The Bible, including today's readings, sees Mary in function of her Son; nothing more is said about her in the Gospel than what illustrates and serves Christ's mission. Her inconspicuous and self-effacing service is very telling about her character and role—and at the same time about our mission: to witness quietly to the pre-eminence of Christ, to serve him, to be open to his salvation, to live for others.
Lord our God, we thank you today for giving us Mary as the Mother of your Son. In her, you show us how strong your grace is and how surprisingly near you are to people. Give us a firm faith in the great things you do for all of us and help us to respond to your gifts with joyful and receptive hearts. We ask you this through Christ, our Lord.
Liturgy of the Word
First Reading: Mic 5:1-4a
The LORD says: You, Bethlehem-Ephrathah, too small to be among the clans of Judah, From you shall come forth for me one who is to be ruler in Israel; Whose origin is from of old, from ancient times. (Therefore the Lord will give them up, until the time when she who is to give birth has borne, And the rest of his brethren shall return to the children of Israel.) He shall stand firm and shepherd his flock by the strength of the LORD, in the majestic name of the LORD, his God; And they shall remain, for now his greatness shall reach to the ends of the earth; he shall be peace.
Brothers and sisters: We know that all things work for good for those who love God, who are called according to his purpose. For those he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, so that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. And those he predestined he also called; and those he called he also justified; and those he justified he also glorified.
Responsorial Psalm: Ps 13:6ab, 6c
R (Isaiah 61:10) With delight I rejoice in the Lord.
Though I trusted in your mercy, let my heart rejoice in your salvation. R./ With delight I rejoice in the Lord. Let me sing of the LORD, "He has been good to me." R./ With delight I rejoice in the Lord.
Gospel Reading: Mt 1:1-16, 18-23
The Book of the genealogy of Jesus Christ, the son of David, the son of Abraham.
Abraham became the father of Isaac, Isaac the father of Jacob, Jacob the father of Judah and his brothers. Judah became the father of Perez and Zerah, whose mother was Tamar. Perez became the father of Hezron, Hezron the father of Ram, Ram the father of Amminadab. Amminadab became the father of Nahshon, Nahshon the father of Salmon, Salmon the father of Boaz, whose mother was Rahab. Boaz became the father of Obed, whose mother was Ruth. Obed became the father of Jesse, Jesse the father of David the king.
David became the father of Solomon, whose mother had been the wife of Uriah. Solomon became the father of Rehoboam, Rehoboam the father of Abijah, Abijah the father of Asaph. Asaph became the father of Jehoshaphat, Jehoshaphat the father of Joram, Joram the father of Uzziah. Uzziah became the father of Jotham, Jotham the father of Ahaz, Ahaz the father of Hezekiah. Hezekiah became the father of Manasseh, Manasseh the father of Amos, Amos the father of Josiah. Josiah became the father of Jechoniah and his brothers at the time of the Babylonian exile.
After the Babylonian exile, Jechoniah became the father of Shealtiel, Shealtiel the father of Zerubbabel, Zerubbabel the father of Abiud. Abiud became the father of Eliakim, Eliakim the father of Azor, Azor the father of Zadok. Zadok became the father of Achim, Achim the father of Eliud, Eliud the father of Eleazar. Eleazar became the father of Matthan, Matthan the father of Jacob, Jacob the father of Joseph, the husband of Mary. Of her was born Jesus who is called the Christ.
Now 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."
– For the world with all its needs, that Mary may watch over it and pray for it, keep people from warring with one another and from making one another suffer, we pray: – For people in lowly jobs, that they may learn from our humble mother that God values all work done with love and care, we pray: – For all of us united here, that our faith in Jesus Christ may produce in us, as in Mary, fruits of genuine love for one another, we pray:
Prayer over the Gifts
Lord God, you satisfy the hungry with the bread of life and you quench the thirsty with the abundance of your Son's wine. May these gifts be the signs that we too, are willing to share the riches of your salvation and of the good things of life with those who hunger and thirst for bread, justice, and love. May all people thus know that you are attentive to our needs, through Christ, our Lord.
Prayer after Communion
Lord our God, however weak and wavering our faith may be, we believe and we pray that you may supply us with the strength we lack. Do in us and through us the great things you wish to accomplish. Like Mary, may we serve your Son, Jesus Christ, our Lord for ever.
No wonder that we are so attached to Mary. She gave us Jesus, stood by him all her life, and at his death became our mother too. May we too, stand by Jesus' side in all our life and death, and may God bless you, the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit.