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Monthly Archives: December 2020

MARY, THE MOTHER OF GOD

MARY, THE MOTHER OF GOD

(A biblical refection on THE SOLEMNITY OF MARY, MOTHER OF GOD – Octave of Christmas – Friday, 1 January 2021)

Gospel Reading: Luke 2:16-21

First Reading: Numbers 6:22-27; Psalms: Psalm 67:2-3,5-6,8; Second Reading: Galatians 4:4-7

The Scripture Text

And they went with haste, and found Mary and Joseph, and the babe lying in a manger. And when they saw it they made known the saying which had been told them concerning this Child; and all who heard it wondered at what the shepherds told them. But Mary kept all these things, pondering them in her heart. And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen, as it had been told them.

And at the end of eight days when He was circumcised, He was called Jesus, the name given by the angel before He was conceived in the womb. (Luke 2:16-21 RSV)

Have you ever considered why we have a special feast to celebrate Mary as the Mother of God? Actually, this feast is meant to celebrate Jesus’ divinity. By recognizing Mary as the Mother of God, we are proclaiming our faith in who Jesus is. Early in the Church’s history, some heretics taught that Jesus assumed His divine nature at His baptism or at His resurrection. Others taught that Jesus was merely a good man who taught us how to please God. Recognizing Mary as the Mother of God, and not just the mother of Jesus of Nazareth, upholds a central truth of our faith: Almighty God became flesh in the womb of a human being.

As Mother of God, Mary bore Jesus into this world. Now, as Jesus’ mothers, sisters, and brothers (Mark 3:35), we are called to follow Mary’s example and bring the life and love of God to others. We too are called to be “God-bearers” (Greek: Theotokos).

Of course, we may ask, “How could I hope to have the kind of relationship with God that Mary did? After all, she is the Blessed Virgin!” Yet, God has a very specific plan for each and every one of us, to raise us up to His divine life. He wants to teach us how to treasure His word and ponder it (see Luke 2:19). He invites us to quiet our souls so that we can hear His voice. He wants to win our hearts over so much that our trust in Him and our obedience to His will would be undivided.

How can we become more open to God’s word? We can begin by setting aside time for Him – time without television, telephone calls, and other kind of distractions, among others from various social media. We can bring to Him our guilt, shame, or anxieties – everything that blocks our experience of His healing love. As we open our hearts to Jesus, read the Holy Scripture, and obey the promptings of His Spirit, we will begin experiencing the heart of peace that Mary knew. Therefore, let us set aside a little quiet time for God every day. As we do, we too will come to know His love, His promptings, and His grace.

Prayer: Heavenly Father, since You gave mankind a Savior through blessed Mary, virgin and mother, grant that we may feel the power of her intercession when she pleads for us with Jesus Christ, Your Son, the Author of life, who lives and reign with You and Holy Spirit, God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Jakarta, 31 December 2020

A Christian Pilgrim

 
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Posted by on December 31, 2020 in BIBLICAL REFLECTIONS 2021, MARY

 

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JOHN 1:11-12 (Today’s Gospel: John 1:1-18)

Jakarta, 31 December 2020

A Christian Pilgrim

 
 

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LUKE 2:40 (Today’s Gospel Reading: Luke 2:36-40)

Jakarta, 30 December 2020

A Christian Pilgrim

 

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LUKE 2:29-32 (Today’s Gospel Reading: Luke 2:22-35)

Jakarta, 29 December 2020

A Christian Pilgrim

 
 

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MATTHEW 2:16-18 (Today’s Gospel Reading: Matthew 2:13-18)

Jakarta, 28 December 2020

A Christian Pilgrim

 
 

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LUKE 2:34-35 (Today’s Gospel Reading: Luke 2:22-40)

Jakarta, 27 December 2020

A Christian Pilgrim

 

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THE HOLY FAMILY AS THE MODEL OF OUR FAMILIES

THE HOLY FAMILY AS THE MODEL OF OUR FAMILIES

(A biblical reflection on the Feast of THE HOLY FAMILY – Sunday, 27 December 2020)

Gospel Reading: Luke 2:22,39-40 (shorter version)

First Reading: Genesis 15:1-6; 21:1-3 Psalms: Psalm 103:1-6,8-9; Second Reading: Hebrews 11:8,11-12,17-19; Gospel Reading: Luke 2:22-40 (longer version)

The Scripture Text

And when the time came for their purification according to the law of Moses, they brought Him up to Jerusalem to present Him to the Lord.

