“The time when she who is in labour pains has brought forth.”
A reading from the Book of the Prophet Micah (Micah 5:2-5a)
Thus says the Lord: You, O Bethlehem Ephrathah, who are little 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 days. Therefore he shall give them up until the time when she who is in labour pains has brought forth; then the rest of his brethren shall return to the sons of Israel. And he shall stand and feed his flock in the strength of the Lord, in the majesty of the name of the Lord his God. And they shall dwell secure, for now he shall be great to the ends of the earth. And this shall be peace.
The word of the Lord.
Or the following:
“Those whom God foreknew he also predestined.”
A reading from the Letter of Saint Paul to the Romans (Romans 8:28-30)
Brethren: We know that in everything God works for good with those who love him, who are called according to his purpose. For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the first-born among many brethren. And those whom he predestined he also called; and those whom he called he also justified; and those whom he justified he also glorified.
The word of the Lord.
RESPONSORIAL PSALM Psalm13:5.6(R. Isaiah61:10a)
R/. I will greatly rejoice in the Lord.
As for me, I trust in your merciful love.
Let my heart rejoice in your salvation. R.
I will sing to the Lord
who has been bountiful with me. R.
Alleluia. Blessed are you, O holy Virgin Mary, and worthy of all praise, because from you arose the sun of justice, Christ our God. Alleluia.
“That which is conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit.”
A reading from the holy Gospel according to Matthew (Matthew 1:1-16.18-23)
The book of the genealogy of Jesus Christ, the son of David, the son of Abraham. Abraham was the father of Isaac, and Isaac the father of Jacob, and Jacob the father of Judah and his brothers, and Judah the father of Perez and Zerah by Tamar, and Perez the father of Hezron, and Hezron the father of Ram, and Ram the father of Amminadab, and Amminadab the father of Nahshon, and Nahshon the father of Salmon, and Salmon the father of Boaz by Rahab, and Boaz the father of Obed by Ruth, and Obed the father of Jesse, and Jesse the father of David the king. And David was the father of Solomon by the wife of Uriah, and Solomon the father of Rehoboam, and Rehoboam the father of Abijah, and Abijah the father of Asa, and Asa the father of Jehoshaphat, and Jehoshaphat the father of Joram, and Joram the father of Uzziah, and Uzziah the father of Jotham, and Jotham the father of Ahaz, and Ahaz the father of Hezekiah, and Hezekiah the father of Manasseh, and Manasseh the father of Amos, and Amos the father of Josiah, and Josiah the father of Jechoniah and his brothers, at the time of the deportation to Babylon. And after the deportation to Babylon: Jechoniah was the father of Shealtiel, and Shealtiel the father of Zerubbabel, and Zerubbabel the father of Abiud, and Abiud the father of Eliakim, and Eliakim the father of Azor, and Azor the father of Zadok, and Zadok the father of Achim, and Achim the father of Eliud, and Eliud the father of Eleazar, and Eleazar the father of Matthan, and Matthan the father of Jacob, and Jacob the father of Joseph the husband of Mary, of whom Jesus was born, who is called Christ.
* Now the birth of Jesus Christ took place in this way. When his mother Mary had been betrothed to Joseph, before they came together she was found to be with child of the Holy Spirit; and her husband Joseph, being a just man and unwilling to put her to shame, resolved to send her away quietly. But as he considered this, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, “Joseph, son of David, do not fear to take Mary your wife, for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit; she will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.” All this took place to fulfil what the Lord had spoken by the prophet: “Behold a virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and his name shall be called Emmanuel” (which means, God with us).
The Gospel of the Lord. *
Shorter form: Matthew1:18-23.Read between*
If you were given the chance to create your own mother, you would make her the most beautiful woman on the planet, admired by all. You would create her to live forever. God did just this with his mother, whose birthday we celebrate today. He kept her immaculate and made her “blessed by all generations”. Today’s Gospel is an account of Jesus’ birth and not Mary’s which is right, for we celebrate Mary’s birth because she gave birth to Jesus. She became the savior’s mother and offered him to us. She would have been glad to make her own the words of John the Baptist concerning himself: ‘He, Jesus, must increase, but I must decrease.’ The best way to venerate her is to receive Jesus whom she offered us, so that we ‘hear the word, hold it fast in an honest and good heart, and bear fruit with patient endurance’.