the Holy Ghost, and without knowledge of man, that you should not herein suspect Christ's disciple of inventing wonders in honor of his Master, brings forward Joseph confirming the history by his own share in it; Now Joseph her husband, being a just man.

PSEUDO-AUG. Joseph, understanding that Mary was with child, is perplexed that it should be thus with her whom he had received from the temple of the Lord, and had not yet known, and resolved within Himself saying, What shall I do? Shall I proclaim it, or shall I overlook it? If I proclaim it, I am indeed not consenting to the adultery; but I am sinning into the guilt of cruelty, for by Moses' law she must be stoned. If I overlook it, I am consenting to the crime, and take my portion with the adulterers. Since then it is an evil to overlook the thing, and worse to proclaim the adultery, I will put her away from being my wife.

AMBROSE; St. Matthew has beautifully taught how a righteous man ought to act, who has detected his wife's disgrace; so as at once to keep himself guiltless of her blood, and yet pure from her defilements; therefore it is he says, Being a just man. Thus is preserved throughout in Joseph the gracious character of a righteous man, that his testimony may be the more approved; for, the tongue of the just speaks the judgment of truth.

JEROME; But how is Joseph thus called just, when he is ready to hide his wife's sin? For the law enacts, that not only the doers of evil, but they whom privy to any evil done, shall be held to be guilty.

CHRYSOST. But it should be known, that just here is used to denote one who is in all things virtuous. For there is a particular justice, namely, the being free from covetousness; and universal virtue, in which sense Scripture generally uses the word justice. Therefore being just, that is, merciful, he was minded to put away privately; her who according to the Law was liable not only to dismissal. For as the sun lightens up the world, before he shows his rays, so Christ before He was born caused many wonders to be seen.

AUG. Otherwise; if you alone have knowledge of a sin that any has committed against you, and desire to accuse him thereof before men, you do not herein correct, but rather betray him. But Joseph, being a just man, with great mercy spared his wife, in this great crime of which he suspected her. The seeming certainty of her unchastity tormented him, and yet because he alone knew of it, he was willing not to publish it, but to send her away privily; seeking rather the benefit than the punishment of the sinner.

JEROME; Or this may be considered a testimony to Mary, that Joseph, confident in her purity, and wondering at what had happened, covered in silence that mystery which he could not explain.

RABANUS; He beheld her to be with child, whom he knew to be chaste; and because he had read, There shall come a Rod out of the stem of Jesse, of which he knew that Mary was come; and had also read, Behold, a virgin shall conceive, he did not doubt that this prophecy should he fulfilled in her.

ORIGEN; But if he had no suspicion of her, how could he be a just man and yet seek to put her away, being immaculate? He sought to put her away, because he saw in her a great sacrament, to approach which he thought himself unworthy.

GLOSS. Or, in seeking to put her away, he was just; in that he sought it privily, is shown his mercy, defending her from disgrace; Being a just man, he was minded to put her away; and being unwilling to expose her in public, and so to disgrace her, he sought to do it privily.

AMBROSE; But as no one puts away what he has not received; in that he was minded to put her away, he admits to have received her.

GLOSS. Or, being unwilling to bring her home to his house to live with him forever, he was minded to put her away privately; that is, to change the time of their marriage. For that is true virtue, when neither mercy is observed without justice, nor justice without mercy; both which vanish when severed one from the other. Or he was just because of his faith, in that he believed that Christ should be born of a virgin; wherefore he wished to humble himself before so great a favor.

20. But while he thought on these things, behold, the angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, Joseph, you son of David, fear not to take to you Mary your wife: for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost.

REMIG. Because Joseph was minded, as has been said, to put Mary away privily, which if he had done, there would have been few who would not rather have thought her a harlot than a virgin, therefore this purpose of Joseph was changed by Divine revelation, whence it is said, While he thought on these things.

GLOSS. In this is to be noted the wise soul that desires to undertake nothing rashly.

CHRYS. Also observe the mercifulness of Joseph, that he imparted his suspicions to none, not even to her whom he suspected, but kept them within himself.

