Solemnity of the Blessed Virgin Mary, The Mother Of God
Numbers 2:22-27 II:
16 So they went in haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the infant lying in the manger.
17 When they saw this, they made known the message that had been told them about this child.
18 All who heard it were amazed by what had been told them by the shepherds.
19 And Mary kept all these things, reflecting on them in her heart.
20 Then the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen, just as it had been told to them.
21 When eight days were completed for his circumcision, 7 he was named Jesus, the name given him by the angel before he was conceived in the womb.
- Context: this passage completes the birth narrative read on Christmas Eve (2:1-14), where the description of "wrapped in swaddling cloths and laid in a manger" was repeated twice in verses 7 and 12.
- v. 16 repeats the "lying in the manger a third time, a sign that Jesus is food to nourish the world. Jesus is said to be "wrapped in a cloth" a third time in Luke 23:53 after his death, so his birth anticipates his death.
- v. 15 "this thing that has happened": can also be translated as "word [that has been] accomplished", signifying a fulfilled prophecy. "These things" in v. 19 can also be "these words" that Mary pondered.
- Mary is the model Christian. From pondering on God's graces/actions/words (2:19, 2:51), Mary would "hear the word of God and do it" (8:21), be "blessed for carrying and feeding God" (11:27), and prays with the Church (Acts 1:14).
- The shepherds represent both the poor and the King David, who had been a shepherd. They listened to the angel, acted promptly, recognized God, glorified God, and evangelized.
- v. 21 To receive a name is an act of submission, as the animals were named by Adam in Genesis 2:18-23.
One Main Point
Those who follow Mary and ponder the simple signs helpless infant of a homeless family visited by poor shepherds, will see the unimaginable Love incarnated.
- What do I treasure and ponder in my heart, the poor, among whom Jesus dwells, or the world's riches, power and glory?
- Do I promptly follow God's word? Where does that take me?
- Do I let God name be my master, give me an identity, claim me as God's own? What name God gives me?
Enter Reader's Response or
View Reader's Response this week
A synthesis by the Vietnamese Christian Life (Dong Hanh) Community