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Posted on 12/05/2005 4:56:34 PM PST by Rosary
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The Third Joyful Mystery
"In those days, a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that the whole
world should be enrolled.
This was the first enrollment when Quirinius was governor of Syria" (Lk
'Whole world,' here, refers to the Roman Empire ruled by Caesar
Augustus during a long period of peace. As he was revered as savior by
his subjects, Luke parallels Caesar with the real Savior and Peace Bearer
(Lk 2:11, 14; 19:38).
This census, the first of 3, lasted from 8 B.C. to 6 A.D. Luke's details
show that in spite of Caesar's power, he was used by God: as an agent to
assure the public record of the ancestry of His Son; and to provide the
pre-ordained birthplace for the Savior. Surely, God is in control of all
things! St. Bede noted: Augustus meant to enumerate his subjects, but
among them was numbered his God.
The City of David
"All went to be enrolled . . . to his own town. Joseph too went up from
Galilee from the town of Nazareth to Judea, to the city of
David...Bethlehem, because he was of the house and family of David . . .
with Mary his betrothed, who was with child" (Lk 2:3-5).
Moses prophesied the Messiah to come from Israel, with a warning of
the fate of those who reject Him (Dt 18:15-19). It was commonly known
that the Messiah would come from Bethlehem (Mt 2:4-6; Jn 7:42):
"But you, Bethlehem-Ephrathah too small to be among the clans of
Judah, from you shall come forth for Me One Who is to be ruler in Israel;
Whose origin is ...from ancient times. Therefore the Lord will give them
up, until the time when she who is to give birth has borne (Is 7:14)...the
rest of His brethren shall return to the children of Israel. He shall stand
firm and shepherd His flock by the strength of the Lord, in the majestic
name of the Lord, His God...they shall remain, for now His greatness
shall reach to the ends of the earth" (Mi 5:1-3) The Birth in Bethlehem,
fulfills the promise God made to David that the everlasting King would
be born from his family (2 Sm 7:19-29; 1 Chr 17:16-27). The family is
associated with Bethlehem from 'ancient times' (Ru 1:2).
Luke (1:27, 34-35) and Matthew (1:18, 20, 25) both emphasize Joseph
was not responsible for Jesus' conception. Since he is not Jesus' natural
father the line of ancestry (Gn 5; 1 Chr 1-5; Mt 1:1-17; Lk 3:23-28) seems
severed. As the law commands that people from the same clan marry to
preserve their inheritance (Nm 36;6-9), Joseph and Mary are both from the
family of David. They were obliged to go to Bethlehem (1 Sm 16:1-13) for
Abram adopted Lot, taking him into his family and eventually saving
him from death (Gn 12:4; 14:11-16; 19:29). Joseph adopted Mary's Son, by
taking her and the Child into his home, re-establish- ing the line of
ancestry and renewing the covenant made with Abraham (Gn 13:15; 17:7;
22:16-17; Lk 1:55; 72-73). This foreshadowed our adoption as God's
children (Jn 1:12-13; Gal 3:14-4:7; Eph 1:4-14) through Baptism and the gift
of the Spirit--faith. We are brought into Mary's home, too: she becomes
our mother as the spouse of the Holy Spirit (Lk 1:35).
Already the Sign of Contradiction
"While they were there, the time came for her to have her Child, and she
gave birth to her firstborn Son. She wrapped Him in swaddling clothes
and laid Him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn"
The description of Jesus as firstborn is a legal description indicating
certain dignity, rights, and privileges (Gn 27; Ex 13:2; Nm 3:12-13; 18:15-
16; Dt 21:15-17). It does not necessarily mean that Mary had other
At Jesus' birth, the paradox of the Incarnation is already evident.
Allusion is made to David's son, Solomon. A great king who was born
and wrapped in swaddling clothes like any infant (Wis 7:4-6).
The manger recalls prophecy of Israel's rejection of the Messiah:
"...Sons have I raised and reared, but they have disowned me! An ox
knows its owner, and an ass, its master's manger; But Israel does not
know, my people has not understood. Ah! sinful nation, people laden
with wickedness, evil race, corrupt children! They have forsaken the
Lord, spurned the Holy One of Israel, apostatized" (Is 1:2-4).
How often do we reject the poor and helpless because they do not come
as we expect? Is there space in our lives for the tiny Babe Who will teach
the world the greatest Lesson of Love?
"There were shepherds in that region living in the fields and keeping
night watch over their flock" (Lk 2:8).
The announcement to shepherds keeps Luke's theme that the lowly are
singled out to receive God's favors and blessings (Lk 1:48, 52).
"The angel of the Lord appeared to them and the glory of the Lord
shone around them, and they were struck with great fear" (Lk 2:9).
Throughout Scripture, the angel of the Lord bears the Lord's messages.
In early writings, it is a visi- ble manifestation of God Himself (Gn 16:7;
Ac 7:38). Later, angels are shown as created beings dis- tinct from God,
members of the heavenly court (Jb 1:6), sent to bring messages (Mt 1:20;
Lk 1:11, 26), to execute judgement (Ex 12:23; 2 Kg 19:35), or as guardians
of nations or individuals (Dn 10:13; Tb 3:17; Ac 5:19).
This appearance echoes the presence of the Lord on Mt. Sinai (Ex 24:16-
18). Here is the brilliant light, the unapproachable majesty of God. It
shone from the mountain, from the face of Moses (Ex 34:29) and
Solomon's Temple (1 Kg 8:10-11).
What Are You Looking For?
"The angel said...'Do not be afraid...I proclaim good news of great
joy...for all people. For today in the city of David, a Savior has been born
for you Who is Messiah and Lord. This will be a sign for you; you will
find an Infant, wrapped in swaddling clothes and lying in a manger'" (Lk
The angel brings the basic message of the infancy narrative: this Child is
Savior, Messiah, and Lord.
(Mt 1:21; 16:16; Jn 4:42; Acts 2:36; 5:31; Phil 2:11).
'Christos' is Greek, equivalent to the Hebrew 'Mesiach'--anointed one.
Certain groups in first-century Judaism expected a royal leader, an heir of
David, to restore the kingdom of Israel (Ac 1:6).
Luke is the only synoptic gospel writer to use the title Savior (Lk 1:69;
2:11; 19:9; Ac 4:12; 5:31; 13:23). He plays down the political overtones of
the title. Instead the Messiah is One who brings salvation to all humanity,
Jew and Gentile (Lk 2:29-32). He rescues humanity from sin and delivers
us from our alienation from God.
Lord, the most frequently used title for Jesus in Luke and Acts, is
reserved for Yahweh in the Old Testament. In the New Testament, a new
era, it is used for the Father and the Son. When used of Jesus it points to
his transcendence and dominion over humanity.
Peace on Earth
"Suddenly, there was a multitude of the Heavenly Host with the angel,
praising God and saying, 'Glory to God in the highest, and on earth, peace
to those on whom His favor rests!'" (Lk 2:13-14)
The peace of which Luke's gospel speaks (Lk 2:14; 7:50; 8:48; 10:5-6;
19:38, 42; 24:36) is more than external--the absence of war as in the pax
Augusta; it includes security and well-being, charac- teristic of peace as
frequently described in the Old Testament. It is clearly a major attribute of
God's Kingdom. Peace and reconciliation is offered to men through the
mercy and good will of God. It is available on earth, since human nature,
before an enemy to God, is now reconciled and united to Him by His
Incarnation. It results from encountering Christ, as God favors us with
His grace--a gift of faith. It is up to each to exercise 'good will' in
accepting this gift.
