UNBORN WORD of the day


“A Mystery similar to the one wrought in Mary’s womb”

Die Quinauer Madonna mit dem hl. Dorn von Eisenberg

“Now Jesus Christ, God and Man, enters into us and enacts a mystery similar to the one wrought in Mary’s womb….the Eucharist passes into our bodies and, uniting with us, prolongs, extends the Incarnation to each of us separately.

In becoming incarnate in the Virgin Mary, the Word had in view this incarnation in each one of us, this Communion with the individual soul; it was one of the ends for which He came into the world.

Communion is the perfect development, the full unfoldment of the Incarnation, as it is likewise the completion of the sublime sacrifice of Calvary, renewed each morning in the Mass….without Communion the Sacrifice would be incomplete. Thus the Body of Jesus Christ is united with our body, His Soul with our soul, and His Divinity hovers over both.”

St. Peter Julian Eymard Holy Communion



Place yourselves in the School of Mary this Holy Week
April 1, 2012, 9:47 pm
Filed under: Mary, Pope Benedict XVI

Mother of the Incarnate Word by Fr. William Hart McNichols

“So much can be gained by reflecting on the way Mary learned from Jesus!

From her very first “fiat”, through the long, ordinary years of the hidden life, as she brought up Jesus, or when at Cana in Galilee she asked for the first sign, or when finally on Calvary, by the Cross, she looked on Jesus, she “learned” him moment by moment.

Firstly in faith and then in her womb, she received the Body of Jesus and then gave birth to him. Day after day, enraptured, she adored him. She served him with solicitous love, singing the Magnificat in her heart.”

Address of the Holy Father, Pope Benedict XVI , May 26, 2006



TEN BLESSINGS OF MARY AT THE ANNUNCIATION OF THE LORD
March 25, 2012, 12:00 pm
Filed under: Incarnation, Mary, Mother of the Lord, The Incarnation, Unborn Jesus

The Annunciation Budapest Master (Spanish, Castilian, ca. 1500) New York Metropolitan Museum of Art.

We read about the Annunciation of the Lord to Mary in Lk 1:26-38. This event, mystically linked with Mary’s conception of Jesus Christ immediately afterward, is the ultimate intervention of God in the life of an individual. With the Incarnation of God, the world and humanity were instantaneously and radically changed forever. Let us consider for a moment how Mary was directly impacted by this singular event. Following are ten blessings Mary received during this event:

Blessing of Angelic Visitation (Lk 1:26-27): The angel Gabriel “was sent from God” and appeared to Mary. Gabriel is a unique angel, an Archangel “who stand in the presence of God” (Lk 1:19). His appearance to a human being was, in and of itself, a profound and deep act of Divine blessing.

Blessing of Divine Election (Lk 1:26-28, 30): Mary had been chosen by God for an unprecedented role, or office, in Salvation History; Mother of the Son of God, Mother of the Savior of the World, the First Christian.

Blessing of Announcement (Lk 1:30-33): The Incarnation Mystery is announced first to Mary. She represents humankind and is entrusted with this Divine Message for safekeeping. But more, what is announced almost simultaneously occurs through a Divine act within her physical body. The Announcement “takes flesh” within her.

Blessing of Illumination (Lk 1:31-33, 35): Gabriel explains the meaning of the message, the truth of the Incarnation. “…his name Jesus…the Son of the Most High…the throne of his father David…reign over the house of Jacob…his kingdom…the Son of God” and conceived by “the Holy Spirit”. These are theological concepts of uncharted prophetic and intellectual import; like Divine sunbeams penetrating her heart and intellect.

Blessing of Conception (Lk 1:31, 35): We might almost say that there are two consecutive “annunciations” to Mary; 1. Gabriel appears to her, 2. The Holy Spirit overshadows her. In the first she conceives the Word in her heart, in the second she conceives the Word in her womb (as the Fathers of the Church observed). She is transformed for eternity, from “handmaid of the Lord” to “Mother of God”, by one sublime act of Divine Intervention.