PSEUDO-AUG. Yet though Joseph think on these things, let not Mary the daughter of David be troubled; as the word of the Prophet brought pardon to David, so the Angel of the Savior delivers Mary. Behold, again appears Gabriel the bridesman of this Virgin; as it follows, Behold the Angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph.

AMBROSE; in this word appeared is conveyed the power of Him that did appear, allowing Himself to be seen where and how He pleases.

RABAN. How the Angel appeared to Joseph is declared in the words, In his sleep; that is, Jacob saw the ladder offered by a kind of imagining to the eyes of his heart.

CHRYS. He did not appear so openly to Joseph as to the Shepherds, because he was faithful; the Stepherds needed it, because they were ignorant. The Virgin also needed it, as she had first to be instructed in these mighty wonders. In like manner Zacharias needed the wonderful vision before the conception of his son.

GLOSS. (The Angel appearing calls him by name, and adds his descent, in order to banish fear, Joseph, son of David; Joseph, as though he were known to him by name and his familiar friend.

PSEUDO-CHRYS. By addressing him as son of David, he sought to recall to his memory the promise of God to David, that of his seed should Christ be born.

CHRYS. But by saying, Be not afraid, he shows him to be in fear that he had offended God, by having an adulteress; for only as such would he have ever thought of putting her away.

CHRYSOLOG. As her betrothed husband also he is admonished not to be afraid; for the mind that compassionates has most fear; as you he were to say, Here is no cause of death, but of life; she that brings forth life, does not deserve death.

PSEUDO-CHRYS. Also by the words, Fear not, he desired to show that he knew the heart; that by this he might have the more faith in those good things to come, which he was about to speak concerning Christ.

AMBROSE; Be not troubled that he calls her his wife; for she is not herein robbed of her virginity, but her wedlock is witnessed to, and the celebration of her marriage is declared.

JEROME; But we are not to think that she ceased to be betrothed, because she is here called wife, since we know that this is the Scripture manner to call the man and woman, when espoused, husband and wife; and this is confirmed by that text in Deuteronomy, If one find a virgin that is betrothed to a man in the field, and offer violence to her, and lie with her, he shall die, because he has humbled his neighbor's wife.

CHRYS. He says, Fear not to take to you; that is, to keep at home; for in thought she was already dismissed.

RABAN. Or, to take her, that is, in marriage union and continual converse.

PSEUDO-CHRYS. There were three reasons why the Angel appeared to Joseph with this message. First, that a just man might not be led into an unjust action, with just intentions. Secondly, for the honor of the mother herself; for had she been put away, she could not have been free from evil suspicion among the unbelievers. Thirdly, that Joseph, understanding the holy conception, might keep himself from her with more care than before. He did not appear to Joseph before the conception, that he should not think those things that Zacharias thought, nor suffer what he suffered in falling into the sin of unbelief concerning the conception of his wife in her old age. For it was yet more incredible that a virgin should conceive, than that a woman past the age should conceive.

CHRYS. Or, The Angel appeared to Joseph when he was in this perplexity, that his wisdom might be apparent to Joseph, and that this might be a proof to him of those things that he spoke. For when he heard out of the mouth of the Angel those very things that he thought within himself, this was an undoubted proof, that he was a messenger from God, who alone knows the secrets of the heart. Also the account of the Evangelist is beyond suspicion, as he describes Joseph feeling all that a husband was likely to feel. The Virgin also by this was more removed from suspicion, in that her husband had felt jealousy, yet took her home, and kept her with him after her conception. She had not told Joseph the things that the Angel had said to her, because she did not suppose that she should be believed by her husband, especially as he had begun to have suspicions concerning her. But to the Virgin the Angel announced her conception before it took place, lest if he should defer it till afterwards she should be in straits. And it behoved that Mother who was to receive the Maker of all things to be kept free from all trouble. Not only does the Angel vindicate the Virgin from all impurity, but shows that the conception was supernatural, not removing his fears only, but adding matter of joy, saying, That which is born in her is of the Holy Spirit.

