Mother Mary, pray for us
THE NATIVITY OF THE BLESSED VIRGIN MARY : Friday 8th September 2023
Mic. 5:1-4a or Rom. 8:28-30; Ps. 12:6-7;
Mt. 1:1-16,18-23 (or 18-23) (Ps. Wk. II)
The place, ‘Ephrathah’ mentioned by prophet Micah, is connected to the future king of Israel “whose origin goes back to the distant past, to the days of old.” It refers to the three-hundred-year history of the dynasty of David with its accumulated promises and hopes.
Micah also highlights the role of the mother of the future king, that is, “she who is to give birth gives birth”. Through her son, He will bring peace and prosperity and rule as a shepherd over His people.
The prophecy of Micah is fulfilled in the Person of Jesus. At the start of Matthew’s Gospel, the genealogy serves to situate Jesus within God’s people and call attention to His extraordinary status. On the one hand, Jesus is the descendent of Abraham and David, and the fulfilment and hope attached to these significant Old Testament figures. On the other hand, the manner of His highly unusual birth and the names attributed to Him – Son of David and Emmanuel – suggest that He far surpasses any of His ancestors.
Today we recall and rejoice at the role of Mary in God’s salvation history. Her “yes” enabled her Son, Jesus, the right to a place in the messianic genealogy. Through her openness to God’s will and Joseph’s resolve to make Jesus a Davidic child by assuming the legal obligations of patriarchy, the Promised Messiah has come into the world to bring peace and to rule as a shepherd over His people.
Jesus, You are indeed my Shepherd.