"When the angels went away from them to Heaven, the shepherds said
to one another, "Let us go then to Bethlehem to see this thing which has
taken place, which the Lord has made known to us."
So they went in haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the Infant, lying in
the manger. When they saw this, they made known the message that had
been told them about this Child. All who heard it were amazed by what
had been told them by the shepherds.
And Mary kept all these things, reflecting on them in her heart. Then
the shepherds returned glorifying and praising God for all they had
heard and seen, just as it had been told to them." (Lk 2:15-20).
Visitors from Afar
Matthew, like Luke, places Jesus' birth in the context of history. Herod
was king of Judea, Id- umaea, and Samaria from 37 to 4 B.C.
"When Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea, in the days of King
Herod, behold magi from the east arrived in Jerusalem, saying, 'Where is
the newborn King of the Jews? We saw His star at its rising and have
come to do Him homage.'" (Mt 2:1-2)
The reference to 'wise men from the east' seems deliberately vague to
forecast Christ's mission: He is rejected by the Jews while the wise men of
the Gentiles are attracted by His light.
Magi were originally of the Persian priestly caste. The same Greek word
was used to denote magicians such as Simon (Ac 8:9) and Elymas (Ac
13:8). Later, the word came to be used for those who seemed to have more
than human knowledge. Some translations speak of them as if they were
kings, princes, or lords of some small territories.
Matthew's magi are astrologers. They calculated the location to which
the star pointed. He indicates that the magi observed a miraculously
bright star rather than some natural phenomenon. It appears to them 'at
its rising,' (v. 2). Then it appears again 'over the place where the Child lay'
(v. 10) This star is assumed to have appeared around the time of Christ's
birth. But it is not clear whether it continued to guide them along their
journey to Jerusalem or just shone long enough for them to make their
calculations and plan their trip.
In the ancient Middle East, a star signified a god--the birth of a divine
king. The wise men may have had access to the prophetic works of Israel
or they may have preserved their own prophecies. Certain Arabic tribes
may have had in their history Balaam's prophesy when Balak ordered
him to curse Isra- el: "I see him, though not now; I behold him though not
near: a star shall advance from Jacob, and a staff shall rise from Israel..."
(Nm 24:17) This passage points to the dynasty of David from which the
Messiah was to come.
"When King Herod heard this, he was greatly troubled and all
Jerusalem with him." (Mt 2:3)
The number of these wise men is uncertain: we usually consider that
they were 3 because they bore 3 the gifts that are named. However, they
may have been a large number of travellers--enough to cause a stir in
Jerusalem when they entered. In addition, Herod's anxiety filtered to the
people. Herod gained his power through violence. So when these
strangers entered the city inquiring after a new king, the people feared
Herod's reaction. They knew of his jealous nature. He could enforce on
them a much more gruelling slavery. They had been so worn down by
wars that a peace, even at the cost of Roman bondage was at least some
peace to be preserved, almost at all costs. It seems from the subsequent
events that their fears were somewhat justified.
A Question for the Experts'
"Assembling all the chief priests and the scribes of the people, he
inquired of them where the Messiah was to be born. They said to him, "in
Bethlehem of Judea, for thus it has been written through the prophet:
'And you Bethlehem, land of Judah, are by no means least among the
rulers of Judah; since from you is to come a ruler who will shepherd my
people Israel.'" (Mt 2:4-6)
Again we see that it was well known that the Messiah would come
The chief priests and scribes were known as 'doctors of the Law' (Lk
5:17; Ac 5:34) or 'lawyers' (ex. Lk 7:30). Their occupation was to interpret
the scriptures, especially the Law of Moses, in order to put forth
guidelines for conduct for the Jewish people. Most were Pharisees. These
lawyers were held in high esteem among the people. Along with the high
priests and the elders they constituted the Sanhedrin.
Herod's consultation with the chief priests and scribes has some
similarity to a Jewish legend about the child Moses: Sacred scribes
warned Pharaoh about the imminent birth of one who would deliver
Israel from Egypt. Consequently, the king made plans to destroy him.
"Then Herod called the magi secretly and ascertained the time of the
star's appearance, He sent them to Bethlehem and said, 'Go, and search
diligently for the Child. When you have found Him, bring me word that
I, too, may go and do Him homage.'
After their audience with the king, they set out. "And behold the star
that they had seen at its rising preceded them until it came and stopped
over the place where the Child was. They were overjoyed at seeing the
star, and on entering the house, they saw the Child with Mary His
mother. They pros- trated themselves and did Him homage. Then they
opened their treasures and offered Him gifts of gold, frankincense, and
myrrh." (Mt 2:7-11)
Reference to the time elapsed between Jesus' birth and the visit by the
magi is absent here. Speculation gives it a range from 13 days to the two
years Herod determined as the range of age for the boys to be killed (v.
16). In his irrational rage, Herod may well have extended beyond the time
the magi had indicated for the star's appearance to be assured no chance
of missing his 'mark.' It is possible that, after the magi's visit, the
disturbance in the Temple at the time of the purification ceremony may
have re-kindled Herod's fury.
However long it may have been, it is unlikely that Mary and her Child
would remain in an open, drafty stable for any length of time. She was
constrained to stay at Bethlehem for 40 days until the sacrifice was offered
for her purification after the birth (Lv 12; Lk 2:22-24). She could have
moved into a house with the diminishing of the census crowd.
The magi offered much more than the cursory salutation to the Child. In
this way, they gave an example for us. When they prostrated themselves,
they acknowledged His divinity. Their gifts indicate recognition of His
royalty (gold), divinity (incense), and His mortality--looking ahead to His
Passion (myrrh). The gifts also recall Isaiah's description of the glory of
the New Zion (Is 60:4-6). Isaiah and David give us an indication that these
visitors may have been royal:
"May the kings of Tarshish and the islands bring tribute, the kings of
Arabia and Seba offer gifts.
May all kings bow before him, all nations serve him...Long may he live,
receiving gold from Arabia, prayed for without cease, blessed day by
day...May his name be blessed forever; as long as the sun, may his name
endure. May the tribes of the earth give blessings with his name; may all
the nations re- gard him as favored." (Ps 72:10, 11, 15, 17)
We adore Christ in the Eucharist. He chooses to give Himself to us
under the appearance of a per- fect man, a speechless child as here, or
under the appearance of bread and wine. It is evident that he is there; in
whatever manner or place he appears, He is true God. For that alone he is
to be adored.
Christ was not in Bethlehem, nor did he descend from heaven to be
adored: He tells us in Matthew 20, verse 28, that the Son of Man came not
to be ministered unto, but to minister. Yet he was adored on earth, even
while he was in his mortal state, by the magi, by his disciples, by the
blind man that was cured of his blindness, etc.