GLOSS. To be born in her, and born of her, are two different things; to be born of her is to come into the world; to be born in her, is the same as to be conceived. Or the word born is used according to the foreknowledge of the Angel which he has of God, to whom the future is as the past.

PSEUDO-AUG. But if Christ was born by the agency of the Holy Ghost, how is that said, Wisdom has built herself a house? That house may be taken in two meanings. First, the house of Christ is the Church, which He built with His own blood; and secondly, His body may be called His house, as it is called His temple. But the work of the Holy Spirit, is also the work of the Son of God, because of the unity of their nature and their will; for whether it be the Father, or the Son, or the Holy Spirit, that does it, it is the Trinity that works, and what the Three do, is of One God.

AUG. But shall we therefore say that the Holy Spirit is the Father of the man Christ, that as God the Father begot the Word, so the Holy Spirit begot the man? This is such an absurdity, that the ears of the faithful cannot bear it. How then do we say that Christ was born by the Holy Spirit, if the Holy Spirit did not beget Him? Did He create Him? For so far as He is man He was created, as the Apostle speaks; He was made of the seed of David according to the flesh. For though God made the world, yet is it not right to say that it is the Son of God, or born by Him, but that it was made, or created, or formed by Him. But seeing that we confess Christ to have been born by the Holy Spirit and of the Virgin Mary, how is He not the Son of the Holy Spirit, and is the Son of the Virgin? It does not follow that whatever is born by anything is therefore to be called the son of that thing; for, not to say that of man is born in one sense a son, in another a hair, or vermin, or a worm, none of which are his son, certainly those that are born of water and the Spirit none would call sons of water, but sons of God their Father, and their Mother the Church. Thus Christ was born of the Holy Spirit, and yet is the Son of God the Father, not of the Holy Spirit.

21. And she shall bring forth a Son, and you shall call His name Jesus: for He shall save His people from their sins.

CHRYSOST. What the Angel thus told Joseph, was beyond human thought, and the law of nature; therefore he confirms his speech not only by revealing to him what was past, but also what was to come: She shall bring forth a Son.

GLOSS. That Joseph should not suppose that he was no longer needed in this wedlock, seeing the conception had taken place without his intervention, the Angel declares to him, that though there had been no need of him in the conception, yet there was need of his guardianship; for the Virgin should bear a Son, and then he would be necessary both to the Mother and her Son: to the Mother to screen her from disgrace, to the Son to bring Him up and to circumcise Him. The circumcision is meant when he says, And you shall call His name Jesus; for it was usual to give the name in circumcision.

PSEUDO-CHRYS. He said not, Shall bear thee a Son, as to Zachiarias, Behold, Elisabeth your wife shall bear you a son. For the woman who conceives of her husband bears the son to her husband, because he is more of him than of herself; but she who had not conceived of man, did not bear the Son to her husband, but to herself.

CHRYSOST. Or, he left it unappropriated, to show that she bore Him to the whole world.

RABAN. You shall call His name, he says, and not, "shall give Him a name," for His name had been given from all eternity.

CHRYSOST. This further shows that this birth should be wonderful, because it is God that sends down His name from above by His Angel; and that not any name, but one which is a treasure of infinite good. Therefore also the Angel interprets it, suggesting good hope, and by this induces him to believe what was spoken. For we lean more easily to prosperous things, and yield our belief more readily to good fortune.

JEROME; Jesus is a Hebrew word, meaning Savior. He points to the etymology of the name, saying, For He shall save His people from their sins.

REMIG. He shows the same man to be the Savior of the whole world, and the Author of our salvation. He saves indeed not the unbelieving, but His people; that is, He saves those that believe on Him, not so much from visible as from invisible enemies; that is, from their sins, not by fighting with arms, but by remitting their sins.

CHRYSOLOG. Let them approach to hear this who ask, Who is He that Mary bare? He shall save His people - not any other man's people - from what? from their sins. That it is God that forgives sins, if you do not believe the Christians so affirming, believe the infidels, or the Jews who say, None can forgive sins but God only.