Blessing of the Divine Presence (Lk 1:31, 35): At the moment of the Incarnation, God is present with Mary with an intensity and reality beyond human comprehension or explanation. As Mother, she enjoys the real physical Presence of God, as First Christian, this Presence imbues and directs her daily life.

Blessing of Prophetic Fulfillment (Mt 1:20-22): A lengthy list of Messianic prophecies, beginning with Gen 3:15 and running down through the centuries, were fulfilled within the womb and being of Mary in that very moment of “the fullness of time” (Eph 1:9-10), on that very first day of the “new creation” (II Cor 5:17). When Gabriel announced the redemptive name of “Jesus” to Mary, our Redemption was already upon us.

Blessing of Encouragement (Lk 1:30, 37): Gabriel gave Mary two personal messages of encouragement and strengthening; 1. “Do not be afraid…you have found favor with God.” and 2. “For with God nothing will be impossible.” This was an immediate blessing to Mary, but also a touchstone message for the rest of her life, especially during those times of trial that would come upon her.

Blessing of Divine Guidance (Lk 1:36): Gabriel reveals to Mary the prophetic pregnancy of her kinswoman Elizabeth, which serves as a spiritual signpost for her new journey with God. Also, this news of God’s Divine intervention and activity in the world around her are a promise of a continuing guidance throughout her life.

Blessing of Remembrance (Lk 1:26-38): This foundational event, the Incarnation of Christ by the Virgin Mary, which defines Christianity, and the accompanying teaching message from Gabriel, which informs Christianity, were to be shared by Mary with the early Apostolic Church at the appropriate time. This was a sacred remembrance given only to Mary for the holy edification of the Christian Church for all time. This blessing was understood by Mary; “…henceforth all generations will call me blessed” (Lk 1:48).



THE ASSUMPTION OF MARY & OUR RESURRECTION
August 15, 2011, 10:26 pm
Filed under: Mary

Rubens Assumption

This is the 2nd of two reflections on the Assumption of Mary. (The first was entitled Revelation 11, the Assumption & Unborn Jesus.)

It has often been said that there is no biblical basis for belief in the Assumption of Mary into heaven. Not withstanding the Old Testament accounts of Enoch (Gen 5:24, Heb 11:5) and Elijah (2 Kings 2:9-12) being taken up into heaven, and the tradition of Moses also being assumed into heaven (Deut 34:5-6), there is Revelations 12 which is a stunning presentation of a fait accompli; Mary was assumed – and here she is! (Rev 12 has many parts to it: Mary is pregnant, she delivers, she flees into the wilderness and “was given the two wings of the great eagle that she might fly from the serpent…”)

The Assumption of Mary into heaven is a living testament to the Resurrection of Jesus and our resurrections into heaven. Because Mary is the first Christian, God deigned to demonstrate her resurrection in a unique manner (by virtue of the death and resurrection of her only Son). Just as Christ came into the world – to His Mother – in a singular fashion, so God has deigned that Mary should go to heaven – to her Son – in a singular manner.

St. Peter says: “…we have been born anew to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and to an inheritance which is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you…”  (I Pet 1:3-4)   Mary has embraced this glorious  reality through her assumption into heaven. Who better to manifest this undefiled inheritance for all of us who journey forward, than Mary the Mother of Jesus Christ, and by extension in all truth, Mother of His (Mystical) Body (the Church) also.

The Christian life is a journey. A journey from this earth of trials to heaven and glory! Lest we get discouraged, God has given us many signs of hope for our journey. One of these hopeful signs is Mary our Mother following after her only Son, close to Him, just as she was on earth.

Vatican II spoke of Christ our Lord going before us: “He blazed a trail, and if we follow it, life and death are made holy and take on a new meaning.” (Gaudium et Spes, #22). Mary followed Christ’s trail, following His signs, and leaving some of her own as well – a Mother’s prerogative – an extra effort on her part to ensure that none of her Christian children get lost along the way. In heaven Christ is waiting, arms outstretched, and nearby His Mother waits too, pointing the way to the Savior of the World. “Rejoice then, O heaven and you that dwell therein!” (Rev 12:12)



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.