UNBORN WORD of the day


The Incarnation – Gift to Humanity
November 14, 2011, 12:06 am
Filed under: Biblical Reflections, Evangelium Vitae, Incarnation, The Incarnation, Unborn Jesus

Meister des Marienlebens Annunciation

Sometimes words such as ‘gift’ and ‘giving’ – like the word ‘love’ – seem over-used, employed too often and too superficially, thus inclined to have their true meaning and intent eroded. But to call the Incarnation a ‘gift from God’ is not only appropriate, it is almost understatement. Consider this observation by John Paul II:

“The conception and birth of Jesus Christ are in fact the greatest work accomplished by the Holy Spirit in the history of creation and salvation: the supreme grace – “the grace of union,” source of every other grace, as St. Thomas explains.” (# 50 The Holy Spirit in the Life of the Church and the World)

Here is a very rough paraphrase: The Incarnation of Jesus Christ is the supreme gift – given by God to humanity.

John Paul goes on to say of the Incarnation that it is the “source of every other grace” – and every other Divine gift. Later in the same document, John Paul elaborates on this concept further:

“Creation is thus completed by the Incarnation and since that moment is permeated by the powers of the Redemption, powers which fill humanity and all creation.” #52 

 As we approach Thanksgiving Day, we know that it is a day to thank God for His plenteous and overflowing gifts. What better place to begin our thanksgiving recollection than in Nazareth?

In the time of Christ there was a rather dismissive popular expression: “Can anything good come out of Nazareth?” (Jn 1:46)

“Yes” we might respond, “All Good – ‘the supreme grace’ of God, the true ‘powers of the Redemption’ filling humanity to overflowing, ‘grace upon grace’, and enduring hope!”

Meister des Marienlebens Annunciation (Detail with Unborn Jesus)



“WE ARE PEOPLE OF LIFE AND FOR LIFE” – ARCHBISHOP GOMEZ

(The following column by Los Angeles Archbishop José Gomez appeared in the Friday, Oct. 7, issue of the archdiocesan newspaper The Tidings)

Blessed John Paul II said that as Christians we are called to be people of life and for life.

Our religion, in a beautiful and mysterious way, is deeply identified with human life. What other world religion remembers the time when its founder was in his mother’s womb?

Yet in our sacred Scriptures, we preserve the story of Jesus’ conception, his birth, and even some events from his early childhood. We retell these stories in our worship, year after year — at Christmas time, in feasts like the Annunciation. We remember the name of Jesus’ mother in our confession of faith, when we say Jesus was “born of the Virgin Mary.”

Biblical religion is a religion in which family and children, and the promise of children, plays a big role.

Think of the stories of Abraham and Sarah and God’s promise to give them a son. Think of God’s words to the prophet Jeremiah: “Before I formed you in the womb, I knew you.”

Again and again in the salvation history we read in the Bible, God’s plan is enacted through a woman who is with child. “Behold a virgin shall conceive and bear a son …”

God loved us so much that he entered into this world as each one of us did — through the womb of a mother.

Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta used to love the Gospel story of the Visitation. She always pointed to this detail — how St. John the Baptist leapt in St. Elizabeth’s womb when Mary walked into the room.

She said: “Something very beautiful, something very wonderful happened. The first human being to recognize the presence of Jesus was the little one in the womb of his mother — who leaped with joy. It is so beautiful to think that God gave that little unborn child the greatness of proclaiming the presence of Jesus on earth.”

Click here to read the rest of his statement.



The Queenship of Mary Explained
August 21, 2011, 2:40 pm
Filed under: Biblical Reflections, Mother of the Lord, Papal Quotes

Today, August 22 we celebrate the feast day of The Queenship of Mary. This special Liturgical Feast was proclaimed by Pope Pius XII on October 11, 1954 through his Encyclical Letter  Ad Caeli Reginam.

The following is a quote from this Encyclical Letter.

“As We have already mentioned, Venerable Brothers, according to ancient tradition and the sacred liturgy the main principle on which the royal dignity of Mary rests is without doubt her Divine Motherhood.

In Holy Writ, concerning the Son whom Mary will conceive, We read this sentence: “He shall be called the Son of the most High, and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of David his father, and he shall reign in the house of Jacob forever, and of his kingdom there will be no end,”[Luke 1:32,33] and in addition Mary is called “Mother of the Lord”;[Luke 1:43] from this it is easily concluded that she is a Queen, since she bore a son who, at the very moment of His conception, because of the hypostatic union of the human nature with the Word, was also as man King and Lord of all things.

So with complete justice St. John Damascene could write: “When she became Mother of the Creator, she truly became Queen of every creature.” Likewise, it can be said that the heavenly voice of the Archangel Gabriel was the first to proclaim Mary’s royal office.”

AD CAELI REGINAM, ENCYCLICAL OF POPE PIUS XII ON PROCLAIMING THE QUEENSHIP OF MARY, # 34



REVELATION 11, THE ASSUMPTION AND UNBORN JESUS
August 14, 2011, 10:42 pm
Filed under: Biblical Reflections, Mary, Unborn Jesus

“Theotokos (God-Bearer)”  by  by Karl Kohlhase

Then God’s temple in heaven was opened, and the ark of his covenant was seen within his temple…. Rev 11:19

Above is the last verse of Revelation chapter 11. The next verse, the first verse of chapter 12, begins to narrate the portent of the “woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars; she was with child….”