22. Now all this was done, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying,
23. Behold, a Virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a Son, and they shall call His Name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us.

REMIG. It is the custom of the Evangelist to confirm what he says out of the Old Testament, for the sake of those Jews who believed on Christ, that they might recognize as fulfilled in the grace of the Gospel, the things that were foretold in the Old Testament; therefore he adds, Now all this was done. Here we must inquire why he should say all this was done, when above he has only related the conception. It should be known that he says this to show, that in the presence of God all this was done before it was done among men. Or, he says, all this was done, because he is relating past events; for when he wrote, it was all done.

GLOSS. Or, he says, all this was done, meaning, the Virgin was betrothed, she was kept chaste, she was found with child, the revelation was made by the Angel, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken. For that the Virgin should conceive and should bring forth would never have been fulfilled, had she not been espoused that she should not be stoned; and had not her secret been disclosed by the Angel, and so Joseph taken her to him, that she was not dismissed to disgrace and to perish by stoning. So had she perished before the birth, that prophecy would have been made void which says, She shall bring forth a Son.

GLOSS. Or it may be said, that the word that does not here denote the cause; for the prophecy was not fulfilled merely because it was to be fulfilled. But it is put consecutively, as in Genesis, He hung the other on the gallows, that the truth of the interpreter might be proved since by the weighing of one, truth is established. So also in this place we must understand it as if it were, that which was foretold being done, the prophecy was accomplished.

CHRYSOST. Otherwise, the Angel seeing the depths of the Divine mercy, the laws of nature broken through and reconciliation made, He who was above all made lower than all; all these wonders, all this he comprises in that one saying, Now all this has happened; as though he had said, Do not suppose that this is newly devised of God, it was determined of old. And he rightly cites the Prophet not to the Virgin, who as a maiden was untaught in such things, but to Joseph, as to one much versed in the Prophets. And at first he had spoken of Mary as your wife, but now in the words of the Prophet he brings in the word, "Virgin," that he might hear this from the Prophet, as a thing long before determined. Therefore to confirm what he had said, he introduces Isaiah, or rather God; for he does not say, Which was spoken by Isaiah, but, Which was spoken of the Lord by the Prophet.

JEROME. Since it is introduced in the Prophet by the words, The Lord Himself shall give you a sign, it ought to be some thing new and wonderful. But if it be, as the Jews will have it, a young woman, or a girl shall bring forth, and not a virgin, what wonder is this, since these are words signifying age and not purity? Indeed the Hebrew word signifying Virgin (Bethula) is not used in this place, but instead the word 'Halma ,' which except the LXX all render 'girl.' But the word 'Halma' has a twofold meaning; it signifies both 'girl,' and 'hidden'; therefore 'halma' denotes not only 'maiden' or 'virgin,' but 'hidden,' 'secret'; that is, one never exposed to the gaze of men, but kept under close custody by her parents. In the Punic tongue also, which is said to be derived from Hebrew sources, a virgin is properly called 'Halma.'

In our tongue also 'Halma' means holy; and the Hebrews use words of nearly all languages; and as far as my memory will serve me, I do not think I ever met with Halma used of a married woman, but of her that is a virgin, and such that she be not merely a virgin, but in the age of youth; for it is possible for an old woman to be a maid. But this was a virgin in years of youth, or at least a virgin, and not a child too young for marriage.

ID. For that which Matthew the Evangelist says, Shall have in her womb, the Prophet who is foretelling something future, writes, shall receive. The Evangelist, not foretelling the future but describing the past, changes shall receive into shall have; but he who has, cannot after receive that he has. He says, Lo, a Virgin shall have in her womb, and shall bear a Son.

LEO; Time conception was by the Holy Spirit within the womb of the Virgin; who, as she conceived in perfect chastity, in like manner brought forth her Son.

PSEUDO-AUG. He, who by a touch could heal the severed limbs of others, how much more could He, in His own birth, preserve whole that which He found whole? In this parturition, soundness of the Mother's body was rather strengthened than weakened, and her virginity rather confirmed than lost.

