November 20, 2022
September 8, 2022
This is how the birth of Jesus Christ came about.
When his mother Mary was betrothed to Joseph,
but before they lived together,
she was found with child through the Holy Spirit.
Joseph her husband, since he was a righteous man,
yet unwilling to expose her to shame,
decided to divorce her quietly.
Such was his intention when, behold,
the angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said,
“Joseph, son of David,
do not be afraid to take Mary your wife into your home.
For it is through the Holy Spirit
that this child has been conceived in her.
She will bear a son and you are to name him Jesus,
because he will save his people from their sins.”
All this took place to fulfill
what the Lord had said through the prophet:
Behold, the virgin shall be with child and bear a son,
and they shall name him Emmanuel,
which means “God is with us.”
Happy Birthday, Mother Mary!
[Parishioners: Happy Birthday, Mother Mary!]
Hail Mary, Full of Grace, the Lord is with Thee!
Blessed art Thou among women, and blessed is the Fruit of Thy Womb, Jesus.
[Parishioners] Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners,
Now and at the hour of our death. Amen.
Today obviously is a very auspicious day – The Feast of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin. And so, as Catholics, you know how we like to celebrate stuff. Today is a Feast Day. And, you’re familiar, Feast Days are kind of the middle range. We have the Memorials, Feast Days, and, of course, Solemnities. Solemnity is as high as you can go. Did you know that Feast Days and Solemnities, the vast majority of them are dedicated to the Blessed Mother? I don’t know if that’s common knowledge, but whenever I was doing some study, I was surprised to find that. That is how much we hold in reverence the young woman – and when I say young woman, I cannot help but use the image sitting over here of these beautiful young women. She was less than 15 years of age. She was a child. And yet, although no one else was around except the Angel Gabriel, and he tells her all of this, as a child. What are you saying? She says, “Yes, yes, I will. Be it done unto me according to thy will.”
And so, she becomes engaged, betrothed, to Joseph. And when it begins to be noticeable, Joseph is a very, very, very righteous man. And so, he decides he is not going to bring shame to this young woman. So, he’s going to set her aside quietly. He is willing to show that he is setting her aside, even though that would bring a little bit of shame upon himself. But he is willing to do that because he does not want to bring shame upon this young woman. And, again, I point out, she’s a child!
So, what is the message that we get from today? There’s an angel that comes, so its Gabriel, who came to Mary. Its Gabriel – He is the Messenger Angel. And he comes and he says to Joseph, “Don’t be afraid. Take her into your home. Because she has done absolutely nothing wrong. She has become with child through the Holy Spirit.” And though nobody else is around, Joseph doesn’t have to say, “Oh, no. Wait a minute. Let me think this through.” No, he immediately accepts the word of the Angel, and he brings Mary into his home. With everything, all the possibilities that are coming in the future, he brings her into his home.
The message that I hear from today is simple. We need to do what is right, whether anybody else sees us doing it, knows that we’re doing it, we just do what is right because it is right. It’s hard sometimes because there’s pressure. There’s pressure in society to follow whatever society is doing at the time. The great thing about the Catholic Church – we don’t split up into First Catholic, Second Catholic, Missionary Catholic – all of that. We stay true to the teaching of Jesus Christ, through the Apostles, through the Fathers of the Church, down through the ages. We don’t change because society changes.
Its very important. One of the most important gifts that you will ever get. And no matter how young you are now it is important that you understand that our faith is the truth. Our faith does not change because your friends decide they want to do something different. Society puts a lot of pressure on us, and when I say, “on us”, I’m talking about the Catholic Church. Every single little mistake, every hiccup that’s ever made is broadcast across every station because they don’t like the fact that we don’t change.
And God bless the Church because She is not willing to change. We could splinter and become so many different things, but if we divide, we fall. Take great, great, pleasure in the fact that we worship the same, all around the world. The readings are the same, all around the world. All around the world, every single day, the Church has a beautiful unity about it. And where did that unity come from? It came from a young teenager who said “Yes” to God, and the man who refused to set her aside no matter what society may have thought.
Happy Birthday, Mother Mary!