But there is a continuity here from Rev 11:19 to Rev 12. Mary is the “new ark” of the New Covenant”. What made the old ark in the Old Testament especially valuable was its contents. So too with Mary who was with child; containing within her the Unborn Savior of the world.

Numerous biblical scholars, theologians and Bishops have found a remarkable parallel between Old Testament accounts of the ark of the covenant (Sam 6:1-13, and elsewhere) and the Incarnation /Visitation accounts in Luke. (See Unborn Jesus Our Hope, Chp. 2, footnote 13.) So, Mary is the Ark of the New Covenant, carrying Unborn Jesus within her. She is also the Woman clothed with the sun.

There is within Christendom the ancient tradition that Mary was assumed into heaven, body and soul, and in a prophetic sense, Revelations 12 confirms that tradition, bearing witness to the reality of it. Read Rev 11:19 again. Here is one possible interpretation of Rev 11:19: Then God’s temple in heaven was opened and Mary, the pregnant Mother of Jesus our Savior stood within the temple. Perhaps this is heaven’s version of a Nativity scene; a revelation of the New Covenant, Jesus Christ (within the new Ark). Note: Mary is Not Divine, she is Not worshiped, it is Not her temple! She is privileged however, as the faithful and ever-loving Mother of Jesus Christ, to be with Him always in a special manner; and in Rev 11:19 He is her unborn baby.

Humanity’s “solitary boast”, as William Wordsworth would say of her (‘The Virgin’, Ecclesiastical Sonnet XXV).



THE CHRIST CHILD – “TO GUIDE OUR FEET INTO THE WAY OF PEACE”
June 21, 2011, 10:01 pm
Filed under: Biblical Reflections, Mary, Unborn Jesus

There is a beautiful teaching in Paul’s Letter to the Philippians about God’s peace:

“And the peace of God, which passes all understanding, will keep your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Phil 4:7

We find this peace first and foremost in the Person of Jesus Christ – even when He was an infant, a little baby. Just after the birth of John the Baptist, when Mary was just about 3 months pregnant, Zechariah (the father of newborn baby John) proclaims the future prophetic role of his baby son. Zechariah also speaks of a time “when the day shall dawn upon us from on high….to guide our feet into the way of peace” (Lk 1:78-79).

That day had surely begun to dawn in Bethlehem. And so the angel of the Lord and the heavenly host which appeared to the shepherds in the nearby fields, ended their proclamation with these words: “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among men with whom he is pleased!” (Lk 2:14).

The shepherds go to the stable and worship the newborn Christ. Later the wise men come and worship as well. There is, in fact, a correlation between worshipping God and encountering the Peace of God.

After the shepherds left, Luke tells us: “But Mary kept all these things, pondering them in her heart” (Lk 2:19). The words and experiences were so deep and profound, that only her heart could touch them. Mary’s heart was at once, the vessel from which her worship poured forth and a receptacle for the breath of God’s Peace.

Mary was the first to touch that Peace of Christ which surpasses all understanding, or rather – the Peace of the Unborn Christ (and later newborn Christ) touched her, enveloped her pondering heart…guiding her “feet into the way of peace”…



Visitation
May 31, 2011, 10:25 pm
Filed under: Biblical Reflections, Mary, Pope Benedict XVI

Visitation Sand Sculpture: Artist: Daniel Glover

“Let us imagine the Virgin’s state of mind after the Annunciation, when the Angel left her. Mary found herself with a great mystery enclosed within her womb; she knew something extraordinarily unique had happened; she was aware that the last chapter of salvation history in the world had begun.

But everything around her remained as before and the village of Nazareth was completely unaware of what had happened to her.

Before worrying about herself, Mary instead thought about elderly Elizabeth, who she knew was well on in her pregnancy and, moved by the mystery of love that she had just welcomed within herself, she set out “in haste” to go to offer Elizabeth her help. This is the simple and sublime greatness of Mary!”

The Visitation and the Immaculate Heart of Mary by Pope Benedict XVI On Saturday evening, 31 May [2008], the Feast or the Visitation of the Virgin Mary.



HAVE YOU SEEN THE LIGHT ?
May 16, 2011, 9:41 pm
Filed under: Biblical Reflections, The Incarnation, Unborn Jesus

Our Lady of Light and Life

“In him was life, and the life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.”  Jn 1:4-5

“And in that region there were shepherds out in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And an angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them…”  Lk 2:8-9

“…and lo, the star which they had seen in the East went before them, till it came to rest over the place where the child was.”  Mt 2:9

“And as he was praying, the appearance of his countenance was altered, and his raiment became dazzling white…and they saw his glory…”  Lk 9:29,32

“Again Jesus spoke to them, saying, ‘I am the light of the world…’”  Jn 8:12

“Now as he (Paul) journeyed he approached Damascus, and suddenly a light from heaven flashed about him. And he fell to the ground and heard a voice saying to him, ‘Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me?’ And he said, ‘Who are you Lord?’”  Acts 9:3-5

“For it is the God who said, ‘Let light shine out of darkness,’ who has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ.”  II Cor 4:6

In our darkest moments, let us look for the glimmer of Christ’s light in our own hearts and in the lives of Christians around us, in the pregnant woman, in the manger, in the night sky, on the mountain top, even down the darkened meandering road….