THEODOTUS; Inasmuch as Photinus affirms that He that was now born was mere man, not allowing the divine birth, and maintains that He who now issued from the womb was the man separate from the God, let him show how it was possible that human nature, born of the Virgin's womb, should have preserved the virginity of that womb uncorrupted; for the mother of no man ever yet remained a virgin . But forasmuch as it was God the Word who was now born in the flesh, he showed Himself to be the Word, in that He preserved His mother's virginity. For as our word when it is begot does not destroy the mind, so neither does God the Word in choosing His birth destroy the virginity.

CHRYS. As it is the manner of Scripture to convey a knowledge of events under the form of a name, so here, They shall call His name Emmannel, means nothing else than, They shall see God among men. Whence he says not, 'You shall call,' but, They shall call.

RABAN. First, Angels hymning, secondly, Apostles preaching, then Holy Martyrs, and lastly, all believers.

JEROME; The LXX and three others translate, 'Thou shall call,' instead of which we have here, They shall call, which is not so in the Hebrew; for the word 'Charathi,' which all render you shall call, may mean, 'And she shall call,' that is, The Virgin that shall conceive and shall bear Christ shall call His name Emmannuel, which is interpreted, 'God with us.'

REMIG. It is a question, who interpreted this name? The Prophet, or the Evangelist, or some translator? It should be known then, that the Prophet did not interpret it; and what need had the Holy Evangelist to do so, seeing he wrote in the Hebrew tongue? Perhaps that was a difficult and rare word in Hebrew, and therefore needed interpretation. It is more probable that some translator interpreted it, that the Latins might not be perplexed by an unintelligible word. In this name are conveyed at once the two substances: the Divinity and Humanity in the one Person of the Lord Jesus Christ. He who before all time was begot in an unspeakable manner by God the Father, the same in the end of time was made Emmanuel, that is, God with us, of a Virgin Mother. This God with us may be understood in this way: He was made with us, passable, mortal, and in all things like to us without sin; or because our frail substance which He took on Him, He joined in one Person to His Divine substance.

JEROME; It should be known that the Hebrews believe this prophecy to refer to Ezekias the son of Ahaz, because in his reign Samaria was taken; but this cannot be established. Ahaz son of Jotham reigned over Judea and Jerusalem sixteen years, and was succeeded by his son Ezekias, who was twenty-three years old, and reigned over Judea and Jerusalem twenty-nine years; how then can a prophecy prophesied in the first year of Ahaz refer to the conception and birth of Ezekias, when he was already nine years of age? Unless perhaps the sixth year of the reign of Ezekias, in which Samaria was taken, they think is here called his infancy, that is, the infancy of his reign, not of his age; which even a fool must see to be hard and forced. A certain one of our interpreters contends, that the Prophet Isaiah had two sons, Jashub and Emmanuel; and that Emmanuel was born of his wife the Prophetess as a type of the Lord and Savior. But this is a fabulous tale.

PETRUS ALFONSUS. For we know not that any man of that day was called Emmanuel. But the Hebrew objects, How can it be that this was said on account of Christ and Mary, when any centuries intervened between Ahaz and Mary? But though the Prophet was speaking to Ahaz, the prophecy was yet not spoken to him only or of his time only; for it is introduced, Hear, O house of David; not, 'Hear, O Ahaz.' Again, The Lord Himself shall give you a sign; meaning He, and none other, from which we may understand that the Lord Himself should be the sign. And that He says to you, (plur.) and not 'to you,' (sing.) shows that this was not spoken to Ahaz, or on his account only.

JEROME. What is spoken to Ahaz then is to be understood. This Child, that shall be born of a Virgin of the house of David, shall now be called Emmanuel, that is, God with us, because the events (perhaps delivery from the two hostile kings) will make it appear that you have God present with you. But after He shall be called Jesus, that is Savior, because He shall save the whole human race. Wonder not, therefore, O house of David, at the newness of this thing, that a Virgin should bring forth a God, seeing He has so great might that though yet to be born after a long while, He delivers you now when you call upon Him.

