1 Now you are walled about with a wall; siege is laid against us; with a rod they strike upon the cheek the ruler of Israel.
2 But 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.
3 Therefore he shall give them up until the time when she who is in travail has brought forth; then the rest of his brethren shall return to the people of Israel.
4 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.
5 Consequently, when Christ came into the world, he said, “Sacrifices and offerings thou hast not desired, but a body hast thou prepared for me;
6 in burnt offerings and sin offerings thou hast taken no pleasure.
7 Then I said, ‘Lo, I have come to do thy will, O God,’ as it is written of me in the roll of the book.” 8 When he said above, “Thou hast neither desired nor taken pleasure in sacrifices and offerings and burnt offerings and sin offerings” (these are offered according to the law),
9 then he added, “Lo, I have come to do thy will.” He abolishes the first in order to establish the second.10 And by that will we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.
39 In those days Mary arose and went with haste into the hill country, to a city of Judah,40 and she entered the house of Zechariah and greeted Elizabeth.
41 And when Elizabeth heard the greeting of Mary, the babe leaped in her womb; and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit 42 and she exclaimed with a loud cry, “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb! 43 And why is this granted me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me?
44 For behold, when the voice of your greeting came to my ears, the babe in my womb leaped for joy.45 And blessed is she who believed that there would be a fulfilment of what was spoken to her from the Lord.”
THE PROPHET MICAH anticipate that the Messiah who is to manifest in Bethlehem, preexist (v2) in the sense that He always was and is “eternally begotten of the Father,” as expressed in the Nicene Creed of 381AD. This revelation confirm the Apostolic teaching that God became man to feed, sustain and dwell amongst us.
THE SECOND READING: The author posits that the OT burnt and sin offerings that were instituted to rightly order the people towards God was taken away because it became a legal requirement that was unable to sanctify the hearts and mind of the people. The second “once for all” Sacrificial offering of Christ Jesus on the cross as celebrated in the Holy Eucharist offering of the Mass, takes away sin (Mt 26:28) and sanctify (make holy) those who partake of this sacred meal.
THE GOSPEL READING: Mary pays a visit to her cousin Elizabeth who like her was in her sixth month of pregnancy. Upon Mary’s greeting John the Baptist leaped in the womb of Elizabeth which is the work of Christ incarnate who dwelled in Mary the new Ark of the covenant! This supernatural act of God’s grace inspired Elizabeth’s thanksgiving canticle to Mary who was graced to behold the Messiah. Elizabeth concede that Mary is the first person who unquestionably believed and submitted to the Word of God! It can be said that Mary is the first new covenant ‘transmitter’ of the faith, because of the mystery of the incarnation.
To be sure God did not present Himself to Mary as a symbol! No, He was actualized in the womb of Mary. The Sacrifice of the Mass is indeed God’s gift to the Church wherethrough Christ Jesus is truly made present to dwell substantially in those of us who partake of His flesh and blood! Like Mary, you and I who believe that Christ is present in the Holy Eucharistic Celebration is indeed blessed to receive His Divine, body and blood!
LET US PRAY: Psalms 80:2-3;15-16,18-19
2 before Ephraim and Benjamin and Manasseh! Stir up thy might, and come to save us!3 Restore us, O God; let thy face shine, that we may be saved!
15 the stock which thy right hand planted.16 They have burned it with fire, they have cut it down; may they perish at the rebuke of thy countenance!
18 Then we will never turn back from thee; give us life, and we will call on thy name!19 Restore us, O LORD God of hosts! let thy face shine, that we may be saved!
Author. Henry R SYLVESTER Note: The daily scripture readings are taken from the Roman Missal which the Catholic Church use in the daily Celebration of the Holy Eucharist throughout the world.Some weekly readings may differ because of the celebration of local feast days.
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