“Freedom of belief is pernicious, it is nothing but the freedom to be wrong.” —St. Robert Bellarmine (1542-1621),
Mary the mother of our Lord stood before the cross of her Son. None of the Evangelists hath told me this except John. The others have related how that at our Lord's Passion the earth quaked, the heaven was overspread with darkness, the sun fled, the thief was taken into paradise after confession. John hath told us, what the others have not, how that from the cross whereon He hung, He called to His mother. He thought it a greater thing to show Him victorious over punishment, fulfilling the offices of piety to His mother, than giving the kingdom of heaven and eternal life to the thief. For if it was religious to give life to the thief, a much richer work of piety it is for a son to honor his mother with such affection. Behold, He says, your son; behold your mother. Christ made His Testament from the cross, and divided the offices of piety between the Mother and the disciples. Our Lord made not only a public, but also a domestic Testament. And this His Testament John sealed a witness worthy of such a Testator. A good testament it was, not of money, but of eternal life, which was not written with ink, but with tile spirit of the living God: My tongue is the pen of a ready writer. Mary, as became the mother of our Lord, stood before the cross, when the Apostles fled and With pitiful eyes beheld the wounds of her Son. For she looked not on the death of the Hostage, but on the salvation of the world; end perhaps knowing that her Son's death would bring this salvation, she who had been the habitation of the King, thought that by her death she might add to that universal gift.
We started with Mass at the tomb of St. Peter, stayed for the Audience with Pope Francis, a marvelous pranzo with great conversation, and then back home.
There is a long form of the Gospel today, Matthew 1: 1-16, 18-23
The short form is just Matthew 1:18-23
To read the short form is to eliminate the genealogy, But the solemn mystery is bound up in those names.
These two sections are also the Gospel of December 17 and 18.
I spoke on the Genealogy here last December 17
And I spoke on Matthew I:18-23 here on December 18
You may find a fuller explanation on these texts if you listen to those two homilies.
My meditation for today, The Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary is below:
Let me know in the comments if your priest did the long form or the short form.
Omnia Christus Est Nobis
Christ is everything for us!
I am a Roman Catholic Priest from California. I spent 13 wonderful years years as a member of the Province of the Pacific in the Missionaries of the Precious Blood. The outline of my life can be traced here.