AUG. Who so mad as to say with Manichaeus, that it is a weak faith not to believe in Christ without a witness, whereas the Apostle says, How shall they believe on Him of whom they have not heard? Or how shall they hear without a preacher? That those things which were preached by the Apostles might not be condemned, nor thought to be fables, they are proven to have been foretold by the Prophets. For though attested by miracles, yet there would not have been wanting men to ascribe them all to magical power, had not such suggestions been overcome by the additional testimony of prophecy. For none could suppose that long before He was born, He had raised up by magic prophets to prophesy of Him. For if we say to a Gentile, Believe on Christ that He is God, and he should answer, Whence is it that I should believe on Him? we might allege the authority of the Prophets. Should he refuse assent to this, we establish their credit from their having foretold things to come, and those things having truly come to pass. I suppose He could not but know how great persecutions the Christian religion has formerly suffered from the Kings of this world; let him now behold those very Kings submitting to the kingdom of Christ, and all nations serving the same; all which things the Prophets foretold. He then hearing these things out of the Scriptures of the Prophets, and beholding them accomplished throughout the whole earth, would be moved to faith.

GLOSS. This error then is barred by the Evangelist saying, That it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the Prophet. Now one kind of prophecy is by the pre-ordination of God, and must needs be fulfilled, and that without any free choice on our part. Such is that of which we now speak; wherefore he says, Lo, to show the certainty of prophecy. There is another kind of prophecy which is by the foreknowledge of God, and with this our free will is mixed up - wherein by grace working with us we obtain reward, or if justly deserted by it, torment. Another is not of foreknowledge, but is a kind of threat made after the manner of men; as that, Yet forty days, and Nineveh shall be overthrown: understanding, unless the Ninevites amend themselves.

24. Then Joseph being raised from sleep did as the angel of the Lord had bidden him, and took to him his wife.
25. And knew her not till she had brought forth her first-born Son; and he called his name Jesus.

REMIG. Life returned by the same entrance through which death had entered in. By Adam's disobedience we were ruined, by Joseph's obedience we all begin to be recalled to our former condition; for in these words is commended to us the great virtue of obedience, when it is said, And Joseph rising from sleep, did as the Angel of the Lord had commanded him.

GLOSS. He not only did what the Angel commanded, but as he commanded it. Let each one who is warned of God, in like manner, break off all delays, rise from sleep, and do that which is commanded him.

PSEUDO-CHRYS. Took to him, not took home to him; for he had not sent her away; he had put her away in thought only, and now took her again in thought.

REMIG. Or, took her so far, as that the nuptial rites being complete, she was called his wife; but not so far as to lie with her, as it follows, And knew her not.

JEROME. Helvidius is at much superfluous trouble to make this word know refer to carnal knowledge rather than to acquaintance, as though any had ever denied that; or as if the follies to which he replies had ever occurred to any person of common understanding. He then goes on to say, that the adverb 'until' denotes a fixed time when that should take place, which had not taken place before; so that here from the words, He knew her not until she had brought forth her first-born Son, it is clear, he says, that after that he did know her. And in proof of this he heaps together many instances from Scripture. To all this we answer, that the word 'until' is to be understood in two senses in Scripture. And concerning the expression, knew her not, he has himself shown, that it must be referred to carnal knowledge, none doubting that it is often used of acquaintance, as in that, The child Jesus tarried behind in Jerusalem, and His parents knew not of it (Luke 2:43).

In like manner 'until' often denotes in Scripture, as he has shown, a fixed period, but often also an infinite time, as in that, Even to your old age l am He (Is 46:4). Will God then cease to be when they are grown old? Also the Savior in the Gospel, Lo, I am with you always, even to the end of this world (Matt 28:20). Will He then leave His disciples at the end of the world? Again, the Apostle says, He must reign till He has put His enemies under His feet (1 Cor 15:25). Be it understood then . . . that that which if it had not been written might have been doubted of, is expressly declared to us; other things are left to our own understanding . So here the Evangelist informs us, in that wherein there might have been room for error, that she was not known by her husband until the birth of her Son, that we might thence infer that much less was she known afterwards.

PSEUDO-CHRYS. As one might say, 'He told it not so long as he lived'; would this imply that he told it after his death? Impossible. So it were credible that Joseph might have known her before the birth, while he was yet ignorant of the great mystery; but after that he understood how she had been made a temple of the Only-begotten of God, how could he occupy that? The followers of Eunomius think, as they have dared to assert this, that Joseph also dared to do it, just as the insane think all men equally mad with themselves.

JEROME. Lastly, I would ask, Why then did Joseph abstain at all up to the day of birth? He will surely answer, Because of the Angel's words, That which is born in her, &c. He then who gave so much heed to a vision as not to dare to touch his wife, would he, after he had heard the shepherds, seen the Magi, and known so many miracles, dare to approach the temple of God, the seat of the Holy Ghost, the Mother of his Lord?

PSEUDO-CHRYS. It may be said, that know here signifies simply, to understand; that whereas before he had not understood how great her dignity, after the birth he then knew that she had been made more honorable and worthy than the whole world, who had carried in her womb Him whom the whole world could not contain.

GLOSS.Otherwise, on account of the glorification of the most holy Mary, she could not be known by Joseph until the birth; for she who had the Lord of glory in her womb, how should she be known? If the face of Moses talking with God was made glorious, so that the children of Israel could not look thereon, how much more could not Mary be known, or even looked upon, who bare the Lord of glory in her womb? After the birth she was known of Joseph to the beholding of her face, but not to be approached carnally.

JEROME; From the words, her first-born Son, some most erroneously suspect that Mary had other sons, saying that first-born can only be said of one that has brethren. But this is the manner of Scripture, to call the first-born not only One who is followed by brethren, but the first-birth of the mother. ID. For if he only was first-born who was followed by other brethren, then no first-birth could be due to the Priests, till such time as the second birth took place.

GLOSS. Or, He is first-born among the elect by grace, but by nature the Only-begotten of God the Father, the only Son of Mary. And called His name Jesus, on the eighth day on which the circumcision took place, and the Name was given.

REMIG. It is clear that this Name was well known to the Holy Fathers and the Prophets of God, but to him above all, who spoke, My soul fainted for Your salvation. (Ps 119:81); and, My soul has rejoiced in Your salvation. (Ps 13:5). Also to him who spoke, I will joy in God my Savior. (Heb 3:18).

Catena Aurea Matthew 1
37 posted on 12/25/2012 1:26:45 PM PST by annalex (fear them not)
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To: annalex


Nativity

Byzantine, first quarter of the 15th Century, 25 7/8 by 25 inches
Rena Andreadis Collection, Athens

38 posted on 12/25/2012 1:27:08 PM PST by annalex (fear them not)
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To: annalex


Nativity

Fra Filippo Lippi

1467-69
Fresco
Duomo, Spoleto

39 posted on 12/25/2012 1:27:42 PM PST by annalex (fear them not)
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To: annalex


The Nativity of Virgin Mary

Tamara Rigishvili, iconographer

2008

40 posted on 12/25/2012 1:28:11 PM PST by annalex (fear them not)
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To: annalex


The Dream of St Joseph

Georges de la Tour

c. 1640
Oil on canvas, 93 x 81 cm
Musée des Beaux-Arts, Nantes

41 posted on 12/25/2012 1:29:24 PM PST by annalex (fear them not)
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To: annalex


Nativity of Jesus

Andrei Rublev, iconographer.

1405
Cathedral of the Annunciation, Moscow

42 posted on 12/25/2012 1:30:22 PM PST by annalex (fear them not)
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To: All
Where Was God?
Pastor’s Column
Christmas, 2012
 
          Where was God? As I write these words one week before Christmas Day, many of us are troubled still by the events at Clackamas Town Center and most especially the Sandy Hook Elementary School tragedy. Where was Jesus in all this? We can find some answers in Christmas Day.
 
          God lived within each child and adult that died, for he both creates and sustains each person on earth. At the same time, in a very real sense, he died alongside and within each one who perished. He feels our pain; he knows our struggles; he is with us through it all.
 