And when they had performed everything according to the law of the Lord, they returned into Galilee, to their own city, Nazareth. And the Child grew and became strong, filled with wisdom; and the favor of God was upon Him.(Luke 2:22,39-40 RSV)

The Church makes this Sunday the Feast of the Holy Family, She wants all Christians families to look to that special family for inspiration, example and encouragement. We find all three in today’s Gospel. Their humble, unquestionable obedience to the Mosaic Law, a law to which they were not really bound, is an example and an encouragement for us to keep the laws of God which are binding on us. Mary, because of the virginal conception and birth of Jesus, did not need legal purification. Jesus, being the Son of God, did not have to be redeemed from the service of God. His whole life on earth was to be a complete and devoted service of God. Joseph, as father of that family, quietly and humbly accompanied Mary and her Child to Jerusalem.

They then returned to Nazareth to live a life of obscurity and poverty for the next thirty years. They were probably often short of the necessities of life – the earnings of a carpenter in the small village of Nazareth would be meager. Human nature being what it is, there probably were times when Joseph was not paid even what was due to him. Poverty, however, did not mean misery for them. They willingly accepted their lot and thanked God for the little they had.

It is true that Mary and Joseph were helped by the limited knowledge they had of the role of Jesus in the salvation of the world. It helped them to be docile to God’s will and ever ready to suffer for the cause of God. But we have even a more comprehensive knowledge of Christ’s role in our regard, and of God’s plan for our real eternal happiness. Therefore, we should be ready to bear our lot, and carry whatever cross is sent us. We know that this life is but a stepping-stone to the next life. It is not the difficulty or case of our lot here below that matters, but rather the use we make of the few years allotted us.

Mothers of families: make Mary your model. Keep the love of God alive and active in your home. The love of neighbor, peace and harmony among the members of the family will follow automatically. Fathers: you have the patient Saint Joseph as your model. He labored, day in and day out, often without any temporal reward, often regretting that he could not provide better for his beloved wife and dearly loved adopted son. But he too accepted God’s plan. He was glad to suffer as God’s chosen associate in the preparation of the human nature of Jesus for the messianic ask that lay ahead. Children: love, honor and obey your parents, as Jesus loved, honored and obeyed Mary and Joseph. He, the Son of God, the Creator and Lord of all things, was subject to His parents, to Mary His Mother and to Joseph His foster-father.

Let us try to make the holy home of Nazareth the model of our homes and imitate the Holy Family in our daily lives. Then when the time comes to bid adieu to this world, we shall be able, like  Simeon and Anna, to thank God from our hearts for having been given a vision of the Messiah, not only in our last days, but all through life. We shall be able to say, “Now, Master, You may let Your servant go in peace, according to Your word” (Luke 2:29). We shall be ready to face our Judge, because we will have obeyed and loved Him all through our lives. So may it be.

Prayer: Heavenly Father, to me the Holy Family is a model of religious observance, in prayerfulness and fidelity to God through light and darkness, joy, and sorrow, breaking and growing. Let Your Holy Spirit keep guiding me to become a good disciple of Christ, and to spread His Good News to others I meet. Amen.

Jakarta, 26 December 2020

A Christian Pilgrim

 

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MATTHEW 10:18 (Today’s Gospel Reading: Matthew 10:17-22)

Jakarta, 26 December 2020

A Christian Pilgrim

 
 

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MERRY CHRISTMAS & HAPPY NEW YEAR 2021

Jakarta, 25 December 2020

A Christian Pilgrim

 

JOHN 1:14 (Today’s Gospel Reading: John 1:1-18)

Jakarta, 25 December 2020 [Christmas Day]

A Christian Pilgrim

 
 

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