UNBORN WORD of the day

July 22, 2010, 9:02 pm
Filed under: Biblical Reflections, Unborn Jesus

Our Lady de la Esperanza. Our Lady of Divine Hope.
Iglesia de San Martín.. Sevilla.  Photo: Rafael Marquez

Towards the end of the Bible that now famous “great multitude in heaven” cry out, with what might be called in the news media a ‘sound bite’: “Salvation and glory and power belong to our God…” (Rev 19:1). This is a most poignant triple touchstone for understanding God. Given the focus of this blog, we will briefly consider how the Archangel Gabriel touches upon these three aspects of Mary’s Son when he announces to her the fast-approaching Incarnation of the Son of God. We will look at ‘glory’ and ‘power’ first then conclude with ‘salvation’. Gabriel tells Mary that her son:

  • “will be great”
  • “will be called the Son of the Most High”
  • He will have given to him “the throne of his father David”
  • “he will reign over the house of Jacob for ever”
  • “there will be no end” to “his kingdom”
  • “the child to be born will be called holy, the Son of God”

We see repeated references and implications here to Jesus the Son of God being filled with glory and power, exercising unending and unlimited power, and manifesting His glory and the glory of His Father.

But what does Gabriel say about “salvation”? Before all of these other titles and expressions of power and glory, Gabriel says: “…you shall call his name Jesus”. The name ‘Jesus’ means: “Yahweh is salvation”. So the first title from the angelic lips of Gabriel – the name of her son – points directly to the salvific life and mission of the son Mary would bear.

This saving power that the Son of God was bringing into our world was attested to by angels in association with each trimester of Mary’s pregnancy. At the immediate beginning of the first trimester Gabriel makes his annunciation to Mary (Lk 1:30-35). Around the second trimester the angel of the Lord tells Joseph in a dream: “…you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins” (Mt 1:21). And immediately following the third trimester, an angel of the Lord appeared in the Bethlehem sky to the shepherds and told them: “…to you is born this day in the city of David, a Savior, who is Christ the Lord” (Lk 2:11).

So we can say with great thanksgiving, paraphrasing Rev 19:1 – “Salvation and glory and power belong to our God… and even to unborn baby Jesus”.

Representation of the Child Jesus in the womb of Our Lady of Divine Hope. Photo: Rafael Marquez

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