St. Chryostom urges us to imitate the magi. We see him not in the crib,
but on the altar. It is not a woman holding him, but the priest who is
present. At the same tim, the Holy Spirit pours out abundantly upon the
A prayer from Christmas Mass at Midnight:
Lord our God, with the birth of Your Son, Your glory breaks on the
world. Through the night hours of the darkened earth, we Your people
watch for the coming of Your promised Son. As we wait, grant us a
foretaste of the joy that You will grant us when the fullness of His glory
has filled the earth, who lives and reigns with You, forever and ever.
The Fourth Joyful Mystery
The Presentation of the Child Jesus in the Temple
"When 8 days were completed for His circumcision He was named
Jesus, the name given Him by the angel before He was conceived in the
When the days were completed for their purification according to the
law of Moses, they took Him up to Jerusalem to present Him to the Lord,"
Mary was raised above the law by grace (Mt 1:18-25), but humility
subjected her to it (Lk 1:38).
Her humility was confirmed as she presented the offering prescribed for
Discharges of bodily fluids, especially blood (Lv 15:19-27), were unclean
according to the Law (Lv 15:2-18; Ez 4:12-15). Since uncleanness was more
contagious than sacredness (Hg 2:11-13), anyone who came into contact
with one who was unclean was also considered unclean (Lv 5:2-3).
Although Tradition tells of a miraculous Birth so that Mary was not
exposed to the blood which would make her unclean, they were obliged
to observe this Purification Law--she by the fact of giving birth, and the
Child since He was considered 'unclean' through close contact with His
"...When a woman has conceived and gives birth to a boy, she shall be
unclean for 7 days, with the same uncleanness as at her menstrual period.
On the eighth day, the flesh of the boy's foreskin shall be circumcised, and
then she shall spend 33 days more in becoming purified of her blood; she
shall not touch anything sacred nor enter the sanctuary till the days of her
purification are fulfilled...When the days of her purification ...are fulfilled,
she shall bring to the priest...a yearling lamb for a holocaust and a pigeon
or a turtledove for a sin offering...If, however, she cannot afford a lamb,
she may take two turtledoves... the one for a holocaust and the other for a
sin offering. The priest shall make atonement for her, and thus she will
again be clean." (Lv 12)
The Importance of the Law
We see Jesus' parents as devout Jews who were careful to observe the
commands of the Law given by God through Moses. Luke described them
in a similar way as he did John's parents (Lk 1:6), Simeon (Lk 2:25), and
Anna (Lk 2:36-37).
"just as it is written in the law of the Lord, 'Every male that opens the
womb shall be consecrated to the Lord,' and to offer the sacrifice of a pair
of turtledoves or two young pigeons, in accordance with the dictate in the
law of the Lord." (Lk 2:23-24)
Jesus was consecrated to the Lord as the law required (Ex 13:2; 12-15).
The consecration of the first-born commemorated the final plague in
Egypt: the first-born of the Egyptians were slain while those of the
Israelites were spared due to their observance of the decree to sprinkle the
blood of a lamb on their doorposts (Ex 11-12). Luke emphasized this
ceremony as a direct statement of the future of the Child.
The Church fathers suggest several reasons for our Lord to choose to
submit to these Laws:
It made clear to the world the reality of His human nature (1 Tm 2:5-6),
and the difference between His divinity and humanity (Phil 2:6-11).
Circumcision demonstrated He was the seed of Abraham (Gn 17:11-13).
The purification identified Him as one of God's chosen people (Ex 19:5).
By submitting to to these mandates, our Lord showed His approval of the
laws which He had instituted (Mt 5:18). He taught humility and
obedience by His obedience to laws to which He was not bound (Jn 1:17).
We see His approval and obedience modelled explicitly at His baptism by
John (Mt 3:13-17). Thus, Christ left an example for rulers to obey their
own laws. Leaders can expect laws to be observed by others only when
they themselves show respect for laws.
By receiving the burden of the law, Christ freed those that were under
the law (Gal 3). Finally, the Jews could have no excuse for rejecting
Christ on account that He had not followed these laws.
Those Who Were Waiting
"There was a man in Jerusalem . . . Simeon . . . righteous and devout,
awaiting the consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit was upon him. It
had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he should not see death
before he had seen the Messiah of the Lord." (Lk 2:25-26).
Simeon and Anna represented the hopes and expectations of faithful,
devout Jews. Many at the time were looking for the restoration of God's
rule in Israel (Is 40:1; 42:1) and redemption of mankind from sin and the
devil. The birth of Jesus brought these hopes to fulfillment. He is the
Christ (One anointed or set aside) for a saving mission as the King of
Israel (I Sm 15:17-18; 23:1-7). God's chosen Prince was consecrated
through the law and the witness of these 2 holy people as the Messiah
Who would establish the Kingdom of God.
"He came in the Spirit into the temple; and when the parents brought in
the child Jesus...he took him into his arms and blessed God, saying:
'Now, Master, You may let Your servant go in peace, according to Your
word, for my eyes have seen Your salvation, which You prepared in sight
of all the peoples, a light for revelation to the Gentiles, and glory for Your
people Israel. (Lk 2:27-32)
A spirit of grace and prophecy led Simeon to the temple at the very time
Jesus was brought to observe the law for newborns. He had been
promised that he would see the Messiah. It was with great joy, then, that
Simeon greeted the Holy Family. Simeon's words would be echoed by
John the Bapist as he preached to the crowds (Lk 3:6). He quotes Isaiah's
prophecies that Salvation is for gen- tiles as well as Jews, but that the Jews
will get the glory (Is 40:5; 42:6; 49:6; 52:10)
"The child's father and mother were amazed at what was said about
him;" (Lk 2:33)
Imagine the surprise of the Holy Family as a man hailed them, cradled
the Precious One in his arms and spoke of them in this manner!
A Mixed Blessing
"and Simeon blessed them and said to Mary his mother, 'Behold, this
child is destined for the fall and rise of many in Israel, and to be a sign
that will be con- tradicted and you yourself a sword will pierce so that the
thoughts of many hearts may be revealed.'" (Lk 2:34-35)
Christ came for the redemption and salvation of all, God did not send
His Son for the fall of anyone.
Simeon tells of what happens to those who, in their willful blindness and
obstinacy, refuse to receive and obey Him. They choose their own falling.
This passage points, especially to the Jews who would discharge the
arrows and darts of their malice at Jesus on account of His doctrine.
Mary suffered anguish as she witnessed the Passion of her Son. In part,
this pain would come from her knowlege of His true innocence and
Nature. Additionally, as the true Daughter of Zion, Mary would also bear
the sorrowful destiny of her race.
"There was also a prophetess, Anna . . . advanced in years, having lived
7 years with her husband after her marriage, and then as a widow until
she was 84. She never left the temple, but worshiped night and day with
fasting and prayer . . . coming forward at that very time, she gave thanks
to God and spoke about the child to all who were awaiting the
redemption of Jerusalem." (Lk 2:36-38)
Anna has credentials as a woman dedicated to God and an interpreter
of His intentions (1 Tm 5:4-5). She reminds us of holy women: Miriam (Ex
15:20), Deborah, (Jg 4:4-5), Huldah, (2 Kg 22:15), and Judith (Jd 8:4-6) who
were entrusted with expressing God's word to the people.
On Jesus' Growth
"When they had fulfilled all the prescriptions of the law of the Lord,
they returned to Galilee, to their own town of Nazareth. The child grew
and became strong, filled with wisdom; and the favor of God was upon
him." (Lk 2:39-40)
This statement about growth of a child is echoed 3 times in the infancy
narrative: first for John the Baptist (Lk 1:80) and finally after the Holy
Family returns from Jerusalem (Lk 2:52). It seems to be a summation of
the hidden years of childhood as it is for John and for Samuel (1 Sm 2:26).
While Jesus is God thus cannot truly grow in wisdom, as He advanced in
age as a man, He gave increasing evidence of His divine widsom and
A Prayer from the Feast of the Presentation of the Lord
All powerful Father, Christ Your Son became Man for us and was
presented in the temple. May He free our hearts from sin and bring us
into Your presence. We ask this through Jesus Christ Your Son, Who lives
and reigns with You and the Holty Spirit, one e God, forever and ever.
The Fifth Joyful Mystery
Finding Jesus in the Temple
The infancy narrative--a unique section in the Gospels--ends as it began,
in the Jerusalem Temple.
The Holy Family, faithful Jews, teach their Son the traditions and laws (Ex
12:26-27; Dt 4:9-10; 6:7, 20-25; 11:19; Ps 78:5-7; Pr 1:8; 6:20) and observe the
holy days of Israel (Ex 2:2-28; Dt 16:1-7). We have also a first indication of
Jesus' awareness of His identity as the Son of God.
Another Trip to Jerusalem
"Each year His parents went to Jerusalem for the feast of Passover, and
when He was 12 years old, they went up according to festival custom" (Lk
Although Joseph and Mary were reluctant to live in Jerusalem for the
Child's safety (Mt 2:22-23), these trips to the Temple provided them a
measure of anonymity due to the crowds.
This was not Jesus' first visit to Jerusalem since His presentation in the
Temple. It was taken for granted that children and their parents firmly
bonded (I Kg 3:16-28; Pr 4:3; I Th 2:7-8). Sheltered and protected by the
family (Ps 131:2; Is 66:12-14), it was unthinkable for a mother to leave a
child (Ps 27:10; Is 49:15) especially for the 3-week trip required here.
Three Days Lost
"After they completed its days, as they were returning, the boy Jesus
remained behind in Jerusalem, but His parents did not know it. Thinking
that He was in the caravan, they journeyed for a day and looked for Him
among their relatives and acquaintances," (Lk 2:43-44).
Entire towns made the pilgrimage to Jerusalem 3 times each year, as
commanded (Ex 12:25; Dt 16:5-6, 16). Even today, Jews long to celebrate
Passover in Jerusalem: they proclaim to each other at the end of the seder:
"Next year in Jerusalem!" As they travelled they sang the pilgrim psalms
(42-72) which express a desire for the Holy City. Men gathered at one part
of the caravan, women at another. Among family and friends, youngsters
wandered within the crowd, free to be with whichever group they
wished. It is easy to understand how each parent might think that their
Son was some- where among the relatives the first day of the journey. As
they prepared for the night, however, it became obvious that no one had
seen Him. Imagine the panic which seized Mary and Joseph as they re-
traced their footsteps.
"not finding Him, they returned to Jerusalem to look for Him. After 3
days they found Him in the temple, sitting in the midst of the teachers,
listening to them and asking questions. All who heard Him were
astounded at His understanding and His answers" (Lk 2:45-48).
The 3 days Jesus spent in the tomb as He 'went about His Father's
business' to redeem mankind are foreshadowed here. The joy of His
spiritual family, at the latter time, can be compared with that of these
worried parents as they found their lost Son.
In My Father's House
At the age of 12, a boy is considered a man in Jewish custom. He gains
the privilege to speak in the temple. Jesus apparently seized this
opportunity to begin to let the elders know that the Messiah had come. In
youthful innocence, the Boy desired to share with the teachers and
religious rulers a perspective to free the people from the extra trappings
heaped on them by generations of priests and lawyers in order to
safeguard the people of God. He asked child-like questions which
probably made them re-think some of their assumptions. He interpreted
scriptures as a young man might view them, in a way which was fresh
and new. Yet His statements made perfect sense. It was clear to the
teachers that this Boy had reflected deeply on the Scriptures, even though
He was not educated at Jerusalem (Mt 13:54-56; Jn 7:15). Some years later,
as He began His ministry, the people grew to admire Him (Mt 7:28; Mk
1:22; Lk 4:15; 22). The apostles experienced a similar reaction as they
began to preach (Ac 2:6-11; 4:13). As years went by, however, among
Jewish leaders fear took precedence over awe.
We see a parallel to another Passover, 21 years later, when the elders
(perhaps some of these same elders) were somewhat differently
impressed with Jesus' understanding and knowledge (Mt 12:14; Jn 5:18;
What Kind of Answer is This?
"When His parents saw Him, they were astonished, and His mother
said to Him, 'Son, why have You done this to us? Your father and I have
been looking for You with great anxiety.'
"He said to them, 'Why were you looking for me? Did you not know
that I must be in My Father's house?' But they did not understand what
He said to them" (Lk 2:49-50).
At first glance, Jesus' answer may look like a teenager's defiant
declaration of independence. Upon reflection, something else entirely
appears to be stated. Jesus says that we do not have to wander far and
wide, as some of us have done, to find Him. He is present in the temple--
in our present day, in the Catholic church. We find Jesus' heart for the
place of assembly for His people. He is found frequently in the synagogue
and becomes angry as He observes the misuse of temple grounds (Mt
21:12-13; Mk 11:15-17; Lk 19:45:46; Jn 2:14-18).
At this point, Jesus also declares that He is not the son of Joseph, but
that His Father is divine. The confusion on this point is emphasized
throughout the Gospels (Mt 12:46-50; 13:54-57; Mk 3:31-35;6:2-6; Lk 3:23;
4:23; 8:19-21; Jn 6:42). Would He be required to condemn even His
relatives, be- cause of their lack of faith, on Judgement day, as the Levites
were required to do to those who had worshipped the golden calf (Ex
32:25-29; Dt 33:9; Mt 10:37; Lk 14:26)?
His parents misunderstood His words. Many people throughout His
ministry, even the apostles, had a similar obstacle (Mt 15:16; 16:9, 23;
20:22; Mk 4:13; 6:52; 7:18; 8:17-18, 21, 33; 9:10, 32; 10:38; Lk 9:45). Do we
miss the straightforward message of scripture? Do we make Christianity
more complicated than it needs to be? Jesus teaches that the mysteries of
the faith are within the grasp of a child (Mt 18:1-6; 19:13-15 Mk 10:13-16;
"He went down with them and came to Nazareth, and was obedient to
them. And His mother kept all these things in her heart" (Lk 2:51).
The Son of God teaches humility by His example in obedience to His
parents! The evangelist relates nothing of our Savior from the ages of 12
till 30, except that He was subject to St. Joseph and the blessed Virgin. He
shows by this, that nothing is so appropriate for Christians, as ready
obedience to the directions of their superiors. In fact, obedience is more
important than sacrifice (I Sm 15:22; Ps 40:7; Ec 4:17). Children of all ages
are taught what subjection and obedience is required from them toward
We Share Mary's Reflections
Mary surely thought quite often about these events in Her Son's life,
puzzled about how they all fit together. Possibly, she and Joseph searched
the Torah for the prophecies about the Messiah. It is ob- vious at this point
that they still didn't fully understand their meaning for the Son of God.
