Thursday 08th September 2022
Virgin Mary – Feast
The Church has celebrated Mary’s birth since at least the sixth century. A September birth was chosen because the Eastern Church begins its Church year with September. The September 8 date helped determine the date for the feast of the Immaculate Conception on December 8.
Let us celebrate with joy the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary, for from her arose the sun of justice, Christ our God.
Impart to your servants, we pray, O Lord, the gift of heavenly grace, that the feast of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin may bring deeper peace to those for whom the birth of her Son was the dawning of salvation .Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.
First reading : Micah 5:1-4
The Lord says this: But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, the least of the clans of Judah, out of you will be born for me the one who is to rule over Israel; his origin goes back to the distant past, to the days of old. The Lord is therefore going to abandon them till the time when she who is to give birth gives birth. Then the remnant of his brothers will come back to the sons of Israel. He will stand and feed his flock with the power of the Lord, with the majesty of the name of his God. They will live secure, for from then on he will extend his power to the ends of the land. He himself will be peace.
R/ I exult for joy in the Lord.
- Lord, I trust in your merciful love. Let my heart rejoice in your saving help.
- Let me sing to the Lord for his goodness to me, singing psalms to the name of the Lord, the Most High.
Alleluia, alleluia! Blessed are you, holy Virgin Mary, and most worthy of all praise, for the sun of justice, Christ our God, was born of you. Alleluia!
Gospel : Matthew 1:1-16,18-23
A genealogy of Jesus Christ, son of David, son of Abraham: Abraham was the father of Isaac, Isaac the father of Jacob, Jacob the father of Judah and his brothers, Judah was the father of Perez and Zerah, Tamar being their mother, Perez was the father of Hezron, Hezron the father of Ram, Ram was the father of Amminadab, Amminadab the father of Nahshon, Nahshon the father of Salmon, Salmon was the father of Boaz, Rahab being his mother, Boaz was the father of Obed, Ruth being his mother, Obed was the father of Jesse; and Jesse was the father of King David. David was the father of Solomon, whose mother had been Uriah’s wife, Solomon was the father of Rehoboam, Rehoboam the father of Abijah, Abijah the father of Asa, Asa was the father of Jehoshaphat, Jehoshaphat the father of Joram, Joram the father of Azariah, Azariah was the father of Jotham, Jotham the father of Ahaz, Ahaz the father of Hezekiah, Hezekiah was the father of Manasseh, Manasseh the father of Amon, Amon the father of Josiah; and Josiah was the father of Jechoniah and his brothers. Then the deportation to Babylon took place. After the deportation to Babylon: Jechoniah was the father of Shealtiel, Shealtiel the father of Zerubbabel, Zerubbabel was the father of Abiud, Abiud the father of Eliakim, Eliakim the father of Azor Azor was the father of Zadok, Zadok the father of Achim, Achim the father of Eliud, Eliud was the father of Eleazar, Eleazar the father of Matthan, Matthan the father of Jacob; and Jacob was the father of Joseph the husband of Mary; of her was born Jesus who is called Christ. This is how Jesus Christ came to be born. His mother Mary was betrothed to Joseph; but before they came to live together she was found to be with child through the Holy Spirit. Her husband Joseph; being a man of honour and wanting to spare her publicity, decided to divorce her informally. He had made up his mind to do this when the angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, ‘Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because she has conceived what is in her by the Holy Spirit. She will give birth to a son and you must name him Jesus, because he is the one who is to save his people from their sins.’ Now all this took place to fulfil the words spoken by the Lord through the prophet: The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son and they will call him Emmanuel, a name which means ‘God-is-with-us.’
Prayer over the Offerings
May the humanity of your Only Begotten Son come, O Lord, to our aid, and may he, who at his birth from the Blessed Virgin did not diminish but consecrated her integrity, by taking from us now our wicked deeds, make our oblation acceptable to you. Through Christ our Lord.
Communion Antiphon : Is 7: 14; Mt 1: 21
Behold, the Virgin will bear a son, who will save his people from their sins.
Prayer after Communion
May your Church exult, O Lord, for you have renewed her with these sacred mysteries, as she rejoices in the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary, which was the hope and the daybreak of salvation for all the world. Through Christ our Lord.
It was part of God’s plan that she who was to bring our Saviour into the world would be a loving tabernacle of flesh for the living God, since it was in her womb, by the power of the Spirit, that the incarnate Son of God was conceived and developed. We celebrate Mary’s birthday precisely because she accepted to bear the Son of God, our Saviour and Redeemer, Emmanuel, God-with-us. Her birth is the prelude to the imminent coming of our Saviour. St Andrew of Crete would confirm this: her birth is the “prelude” for the “union of the Word with flesh.” Being thoroughly Marian does not in any way make us less Christ-centered. In fact, our union with the Blessed Virgin Mary is our union with Christ whom she bore. May She then lay our intentions at the feet of her son Jesus.