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From: Hebrews 10:5-10

Christ’s Offering of Himself Has Infinite Value

[5] Consequently, when Christ came into the world, He said,

“Sacrifices and offerings Thou hast not desired,
but a body hast Thou prepared for Me;
[6] in burnt offerings and sin offerings Thou hast taken no pleasure.
[7] Then I said, ‘Lo, I have come to do Thy will, O God,’
as it is written of Me in the roll of the book.”

[8] When He said above, “Thou hast neither desired nor taken pleasure in sa-
crifices and offerings and burnt offerings and sin offerings” (these are offered ac-
cording to the law), [9] then He added, “Lo, I have come to do Thy will.” He aboli-
shes the first in order to establish the second. [10] And by that will we have been
sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.


5-10. This passage carries a quotation from Psalm 40:7-8, but one taken from
the Greek translation, the Septuagint, not from the Hebrew. Where the Hebrew
says, “Thou hast opened My ears”, the Greek reads, “a body Thou hast prepared
for Me”. The difference is not substantial, because the Hebrew expression points
to the docility and obedience of the speaker, who is the Messiah Himself. The
Greek translation gives the sentence a more general meaning: God has not only
opened the ears of the Messiah; He has given Him life as a man (cf. Philippians
2:7). The words of this Psalm “allow us as it were to sound the unfathomable
depths of this self-abasement of the Word, His humiliation of Himself for love of
men even to death on the Cross [...]. Why this obedience, this self-abasement,
this suffering? The Creed gives us the answer: ‘for us men and for our salvation’
Jesus came down from Heaven so as to give man full entitlement to ascend (to
Heaven) and by becoming a son in the Son to regain the dignity he lost through
sin [...]. Let us welcome Him. Let us say to Him, ‘Here I am; I have come to
do Your will’” ([Pope] John Paul II, “General Audience”, 25 March 1981).

The author of the letter, elaborating on the text of the psalm, asserts that the
Messiah’s sacrifice is greater than the sacrifices of the Old Law, unbloody as
well as bloody, sin-offerings as well as burnt offerings as they were called in the
liturgy (cf. Leviticus 5;6; 7:27). The sacrifice of Christ, who has “come into the
world”, has replaced both kinds of ancient sacrifice. It consisted in perfectly do-
ing the will of His Father (cf. John 4:34; 6:38; 8:29; 14:31), even though He was
required to give His life to the point of dying on Calvary (Matthew 26:42; John
10:18; Hebrews 5:7-9). Christ “came into the world” to offer Himself up to suf-
fering and death for the redemption of the world. “He knew that all the sacrifices
of goats and bulls offered to God in ancient times were incapable of making sa-
tisfaction for the sins of men; He knew that a divine person was needed to do
that [...]. My Father (Jesus Christ said), all the victims offered You up to this are
not enough and never will be enough to satisfy Your justice; You gave Me a body
capable of experiencing suffering, so that You might be placated by the shedding
of My blood, and men thereby saved; ‘ecce venio, here I am, ready’; I accept
everything and in all things do I submit to Your will. The lower part of His human
nature naturally felt repugnance and reacted against living and dying in so much
pain and opprobium, but its rational part, which was fully subject to the Father’s
will, had the upper hand; it accepted everything, and therefore Jesus Christ began
to suffer, from that point onwards, all the anguish and pain which He would under-
go in the course of His life. That is how our Divine Redeemer acted from the very
first moments of His coming into the world. So, how should we behave towards
Jesus when, come to the use of reason, we begin to know the sacred mysteries
of Redemption through the light of faith?” (St. Alphonsus, “Advent Meditations”,
II, 5).

The Psalm speaks of “the roll of the book”: this may refer to a specific book or
else to the Old Testament in general (cf. Luke 24:27; John 5;39, 46, 47).

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 12/22/2012 8:24:48 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All

From: Luke 1:39-45

The Visitation

[39] In those days Mary arose and went with haste into the hill country, to a
city of Judah, [40] and she entered the house of Zechariah and greeted Elizabeth.
[41] And when Elizabeth heard the greeting of Mary, the babe leaped in her womb;
and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit [42] and she exclaimed with a loud
cry, “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb! [43]
And why is this granted me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? [44]
For behold, when the voice of your greeting came to my ears, the babe in my
womb leaped for joy. [45] And blessed is she who believed that there would be
a fulfillment of what was spoken to her from the Lord.”