          We have a God who, in this present world, comes to us always in one disguise or another. Whenever you visit or care for a sick or dying person, the Lord assures us it is actually him. Did you buy a gift for a needy child from the giving tree or do any one act of charity this season? Jesus was the recipient. Were you kind -- or unkind-- to someone? Again, it is always Christ, for this entire lifetime we are given is for this purpose only: to give us an opportunity to love God, to choose or reject the opportunities to choose and love him in his many disguises.
 
          Though Jesus came among us as a small child, he was not welcomed by many in his day! First, the innkeepers of Bethlehem turned him away, because others arriving for the census had more money and rooms were in high demand. Then King Herod massacred the children of Bethlehem in a misguided attempt to destroy him. Even today, many find no use for this infant! He is seen by some as some kind of threat or another, when in fact he brings the gift of fellowship with God forever, and the freedom that comes with doing what God asks of us! We reach the height of our humanity in our empathy and outreach to those who are suffering, because, again, they always represent Christ in disguise.
 
          Our Jesus, who came disguised in the humility of a baby at Christmas, is also present especially in the sufferings we have to endure, the difficulties we must face, and yes, in the questions, like Sandy Hook, that we cannot yet answer. Jesus had to suffer and die, though completely innocent; therefore no deaths, especially the deaths of the innocent, are ever without eternal meaning, for Christ’s own death has eternal meaning.
 
          Our lives might be compared to a Christmas tree, with many shiny packages underneath. Attractive though they may be, what gives meaning to our lives are not the presents we receive but the ones we give to others. Amid these distracting packages is our God of disguises, wrapped in swaddling clothes and covered with humility. We find him still in our daily lives, especially in our sufferings and the presents, and presence, and prayers, we give to others.
                                                                                      Father Gary

43 posted on 12/25/2012 5:37:34 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
St. Paul Center Blog

New Song: Scott Hahn Reflects on the Readings for Christmas Day

Posted by Dr. Scott Hahn

Nativity 4

Isaiah 52:7–10
Psalms 98:1–6
Hebrews 1:1–6
John 1:1–5, 9–14

The Church’s liturgy rings in Christmas with a joyful noise. We hear today of uplifted voices, trumpets and horns, and melodies of praise. 

In the First Reading, Isaiah fortells Israel’s liberation from captivity and exile in Babylon. He envisions a triumphant homecoming to Zion marked by joyful singing.

The new song in today’s Psalm is a victory hymn to the marvelous deeds done by our God and King.

Both the prophet and psalmist sing of God’s power and salvation. God has shown the might of His holy arm, they say. This language recalls the Exodus, where the people first sang of God’s powerful arm that shattered Israel’s enemy Egypt (see Exod. 15:1, 6, 16).

The coming of the Christ child into the world fulfills all that the Exodus and the return from exile prefigured.

In Jesus, all nations to the ends of the earth will see the victory of God over the forces of sin and death.

Jesus is the new King. He is the royal firstborn son and Son of God promised to David, as we hear in today’s Epistle (see Ps. 2:7; 2 Sam. 7:14).

And as our Gospel reveals, He is the Word of God, the one through whom the universe was created, the one through whom the universe is sustained.

In speaking to us through His Son, God has unveiled a new age, the last days.

The new age is a new creation. In the beginning, God spoke His Word and light shone in the darkness. Now, in this new age, He sends us the true light to scatter the darkness of a world that has exiled itself from God.

He is the one Isaiah foretold – who brings good tidings of peace and salvation, who announces to the world that God has come to dwell and to reign (see Rev. 21:3–4).

So we sing a new song on Christmas. It is the song of those who have believed in the Christ child and been born again – by grace given the power to become children of God.


44 posted on 12/25/2012 5:49:08 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All

http://resources.sainteds.com/showmedia.asp?media=../sermons/homily/2012-12-25-Homily%20Fr%20Gary.mp3&ExtraInfo=0&BaseDir=../sermons/homily


45 posted on 12/31/2012 7:56:15 PM PST by Salvation (("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26))
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