Time and again, the angel's and Elizabeth's words must have rung in
Mary's ears: "Hail, Full of Grace . . . you have found favor with the Lord .
. . you will . . . bear a Son . . . called the Son of the Most High." "Most
blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb . . .
how does this happen to me that the mother of my Lord should come to
me?" As we say the Rosary, the words of the angel and Elizabeth are as
background music. We ask, as Mary undoubtedly did, for a deeper
understanding of the mysteries in her Son's life.
"Jesus advanced in wisdom and age and favor before God and man" (Lk
While we would very much like to know more about Jesus' early life, it
is significant that we are given little information about the childhood of
other Biblical characters aside from Moses and Samuel.
Prayer from the Feast of the Holy Family
Father, help us to live as the Holy Family, united in respect and love.
Bring us to they joy and peace of Your eternal home. Grant this through
Jesus Christ our Lord, Who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit,
one God forever and ever. Amen.
You know I will do it, too! I'm getting them together. The Incarnation is next only to the Passion in importance to my heart.
Ave Maris Stella
Hail, Star of the sea! Blessed Mother of God, yet ever a virgin! O
happy gate of heaven!
Thou that didst receive the Ave from Gabriel's lips, confirm us in
peace, and so let Eva be changed into an Ave of blessing for us.
Loose the sinner's chains, bring light to the blind, drive from us
our evils, and ask all good things for us.
Show thyself a mother, and offer our prayers to him, who would be
born of thee, when born for us.
O incomparable Virgin, and meekest Or the meek, obtain us the
forgiveness of our sins, and make us meek and chaste.
Obtain us purity of life, and a safe pilgrimage; that we may be
united with thee in the blissful vision of Jesus.
Praise be to God the Father and to the Lord Jesus, and to the Holy
Ghost: to the Three one self-same praise.
V. Hail Mary, full of grace, alleluia.
R. The Lord is with thee, alleluia.
Ave, maris stella,
Dei Mater alma,
Atque semper virgo,
Felix coeli porta.
Sumens illud Ave Gabrielis ore,
Funda nos in pace,
Mutans Evae nomen.
Solve vinyl reis,
Profer lumen caecis,
Mala nostra pelle,
Bona cuncta posce.
Monstra te esse matrem, Sumat per te preces,
Qui pro nobis natus,
Tulit esse tuus.
Inter omnes mitis,
Nos culpis solutos
Mites fac et castos.
Vitam praesta puram,
Iter pare tutum;
Ut videntes Jesum, Semper collaetemur.
Sit laus Deo Patri,
Summo Christo decus, Spiritui Sancto,
Tribus honor unus. Amen.
V. Ave Maria, gratia plena, alleluia.
R. Dominus tecum, alleluia.
FRANCISCAN CROWN ROSARY
This is a seven decade rosary in honor of the seven joys of Mary.
Say 1 Our Father, 10 Hail Marys and 1 Glory Be on each decade.
1.The first Joy in the Crown of Mary, is the joy of our Lady at
the Annunciation: "behold the handmaid of the Lord, be it done
to me according to your word." Luke 1:
R: May I become your humble servant, Lord.
2.The second Joy in the Crown of Mary, is the joy of our Lady at
the Visitation: Rising up, Mary went into the hillcountry and
saluted her cousin Elizabeth. Luke 1:
R:Grant us true love of neighbor, Lord.
3.The third Joy in the Crown of Mary, is the joy of our Lady at
the Birth of Jesus and the Adoration of the Magi: She brought
fourth her first born son ...and layed him in a manger.
R:Give us true poverty of spirit, Lord.
4.The Fourth Joy in the Crown of Mary, is the joy of our Lady at
the Presentation and Purification: They carried him to
Jerusalem to present him to the Lord ...as it written in the
Law of the Lord. Luke 1:
R:Help me obey all just laws.
5.The Fifth Joy in the Crown of Mary, is the joy of our Lady at
the Finding of Jesus in the Temple: Not finding him, they
returned to Jerusalem seeking him.
R:May I never lose you through serious sin, Lord.
6.The Sixth Joy in the Crown of Mary, is the joy of our Lady at
the Ressurection of Jesus: "The Lord is not here...He is
R:May we share your glory, Lord.
7.The Seventh Joy in the Crown of Mary, is the joy of our Lady
at her Assumption into heaven and her Corronation: a woman
clothed with the Sun...upon her head a crown of twelve stars.
R:Mary, may we share your crown of eternal life.
MARY CO-OPERATES BY PERSONAL OBEDIENCE
Pope John Paul II
The episode of the finding of the young Jesus in the temple sheds light on Mary's growing participation in the life and work of her divine Son
"At the temple in Jerusalem, in this prelude to his saving mission, Jesus associates his Mother with himself, no longer is she merely the One who gave him birth, but the Woman who through her own obedience to the Father's plan, can co-operate in the mystery of Redemption", the Holy Father said at the General Audience of Wednesday, 15 January, as he reflected on the finding of Jesus in the temple. Here is a translation of his catechesis, which was the 42nd in the series on the Blessed Mother and was given in Italian.
1. The Evangelist Luke describes the young Jesus' pilgrimage to the temple in Jerusalem as the last episode of the infancy narrative, before the start of John the Baptist's preaching. It is an usual occasion which sheds light on the long years of his hidden life in Nazareth.
On this occasion, with his strong personality Jesus reveals that he is aware of his mission, giving to this second ''entry" into his "Father's house" the meaning of his total gift of self to God which had already marked his presentation in the temple.
This passage seems to contrast with Luke's note that Jesus was obedient to Joseph and Mary (cf. 2:51). But, if one looks closely, here he seems to put himself in a conscious and almost deliberate antithesis to his normal state as son, unexpectedly causing a definite separation from Mary and Joseph. As his rule of conduct, Jesus states that he belongs only to the Father and does not mention the ties to his earthly family.
Jesus' behaviour seemed very unusual
2. Through this episode, Jesus prepares his Mother for the mystery of the Redemption. During those three dramatic days when the Son withdraws from them to stay in the temple, Mary and Joseph experience an anticipation of the triduum of his Passion, Death and Resurrection.
Letting his Mother and Joseph depart for Galilee without telling them of his intention to stay behind in Jerusalem, Jesus brings them into the mystery of that suffering which leads to joy, anticipating what he would later accomplish with his disciples through the announcement of his Passover.
According to Luke's account, on the return journey to Nazareth Mary and Joseph, after a day's traveling, are worried and anguished over the fate of the Child Jesus. They look for him in vain among their relatives and acquaintances. Returning to Jerusalem and finding him in the temple, they are astonished to see him "sitting among the teachers, listening to them and asking them questions" (Lk 2:46). His behaviour seems most unusual. Certainly for his parents, finding him on the third day means discovering another aspect of his person and his mission.
He takes the role of teacher, as he will later do in his public life, speaking words that arouse admiration: "And all who heard him were astounded at his understanding and his answers" (2:47). Revealing a wisdom that amazes his listeners, he begins to practice the art of dialogue that will be a characteristic of his saving mission.
His Mother asked Jesus: "Son, why have you treated us so? Behold, your father and I have been looking for you anxiously" (Lk 2:48). Here we can discern an echo of the "whys" asked by so many mothers about the suffering their children cause them, as well as the questions welling up in the heart of every man and woman in times of trial.
3. Jesus' reply, in the form of a question, is highly significant: "How is it that you sought me? Did you not know that I must be in my Father's house?" (Lk 2:49).
With this response, he discloses the mystery of his person to Mary and Joseph in an unexpected, unforeseen way, inviting them to go beyond appearances and unfolding before them new horizons for his future.
In his reply to his anguished Mother the Son immediately reveals the reason for his behaviour. Mary had said: "Your father", indicating Joseph; Jesus replies: "My Father", meaning the heavenly Father.
Referring to his divine origin, he does not so much want to state that the temple, his Father's house, is the natural "place" for his presence, as that he must be concerned about all that regards his Father and his plan. He means to stress that his Father's will is the only norm requiring his obedience.
This reference to his total dedication to God's plan is highlighted in the Gospel text by the words: "I must be", which will later appear in his prediction of the Passion (cf. Mk 8:31).
His parents then are asked to let him go and carry out his mission wherever the heavenly Father will lead him.
4. The Evangelist comments: "And they did not understand the saying which he spoke to them" (Lk 2:50).
Mary and Joseph do not perceive the sense of his answer, nor the way (apparently a rejection) he reacts to their parental concern. With this attitude, Jesus intends to reveal the mysterious aspects of his intimacy with the Father aspects which Mary intuits without knowing how to associate them with the trial she is undergoing.
Mary attains new dimension in work of salvation
Luke's words teach us how Mary lives this truly unusual episode in the depths of her being. She "kept all these things in her heart" (Lk 2:51). The Mother of Jesus associates these events with the mystery of her Son, revealed to her at the Annunciation, and ponders them in the silence of contemplation, offering her co-operation in the spirit of a renewed "fiat".
In this way the first link is forged in a chain of events that will gradually lead Mary beyond the natural role deriving from her motherhood, to put herself at the service of her divine Son's mission.
At the temple in Jerusalem, in this prelude to his saving mission, Jesus associates his Mother with himself; no longer is she merely the One who gave him birth, but the Woman who through her own obedience to the Father's plan, can co-operate in the mystery of Redemption.
Thus keeping in her heart an event so charged with meaning, Mary attains a new dimension of her co-operation in salvation.
To the English-speaking visitors and pilgrims, the Holy Father said:
I am pleased to welcome the English-speaking visitors present at today's Audience, especially the pilgrims from Australia and the United States. I also thank the choirs for their praise of God in song. Upon all of you I cordially invoke the joy and peace of Jesus Christ the Son of God and Saviour of the world.
Weekly Edition in English
22 January 1997
You know, it's a shame when somebody (holy mole) gets zotted so quietly.
ETERNAL SON OF GOD IS ALSO BORN OF MARY
Pope John Paul II
General Audience 31 July 1996
1. In his saving plan, God wanted his only Son to be born of a virgin. This divine decision calls for a profound relationship between Mary's virginity and the Incarnation of the Word. "The eyes of faith can discover in the context of the whole of Revelation the mysterious reasons why God in his saving plan wanted his Son to be born of a virgin. These reasons touch both on the person of Christ and his redemptive mission and on the welcome Mary gave that mission on behalf of all men" (Catechism of the Catholic Church, n. 502).
The virginal conception, by excluding human fatherhood, affirms that Jesus' only father is the heavenly Father and that the Son's being born in time reflects his eternal birth: the Father, who begot the Son in eternity, also begets him in time as a man.
2. The account of the Annunciation emphasizes his state as "Son of God", the result of God's intervention in his conception. "The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore the child to be born will be called holy, the "Son of God" (Lk 1:35).
Virginal conception is result of Mary's co-operation
He who is born of Mary is already Son of God by virtue of his eternal birth; his virginal birth, brought about by the Most High, shows that he is Son of God even in his humanity.
The revelation of his eternal birth in his virginal birth is also suggested by the passages in the Prologue of John's Gospel which relate the manifestation of the invisible God to the work of the "the only Son, who is in the bosom of the Father" (1:18), by his coming in the flesh: "And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, full of grace and truth; we have beheld his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father" (Lk 1:14).
In recounting the birth of Jesus, Luke and Matthew also speak of the role of the Holy Spirit. The latter is not the father of the Child. Jesus is the Son of the Eternal Father alone (cf. Lk 1:32-35), who through the Spirit is at work in the world and begets the Word in his human nature. Indeed, at the Annunciation the angel calls the Spirit "the power of the Most High" (Lk 1:35), in harmony with the Old Testament, which presents him as the divine energy at work in human life, making it capable of marvellous deeds. Manifesting itself to the supreme degree in the mystery of the Incarnation, this power, which in the Trinitarian life of God is Love, has the task of giving humanity the Incarnate Word.
3. The Holy Spirit, in particular, is the person who communicates divine riches to men and makes them sharers in God's life. He, who in the mystery of the Trinity is the unity of the Father and the Son, unites humanity with God by bringing about the virginal birth of Jesus.
The mystery of the Incarnation also highlights the incomparable greatness of Mary's virginal motherhood: the conception of Jesus is the fruit of her generous co-operation with the action of the Spirit of Love, the source of all fruitfulness.
In the divine plan of salvation, the virginal conception is therefore an announcement of the new creation: by the work of the Holy Spirit, he who will be the new Adam is begotten in Mary. As the Catechism of the Catholic Church states: "Jesus is conceived by the Holy Spirit in the Virgin Mary's womb because he is the New Adam who inaugurates the new creation" (n. 504).
Believers are given power to become God's children
The role of Mary's virginal motherhood shines forth in the mystery of this new creation. Calling Christ "the firstborn of the Virgin" (Ad Haer., 3, 16, 4), St Irenaeus recalls that after Jesus many others are born of the Virgin, in the sense that they receive the new life of Christ. "Jesus is Mary's only Son, but her spiritual motherhood extends to all men whom indeed he came to save: the Son whom she brought forth is he whom God placed as the first-born among many brethren, that is, the faithful in whose generation and formation she co-operates with a mother's love" (Catechism of the Catholic Church, n. 501).
4. The communication of the new life is the transmission of divine sonship. Here we can recall the perspective opened up by John in the Prologue of his Gospel: he who was begotten by God gives all believers the power to become children of God (cf. Jn 1:12-13). The virginal birth allows the extension of the divine fatherhood: men are made the adoptive children of God in him who is Son of the Virgin and of the Father.
Contemplating the mystery of the virgin birth thus enables us to realize that God chose a Virgin Mother for his Son to offer his fatherly love more generously to humanity.
Weekly Edition in English
7/14 August 1996
Certainly ... and any who give her praise (or, God forbid, actual worship) due only to God are in need of fraternal correction.
I'd suggest taking a closer look at the meditations KaC is posting on the "Mysteries of the Rosary". The Rosary, taken as a whole devotion (as it should be) is thoroughly Christ-centered.
MEDITATION FOR THE FEAST OF THE HOLY ROSARY, 5 OCTOBER 1879
Cardinal John Henry Newman
Newman had no text for this short sermon. What we have here is the report given in a newspaper and written from notes taken at the time of preaching. It was delivered on Sunday, 5 October 1879. The Cardinal was then 78 years of age, and was speaking "from his heart" to the boys at Oscott College, in the north of Birmingham. As it was the Feast of the Holy Rosary, he preached on the text: "They found Mary and Joseph, and the Infant lying in a manger" (Lk 2,16).
Five months previously, Newman was in Rome to be created Cardinal by Pope Leo XIII.
Personal love for the Rosary
Newman himself was very fond of his beads. He said: "to my own feelings nothing is more delightful" (The Letters and Diaries, XII, 217). For him it was not a matter of a mechanical repetition, but a meditation and contemplation of the mysteries of our Lord's life in the company of his Mother. He has not told us expressly how he said the Rosary, but the following advice which he gave to a recent convert whom he directed probably reflects Newman's own procedure: "Try it thus, if you don't so use it at present, but perhaps you do;viz. before each mystery, set before you a picture of it, and fix your mind upon that picture (e.g. the Annunciation, the Agony, etc.) while you say the Pater and 10 Aves, not thinking of the words, only saying them correctly. Let the exercise be hardly more than a meditation. Perhaps this will overcome any sense of tedium" (The Letters and Diaries, XII, 263). Needless to say, the material repetition of Paters and Aves has then reached its scope and becomes genuine prayer (cf. Philip Boyce, OCD, 'At Prayer with Newman', in In Search of Light. Life Development Prayer. Three Essays on John Henry Newman. Rome, International Centre of Newman Friends, 1985, p. 82).
I am not going to make a long address to you, my dear boys, or say anything that you have not often heard before from your superiors, for I know well in what good hands you are, and I know that their instructions come to you with greater force than any you can have from a stranger. If I speak to you at all, it is because I have lately come from the Holy Father, and am, in some sort, his representative, and so in the years to come you may remember that you saw me today and heard me speak in his name, and remember it to your profit.
You know that today we keep the Feast of the Holy Rosary, and I propose to say to you what occurs to me on this great subject. You know how that devotion came about; how, at a time when heresy was very widespread, and had called in the aid of sophistry, that can so powerfully aid infidelity against religion, God inspired St Dominic to institute and spread this devotion. It seems so simple and easy, but you know God chooses the small things of the world to humble the great (I Cor. 1,27-28).
Of course it was first of all for the poor and simple, but not for them only, for everyone who has practised the devotion knows that there is in it a soothing sweetness that there is in nothing else. It is difficult to know God by your own power, because He is incomprehensible. He is invisible to begin with, and therefore incomprehensible. We can in some way know Him, for even among the heathens there were some who had learned many truths about Him; but even they found it hard to conform their lives to their knowledge of Him. And so in His mercy He has given us a revelation of Himself by coming amongst us, to be one of ourselves, with all the relations and qualities of humanity, to gain us over. He came down from Heaven and dwelt amongst us, and died for us. All these things are in the Creed, which contains the chief things that He has revealed to us about Himself.
Now the great power of the Rosary lies in this, that it makes the Creed into a prayer; of course, the Creed is in some sense a prayer and a great act of homage to God; but the Rosary gives us the great truths of His life and death to meditate upon, and brings them nearer to our hearts. And so we contemplate all the great mysteries of His life and His birth in the manger; and so too the mysteries of His suffering and His glorified life. But even Christians, with all their knowledge of God, have usually more awe than love of Him, and the special virtue of the Rosary lies in the special way in which it looks at these mysteries; for with all our thoughts of Him are mingled thoughts of His Mother, and in the relations between Mother and Son we have set before us the Holy Family, the home in which God lived. Now the family is, even humanly considered, a sacred thing; how much more the family bound together by supernatural ties, and, above all, that in which God dwelt with His Blessed Mother.
This is what I should most wish you to remember in future years. For you will all of you have to go out into the world, and going out into the world means leaving home; and, my dear boys, you don't know what the world is now. You look forward to the time when you will go out into the world, and it seems to you very bright and full of promise. It is not wrong for you to look forward to that time; but most men who know the world find it a world of great trouble, and disappointments, and even misery. If it turns out so to you, seek a home in the Holy Family that you think about in the mysteries of the Rosary. Schoolboys know the difference between school and home. You often hear grown-up people say that the happiest time of their life was that passed at school but when they were at school you know they had a happier time, which was when they went home; that shows there is a good in home which cannot be found elsewhere. So that even if the world should actually prove to be all that you now fancy it, if it should bring you all that you could wish, yet you ought to have in the Holy Family a home with a holiness and sweetness about it that cannot be found elsewhere.
This is, my dear boys, what I most earnestly ask you. I ask you when you go out into the world, as you soon must, to make the Holy Family your home, to which you may turn from all the sorrow and care of the world and find a solace, a compensation, and a refuge. And this I say to you, not as if I should speak to you again, not as if I had of myself any claim upon you, but with the claims of the Holy Father, whose representative I am, and in the hope that in the days to come you will remember that I came amongst you and said it to you. And when I speak of the Holy Family I do not mean Our Lord and Our Lady only, but St Joseph too; for as we cannot separate Our Lord from His Mother, so we cannot separate St Joseph from them both; for who but he was their protector in all the scenes of Our Lord's early life? And with Joseph must be included St Elizabeth and St John, whom we naturally think of as part of the Holy Family; we read of them together and see them in pictures together. May you, my dear boys, throughout your life find a home in the Holy Family; the home of Our Lord and His Blessed Mother, St Joseph, St Elizabeth, and St John.
(MaryThe Virgin Mary in the Life and Writings of John Henry Newman, chap. 6, Edited by Philip Boyce).
Weekly Edition in English
5 February 2003, page 10
Prayer in Honor of the Immaculate Conception
ANT. This is the rod in which was neither knot of original sin,
nor rind of actual guilt.
V. In thy conception, O Virgin! Thou wast immaculate.
R. Pray for us to the Father, Whose Son thou didst bring forth.
Let us Pray
O GOD, Who, by the Immaculate Conception of the Virgin, didst
prepare a worthy habitation for Thy Son, we beseech Thee, that as
by the foreseen death of that same Son, Thou didst preserve her
from all stain, so too thou wouldst permit us, purified through
her intercession, to come unto Thee. Through the same Christ our
Prayer to Our Lady Immaculate
Most holy Virgin, who wast pleasing to the Lord and became His
Mother, immaculate in body and spirit, in faith and in love, look
kindly on the wretched who implore thy powerful patronage. The
wicked serpent, against whom was hurled the first curse, continues
fiercely to attack and ensnare the unhappy children of Eve. Do
thou, then, O Blessed Mother, our queen and advocate, who from the
first instant of thy conception didst crush the head of the enemy,
receive the prayers which, united with thee in our single heart,
we implore thee to present at the throne of God, that we may never
fall into the snares which are laid out for us, and may all arrive
at the port of salvation; and, in so many dangers, may the Church
and Christian society sing once again the hymn of deliverance and
of victory and of peace. Amen.
