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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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To: All

From: Luke 2:41-51a

The Finding in the Temple

[41] Now his (Jesus’s) parents went to Jerusalem every year at the feast of the
Passover. [42] And when he was twelve years old, they went up according to
custom; [43] and when the feast was ended, as they were returning, the boy Je-
sus stayed behind in Jerusalem. His parents did not know it, [44] but supposing
him to be in the company they went a day’s journey, and they sought him among
their kinsfolk and acquaintances; [45] and when they did not find him, they re-
turned to Jerusalem, seeking him. [46] And after three days they found him in the
temple sitting among the teachers, listening to them and asking them questions;
[47] and all who heard him were amazed at his understanding and his answers.
[48] And when they saw him they were astonished; and his mother said to him,
“Son, why have you treated us so? Behold, your father and I have been looking
for you anxiously.” [49] And he said to them, “How is it that you sought me? Did
you not know that I must be in my Father’s house ?” [50] And they did not under-
stand the saying which he spoke to them.

The Hidden Life of Jesus at Nazareth

[51] And he went down with them and came to Nazareth, and was obedient to
them; and his mother kept all these things in her heart.


41. Only St Luke (2:41-50) reports the event of the Child Jesus being lost and
then found in the temple, which we contemplate in the “Fifth Joyful Mystery” of
the Rosary.

Only males aged twelve and upwards were required to make this journey. Naza-
reth is about 100 km (60 miles) from Jerusalem as the crow flies, but the hilly
nature of the country would have made it a trip of 140 km.

43-44. On pilgrimages to Jerusalem, the Jews used to go in two groups — one of
men, the other of women. Children could go with either group. This explains how
they could go a day’s journey before they discovered the Child was missing when
the families regrouped to camp.

“Mary is crying. In vain you and I have run from group to group, from caravan to
caravan. No one has seen him. Joseph, after fruitless attempts to keep from cry-
ing, cries too.... And you.... And I.

‘Being a common little fellow, I cry my eyes out and wail to heaven and earth...,
to make up for the times when I lost him through my own fault and did not cry”
(St. J. Escriva, “Holy Rosary”, Fifth Joyful Mystery).

45. The concern which Mary and Joseph show in looking for the Child should
encourage us always to seek Jesus out, particularly if we lose him through sin.
“Jesus, may I never lose you again.... Now you and I are united in misfortune
and grief, as were united in sin. And from the depths of our being comes sighs
of heartfelt sorrow and burning phrases which the pen cannot and should not re-
cord” (”Holy Rosary”, Fifth Joyful Mystery).

46-47. The Child Jesus must have been in the courtyard of the temple, which
was where the teachers usually taught. Listeners used to sit at their feet, now
and again asking questions and responding to them. This was what Jesus did,
but his questions and answers attracted the teachers’ attention, he was so wise
and well-informed.

48. Ever since the Annunciation our Lady had known that the Child Jesus was
God. This faith was the basis of her generous fidelity throughout her life — but
there was no reason why it should include detailed knowledge of all the sacrifi-
ces God would ask of her, nor of how Christ would go about his mission of re-
demption: that was something she would discover as time went by, contempla-
ting her Son’s life.

49. Christ’s reply is a form of explanation. His words — his first words to be re-
corded in the Gospel — clearly show his divine Sonship; and they also show his
determination to fulfill the will of his Eternal Father. “He does not upbraid them —
Mary and Joseph — for searching for their son, but he raises the eyes of their
souls to appreciate what he owes him whose Eternal Son he is” (St Bede, “In
Lucae Evangelium Expositio, in loc.”). Jesus teaches us that over and above any
human authority, even that of our parents, there is the primary duty to do the will
of God. “And once we are consoled by the joy of finding Jesus — three days he
was gone! — debating with the teachers of Israel (Lk 2:46), you and I shall be left
deeply impressed by the duty to leave our home and family to serve our heavenly
Father” (St. J. Escriva, “Holy Rosary”, Fifth Joyful Mystery”). See note on Mt 10:

50. We must remember that Jesus knew in detail the whole course his earthly
life would take from his conception onwards (cf. note on Lk 2:52). This is shown
by what he says in reply to his parents. Mary and Joseph realized that his reply
contained a deeper meaning which they did not grasp. They grew to understand
it as the life of their Child unfolded. Mary’s and Joseph’s faith and their reverence
towards the Child led them not to ask any further questions but to reflect on
Jesus’ words and behavior in this instance, as they had done so on other occa-

51. The Gospel sums up Jesus’ life in Nazareth in just three words: “erat subdi-
tus illis”, he was obedient to them. “Jesus obeys, and he obeys Joseph and Ma-
ry. God has come to the world to obey, and to obey creatures. Admittedly they
are very perfect creatures — Holy Mary, our mother, greater than whom God a-
lone; and that most chaste man Joseph. But they are only creatures, and yet
Jesus, who is God, obeyed them. We have to love God so as to love his will and
desire to respond to his calls. They come to us through the duties of our ordina-
ry life — duties of state, profession, work, family, social life, our own and other
people’s difficulties, friendship, eagerness to do what is right and just” (St. J.
Escriva, “Christ Is Passing By”, 17).

Jesus lived like any other inhabitant of Nazareth, working at the same trade as
St Joseph and earning his living by the sweat of his brow. “His hidden years are
not without significance, nor were they simply a preparation for the years which
were to come after — those of his public life. Since 1928 I have understood clear-
ly that God wants our Lord’s whole life to be an example for Christians. I saw
this with special reference to his hidden life, the years he spent working side by
side with ordinary men. Our Lord wants many people to ratify their vocation du-
ring years of quiet, unspectacular living. Obeying God’s will always means lea-
ving our selfishness behind, but there is no reason why it should entail cutting
ourselves off from the normal life of ordinary people who share the same status,
work and social position with us.

“I dream — and the dream has come true — of multitudes of God’s children, sanc-
tifying themselves as ordinary citizens, sharing the ambitions and endeavors of
their colleagues and friends. I want to shout to them about this divine truth: If you
are there in the middle of ordinary life, it doesn’t mean Christ has forgotten about
you or hasn’t called you. He has invited you to stay among the activities and con-
cerns of the world. He wants you to know that your human vocation, your profes-
sion, your talents, are not omitted from his divine plans. He has sanctified them
and made them a most acceptable offering to his Father” (St. J. Escriva, “Christ
Is Passing By”, 20).

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.

7 posted on 03/18/2019 10:03:07 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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