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From: Romans 4:13, 16-18, 22

The Example of Abraham

[13] The promise to Abraham and his descendants, that they should inherit the
world, did not come through the law but through the righteousness of faith.

[16] That is why it depends on faith, in order that the promise may rest on grace
and be guaranteed to all his descendant—not only to the adherents of the law but
also to those who share the faith of Abraham, for he is the father of us all, [17] it
is written, “I have made you the father of many nations—in the presence of the
God in whom he believed, who gives life to the dead and calls into existence the
things that do not exist. [18] In hope he believed against hope, that he should
become the father of many nations; as he had been told, “So shall your descen-
dants be.” [22] That is why his faith “was reckoned to him as righteousness.”


13-14. God made this promise to Abraham about his having countless descen-
dants (cf. Gen 15:5-6) centuries before the Mosaic Law was given to the people
of Israel through Moses. Therefore, the promise made to Abraham was not linked
to the Law but rather to the Patriarch’s faith. That is why the heirs of the promise
are those who follow the faith of Abraham.

15. The Old Law, giving man a more exact knowledge of the natural law without
giving him special help (grace) to keep the law, “brings [God’s] wrath”: sin is com-
mitted when one simply breaks the natural law, but it takes on the character of
“transgression” because one is flying in the face of explicit law of God.

Source: “The Navarre Bible: Text and Commentaries”. Biblical text from the
Revised Standard Version and New Vulgate. Commentaries by members of
the Faculty of Theology, University of Navarre, Spain.

Published by Four Courts Press, Kill Lane, Blackrock, Co. Dublin, Ireland, and
by Scepter Publishers in the United States.

5 posted on 03/18/2019 10:01:32 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All

From: Matthew 1:16, 18-21, 24a

The Ancestry of Jesus Christ (Continuation)

[16] And Jacob, (was) the father of Joseph the husband of Mary, of whom Jesus
was born, who is called Christ.

The Virginal Conception of Jesus, and His Birth

[18] Now the birth of Jesus Christ took place in this way. When His mother Mary
had been betrothed to Joseph, before they came together she was found to be
with child of the Holy Spirit; [19] and her husband Joseph, being a just man and
unwilling to put her to shame, resolved to send her away quietly. [20] But as he
considered this, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying,
“Joseph, son of David, do not fear to take Mary your wife, for that which is con-
ceived in her is of the Holy Spirit; [21] she will bear a son, and you shall call His
name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins.” [24a] When Joseph
woke from sleep, he did as the angel of the Lord commanded him.


16. Jewish genealogies followed the male line. Joseph, being Mary’s husband,
was the legal father of Jesus. The legal father is on a par with the real father as
regards rights and duties. This fact provides a sound basis for recognizing St.
Joseph as Patron of the whole Church, since he was chosen to play a very spe-
cial role in God’s plan for our salvation; with Joseph as his legal father, Jesus
the Messiah has David as his successor.

Since it was quite usual for people to marry within their clan, it can be concluded
that Mary belonged to the house of David. Several early Fathers of the Church
testify to this — for example, St. Ignatius of Antioch, St. Irenaeus, St. Justin and
Tertullian, who base their testimony on an unbroken oral tradition.

It should also be pointed out that when St. Matthew comes to speak of the birth
of Jesus, he uses an expression which is completely different from that used for
the other people in the genealogy. With these words the text positively teaches
that Mary conceived Jesus while still a virgin, without the intervention of man.

18. St. Matthew relates here how Christ was conceived (cf. Luke 1:25-38): “We
truly honor and venerate (Mary) as Mother of God, because she gave birth to a
person who is at the same time both God and man” (”St. Pius V Catechism”,
I, 4, 7).

According to the provisions of the Law of Moses, engagement took place about
one year before marriage and enjoyed almost the same legal validity. The mar-
riage proper consisted, among other ceremonies, in the bride being brought so-
lemnly and joyously to her husband’s house (cf. Deuteronomy 20:7).

