One Monk of the Order of Saint Benedict

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The Word of God and the Body of God reveal each other -- the homily worships both.

December 18, 2007

For December 18 in Advent

Matthew 1:18-25

The Virgin Mary has in her womb a son begotten of the Holy Spirit to save his people from their sins
His name, “Jesus,” is from the Hebrew words meaning, “Yahweh is salvation.”
In the person of Jesus, God is with us to save us from our sins.
The Virgin Mary, the Holy Spirit, and Jesus, plus a fourth person, an angel of the Lord, enter the life and dreams of righteous Joseph of Bethlehem.
Joseph is already vowed to marriage with Mary.
Joseph has fathered no child, but his wife is now carrying one.
An angel of the Lord tells Joseph in a dream that his pregnant wife Mary is still a virgin— the very one whom God’s prophecy had said would conceive a son.
A son, his virgin mother, an angel of the Lord!
However, Joseph of Bethlehem, righteous man of ancient Israel, learns of another great mystery— and it is mysterious news for ancient Israel.
Joseph learns of one called the HOLY SPIRIT.
Up to now, Joseph and all Israel know only what they have heard and prayed several times a day for many centuries:
Shema, Israel!
Adonai Elohenu!
Adonai eha!

“Hear, O Israel! The Lord our God! The Lord alone!”
Joseph undoubtedly has questions about this HOLY SPIRIT.
“Who or what is this HOLY SPIRIT that has begotten the son Mary carries, leaving her still a virgin?”
Two thousand years later, for you and me THE DIVINE TRINITY OF THE FATHER AND THE SON AND THE HOLY SPIRIT is old news, and we take it for granted.
It was not so for Joseph of Bethlehem.
Yet, the ancient writings of Israel, even the book of beginnings, told of God’s Spirit— though the word for “spirit” in Israel’s language is the same as “breath” and “wind.”
Yahweh God formed man’s body of the virgin earth, and breathed— spirited— into his nostrils the breath— the spirit— of life; and man became a living being. [See Gen. 2:7.]
In the beginning, the immaculate and virgin earth knew no man, but by the Holy Spirit-Breath of God the immaculate, virgin earth conceived and bore a son, the first man.
As Joseph dreams and learns from an angel, he hears, perhaps in some deep and hidden way, an echo of the book of beginnings.
In the beginning the Holy Spirit of God filling the immaculate earth’s virginity gave birth to all the living.
Now the Living God repeats the pattern for a new beginning.
In the person of the Virgin Mary the earth is once again immaculate and overshadowed by the Spirit-power of God Most High, begetting the man Jesus, God-with-Us, who saves his people from their sins, giving them a new beginning.
In bread and wine, we again bring the earth under the shadow of the Spirit.
Here in his Eucharist, Emmanuel gives us his flesh and blood, begotten of the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary, entrusted to righteous Joseph, who took the entire mystery into his home.
Jesus God in his Eucharist is still saving his people from their sins.
With righteous Joseph let us awaken, obey and work to take this new beginning into our homes and all the moments of our lives.

That God Be Glorified in All


Blogger Micki said...

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9:01 AM  

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