"Mary, give me your Heart: so beautiful, so pure, so immaculate; your Heart so full of love and humility that I may be able to receive Jesus in the Bread of Life and love Him as you love Him and serve Him in the distressing guise of the poor."--Blessed Mother Teresa
Gospel text (Mt 1,1-16.18-23):
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."
Today, Jesus' genealogy, the Saviour that had to come and be born of Mary, shows us how the work of God is interwoven into human history, and how God acts in the secret and silence of every single day. At the same time, we can see his reliability to accomplish his promises. Even Ruth and Rahab (cf. Mt 1:5), foreigners, converted to the faith of the only God (and Rahab was a harlot!), were our Saviour's ancestors.
The Holy Spirit, that mysteriously had to incarnate the Son in Mary, entered, therefore, in our history since a long time before, and traced a path leading to the Virgin Mary of Nazareth and, through her, to her Son Jesus. «The virgin will conceive and bear a son, and He will be called Emmanuel» (Mt 1:23). How spiritually delicate Mary's entrails, her heart and her will, must have been, to engage the attention of the Father and make her become the mother of “God-with-mankind”, He, who had to bring us the supernatural light and grace for the redemption of all of us. In this work, everything bring us to contemplate, admire and worship, through prayer, the greatness, the generosity and the simplicity of the divine action, that will extol and rescue our human lineage through our Lord’s personal involvement.
Further away, in Today's Gospel, we see how Mary was advised she would conceive God, the Saviour of his People. And let us realize that this girl, virgin and Jesus' mother, had to be also our mother. The special election of Mary, «Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the child you will bear!» (Lk 1:42), makes us to admire God's tenderness in his way of proceeding; because He did not redeem us —so to speak— “by remote control”, but by closely binding himself with our family and our history. Who could ever imagine God to be so great and so simple as to so intimately bind himself to us?