From the moment of engagement onwards, a certificate of divorce was needed
in the event of a break in the relationship between the couple.

The entire account of Jesus’ birth teaches, through the different fulfillment of the
prophecy of Isaiah 7:14 (which is expressly quoted in verses 22-23) that: 1) Je-
sus has David as His ancestor since Joseph is His legal father; 2) Mary is the
Virgin who gives birth according to the prophecy; 3) the Child’s conception with-
out the intervention of man was miraculous.

19. “St. Joseph was an ordinary sort of man on whom God relied to do great
things. He did exactly what the Lord wanted him to do, in each and every event
that went to make up his life. That is why Scripture praises Joseph as ‘a just
man’. In Hebrew a just man means a good and faithful servant of God, someone
who fulfills the divine will (cf. Genesis 7:1; 18:23-32; Ezekiel 18:5ff.; Proverbs 12:
10), or who is honorable and charitable toward his neighbor (cf. Tobias 7:6; 9:6).
So a just man is someone who loves God and proves his love by keeping God’s
commandments and directing his whole life towards the service of his brothers,
his fellow men” (St. J. Escriva, “Christ Is Passing By”, 40).

Joseph considered his spouse to be holy despite the signs that she was going
to have a child. He was therefore faced with a situation he could not explain.
Precisely because he was trying to do God’s will, he felt obliged to put her away;
but to shield her from public shame he decided to send her away quietly.

Mary’s silence is admirable. Her perfect surrender to God even leads her to the
extreme of not defending her honor or innocence. She prefers to suffer suspicion
and shame rather than reveal the work of grace in her. Faced with a fact which
was inexplicable in human terms she abandons herself confidently to the love
and providence of God. God certainly submitted the holy souls of Joseph and
Mary to a severe trial. We ought not to be surprised if we also undergo difficult
trials in the course of our lives. We ought to trust in God during them, and re-
main faithful to Him, following the example they gave us.

20. God gives His light to those who act in an upright way and who trust in His
power and wisdom when faced with situations which exceed human understan-
ding. By calling him the son of David, the angel reminds Joseph that he is the
providential link which joins Jesus with the family of David, according to Na-
than’s messianic prophecy (cf. 2 Samuel 7:12). As St. John Chrysostom says:
“At the very start he straightaway reminds him of David, of whom the Christ was
to spring, and he does not wish him to be worried from the moment he reminds
him, through naming his most illustrious ancestor, of the promise made to all
his lineage” (”Hom. on St. Matthew”, 4).

“The same Jesus Christ, our only Lord, the Son of God, when He assumed hu-
man flesh for us in the womb of the Virgin, was not conceived like other men,
from the seed of man, but in a manner transcending the order of nature, that is,
by the power of the Holy Spirit, so that the same person, remaining God as He
was from eternity, became man, which He was not before” (”St. Pius V Cate-
chism”, I, 4, 1).

21. According to the Hebrew root, the name Jesus means “savior”. After our
Lady, St. Joseph is the first person to be told by God that salvation has begun.

“Jesus is the proper name of the God-man and signifies ‘Savior’—a name given
Him not accidentally, or by the judgment or will of man, but by the counsel and
command of God” [...]. All other names which prophecy gave to the Son of God
— Wonderful, Counsellor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace (cf.
Isaiah 9:6)—are comprised in this one name Jesus; for while they partially signi-
fied the salvation which He was to bestow on us, this name included the force
and meaning of all human salvation” (”St. Pius V Catechism”, I, 3, 5 and 6).

Source: “The Navarre Bible: Text and Commentaries”. Biblical text from the
Revised Standard Version and New Vulgate. Commentaries by members of
the Faculty of Theology, University of Navarre, Spain.

Published by Four Courts Press, Kill Lane, Blackrock, Co. Dublin, Ireland, and
by Scepter Publishers in the United States.

6 posted on 03/18/2019 10:02:14 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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