39-56. We contemplate this episode of our Lady’s visit to her cousin St. Eliza-
beth in the Second Joyful Mystery of the Rosary: “Joyfully keep Joseph and Ma-
ry company ... and you will hear the traditions of the House of David.... We walk
in haste towards the mountains, to a town of the tribe of Judah (Luke 1:39).

“We arrive. It is the house where John the Baptist is to be born. Elizabeth grate-
fully hails the Mother of her Redeemer: Blessed are you among women, and
blessed is the fruit of your womb. Why should I be honored with a visit from the
mother of my Lord? (Luke 1:42-43).

“The unborn Baptist quivers...(Luke 1:41). Mary’s humility pours forth in the “Mag-
nificat”.... And you and I, who are proud—who were proud—promise to be humble”
(St. J. Escriva, “Holy Rosary”).

39. On learning from the angel that her cousin St. Elizabeth is soon to give birth
and is in need of support, our Lady in her charity hastens to her aid. She has no
regard for the difficulties this involves. Although we do not know where exactly
Elizabeth was living (it is now thought to be Ain Karim), it certainly meant a jour-
ney into the hill country which at that time would have taken four days.

From Mary’s visit to Elizabeth Christians should learn to be caring people. “If we
have this filial contact with Mary, we won’t be able to think just about ourselves
and our problems. Selfish personal problems will find no place in our mind” (St.
J. Escriva, “Christ Is Passing By,” 145)

42. St. Bede comments that Elizabeth blesses Mary using the same words as
the archangel “to show that she should be honored by angels and by men and
why she should indeed be revered above all other women” (”In Lucae Evangelium
Expositio, in loc.”).

When we say the “Hail Mary” we repeat these divine greetings, “rejoicing with
Mary at her dignity as Mother of God and praising the Lord, thanking Him for
having given us Jesus Christ through Mary” (”St. Pius X Catechism”, 333).

43. Elizabeth is moved by the Holy Spirit to call Mary “the mother of my Lord”,
thereby showing that Mary is the Mother of God.

44. Although he was conceived in sin—original sin—like other men, St. John the
Baptist was born sinless because he was sanctified in his mother’s womb by the
presence of Jesus Christ (then in Mary’s womb) and of the Blessed Virgin. On re-
ceiving this grace of God St. John rejoices by leaping with joy in his mother’s
womb — thereby fulfilling the archangel’s prophecy (cf. Luke 1:15).

St. John Chrysostom comments on this scene of the Gospel: “See how new
and how wonderful this mystery is. He has not yet left the womb but he speaks
by leaping; he is not yet allowed to cry out but he makes himself heard by his ac-
tions [...]; he has not yet seen the light but he points out the Sun; he has not yet
been born and he is keen to act as Precursor. The Lord is present, so he cannot
contain himself or wait for nature to run its course: he wants to break out of the
prison of his Mother’s womb and he makes sure he witnesses to the fact that the
Savior is about to come” (”Sermo Apud Metaphr., Mense Julio”).

45. Joining the chorus of all future generations, Elizabeth, moved by the Holy
Spirit, declares the Lord’s Mother to be blessed and praises her faith. No one
ever had faith to compare with Mary’s; she is the model of the attitude a creature
should have towards its Creator—complete submission, total attachment. Through
her faith, Mary is the instrument chosen by God to bring about the Redemption;
as Mediatrix of all graces, she is associated with the redemptive work of her Son:
“This union of the Mother with the Son in the work of salvation is made manifest
from the time of Christ’s virginal conception up to His death; first when Mary, ari-
sing in haste to go to visit Elizabeth, is greeted by her as blessed because of her
belief in the promise of salvation and the Precursor leaps with joy in the womb of
his mother [...]. The Blessed Virgin advanced in her pilgrimage of faith and faith-
fully persevered in her union with her Son unto the cross, where she stood (cf.
John 19:25), in keeping with the Divine Plan, enduring with her only-begotten Son
the intensity of His suffering, associating herself with His sacrifice in her mother’s
heart, and lovingly consenting to the immolation of this Victim which was born of
her” (Vatican II, “Lumen Gentium”, 57f).

The new Latin text gives a literal rendering of the original Greek when it says
“quae credidit” (RSV “she who has believed”) as opposed to the Vulgate “quae
credidisti” (”you who have believed”) which gave more of the sense than a literal

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 12/22/2012 8:25:38 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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