In Thy conception, O Virgin Mary, thou wast immaculate; pray for
us to the Father, Whose Son, Jesus Christ conceived of the Holy
Ghost, thou didst bring forth.
ora pro nobis.
pray for us,
your children here upon the earth,
so often lost and lone.
Come to us when our hearts are heavy,
when we most need our mother,
and lead us to the fruit of your womb,
Holy Mary, Mother of God,
pray for us now and at the hour of our death, Amen.
Sancta Dei Genetrix,
ora pro nobis.
Holy Mother of God,
who was graced to know Jesus
like no other human,
whose kind and gentle advice is
Do whatever he tells you,
pray for us
now and at the hour of our death, Amen.
ora pro nobis.
Mother of sorrows,
You understand grief in that special way
that comes from offering up
the best and the brightest
gift of your heart,
Seeing your son in his sorrow and pain,
like a woman in labor,
to become our mother.
Pray for us
now and at the hour of our death, Amen.
ora pro nobis.
Refuge of sinners,
Thank you, o sweet Mary,
You who come looking for us,
lost in the night,
like a worried mother
seeking her lost child
In this time where the twlight grows so dim,
and so much is so confusing,
we need our mother,
take us by the hand,
and bring us to the foot of the Cross,
to Jesus your son,
where we may find the true light.
ora pro nobis peccatoribus, nunc,
et in hora mortis nostrae.
LITANY TO JESUS IN THE WOMB OF MARY
Response to each invocation: Have mercy on us.
Jesus, knit so wonderfully in the womb of Mary,
Jesus, conceived by the Holy Spirit in the womb of Mary,
Jesus, uniquely human from the moment of conception in the womb of Mary,
Jesus, present at creation, created in the womb of Mary,
Jesus, word made flesh, taking on a human body in the womb of Mary,
Jesus, subject to human development in the womb of Mary,
Jesus, whose Precious Blood first flowed through tiny arteries and veins in the womb of Mary,
Jesus, hidden nine months in the womb of Mary,
Jesus, begotten by God, nourished by the substance and blood of His Most Holy Mother in the womb of Mary,
Jesus, leaping from eternity into time, in the womb of Mary
Jesus, revealing with His Father and the Holy Spirit all wisdom and knowledge to His Most Holy Mother, in the womb of Mary,
Jesus, aware of His role as Redeemer in the womb of Mary,
Jesus, Sanctifier of His Precursor from the womb of Mary,
Jesus, Eternal Word, Divine Child, embraced by the Father, in the womb of Mary,
Jesus, raising His Mother to the heights of sanctification, in the womb of Mary,
Jesus, everlasting delight of heaven, in the womb of Mary,
Jesus, manifesting His Incarnation to His Holy Mother, in the womb of Mary,
Jesus, adored and contemplated by His Mother in the sanctuary of her womb Jesus, before whom the angels prostrated themselves, in the womb of Mary,
Jesus, in whom the very angels beheld the humanity of the Infant God and the union of the two natures of the Word in the virginal womb of Mary,
Jesus, whose Holy Limbs first budded in the womb of Mary,
Jesus, whose Godhead the world cannot contain, weighing only a few grams in the womb of Mary,
Jesus, Divine Immensity, once measuring only tenths of an inch in the womb of Mary,
Jesus, Sacrificial Lamb, Docile Infant in the womb of Mary,
Jesus, who was to suffer the agony and passion of death, accepting the human capacity for pain and grief, in the womb of Mary,
Jesus, Lamb of God in the womb of Mary Spare us, O Lord.
Jesus, Holy Innocent in the womb of Mary Graciously hear us, O Lord.
Jesus, Son of God and Messiah in the womb of Mary Have mercy on us, O Lord.
Let us pray:
God, our creator, you formed us as women and men,
equal partners in the stewardship of your world:
joined forever as sisters and brothers,
yet within each of us lives a rich diversity of different gifts,
different hopes and different limitations.
In Jesus, your word born fully in our flesh,
you have seen and loved in us all that you have made us to be.
Though graced, we are limited and often weak.
But our weaknesses themselves are no obstacle to your passion for us.
Teach us to see in ourselves what you have seen in each of us from birth.
Teach us to know our gifts and limits.
Keep us confidently on the path of self-knowledge,
fullness of wisdom, and joy in being your children.
We ask this through Christ and the Holy Spirit, with you,
One God, forever and ever. Amen.
Litany of the Immaculate Heart of Mary
Lord, have mercy.
Christ, have mercy.
Christ, have mercy.
Lord, have mercy.
Lord, have mercy.
Christ, hear us.
Christ, graciously hear us.
God the Father of Heaven, Have mercy on us.
God the Son, redeemer of the world,
God the Holy Spirit,
Holy Trinity, one God,
Heart of Mary, Pray for us.
Heart of Mary, after Gods own Heart,
Heart of Mary, in union with the Heart of Jesus,
Heart of Mary, the vessel of the Holy Spirit,
Heart of Mary, shrine of the Trinity,
Heart of Mary, home of the Word,
Heart of Mary, immaculate in your creation,
Heart of Mary, flooded with grace,
Heart of Mary, blessed of all hearts,
Heart of Mary, Throne of glory,
Heart of Mary, Abyss of humbleness,
Heart of Mary, Victim of love,
Heart of Mary, nailed to the cross,
Heart of Mary, comfort of the sad,
Heart of Mary, refuge of the sinner,
Heart of Mary, hope of the dying,
Heart of Mary, seat of mercy,
Lamb of God, who take away the sins of the world, Spare us, O Lord.
Lamb of God, who take away the sins of the world, Graciously hear us, O Lord.
Lamb of God, who take away the sins of the world, Have mercy on us.
Christ, hear us.
Christ, graciously hear us.
Lord, have mercy.
Christ, have mercy.
Lord, have mercy.
L: Immaculate Mary, meek and humble of heart.
A: Conform our hearts to the heart of Jesus.
Let us pray:
O most merciful God, who for the salvation of sinners and the refuge of the wretched, has made the Immaculate Heart of Mary most like in tenderness and pity to the Heart of Jesus, grant that we, who now commemorate her most sweet and loving heart, may by her merits and intercession, ever live in the fellowship of the hearts of both Mother and Son, through the same Christ our Lord. Amen.
When Mary, immaculate ! tender and mild,
Could find but a manger as crib for her Child
Her pure heart rejoiced in the Infant so fair,
Protected by Joseph, the holy one, near.
When Mary saw Jesus, her baby, asleep,
His pillow, the straw in a stable for sheep,
Her sorrow was great when, behold from the sky,
Bright choirs of God's angels brought joy from on high.
When Mary thought sadly that Christ, the great King,
Had none but poor shepherds their homage to bring,
Then kings from the Orient came to adore,
And Mary, His mother, was joyful once more.
When Mary lost Jesus and sought in despair,
She looked in the temple and lo, He was there.
The heart of the mother was filled with great joy
To find midst the doctors her well beloved Boy.
When Mary saw Jesus on Calvary's hill,
The crucified Victim, obeying God's will,
A sword pierced her heart, yet she knew, though she wept, That Christ, our Redeemer, was God's promise kept.
Thank you! I love your devotional posts,!