Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God .
January 1 Octave Day of the Nativity of Christ.
Notes on the Gospel.
Jews would circumcise their son on the eight day after birth—this was the sign that he was a member of the covenant of God’s people.
The Lord’s Name : Given to him by Gabriel before conception , and now they call him Jesus—meaning “ God Saves” . It tells us who he is and what he has come for –he is God ( Lord is the Greek word for God in the Bible ) and he has come to save mankind—revealing his identity and role.
The shepherds tell their story : They repeat to Our Lady and the others what they had seen and heard—that the baby was Christ the Lord –that he was both the Messiah and God.
Mary treasured /pondered all these things in her heart. We are given an insight into the mind of Our Lady—all these things that she had heard get tossed about in her mind, pondered , and she wondered what they might mean. Only one person could have told Luke what was the state of Mary’s mind in all this—Mary herself. Scholars say the infancy narrative of the Lord’s conception and birth must have been told by the Blessed Mother to Luke . Luke spent three years in Ephesus where it is believed Our lady lived with St John the Evangelist after the resurrection.
There are plenty of indications of Our Lady’s role in the Old Testament and which the New Testament takes up:
The new Eve : Just as Eve was involved in the fall of Adam, so Our Lady is involved in the salvation won by Christ. Her obedience undoes the disobedience of Eve. Eve is the mother of all the living; Mary the mother of all the faithful.
Ark of the Covenant: The most precious possession of the Hebrews, containing the 10 commandment and the rod of Aaron. Housed in the tabernacle, It was believed to be the place where God dwelt among the Israelites. In Biblical history it had been missing since the sack of Jerusalem by the Babylonians—the prophet Jeremiah hid it from them ( 2 Maccabees ch 2. ) and it was to remain unknown until God “showed his mercy and brings back the glory cloud “. Jews waited for the day of the return of the “ glory cloud and of the Ark “ It had been preserved in the Holy of Holies in the temple—at the time of Jesus the Holy of Holies was empty. Centuries later, Mary , in the Book of the Apocalypse , is portrayed as the New Ark of the covenant –the woman clothed with the sun and bringing forth a child –she is the “ God-Bearer “ .
The glory of the Lord overshadows the Ark ( Exodus ch. 40 ) The Holy Spirit overshadows Mary ( Luke ch .1) She is also compared with the Ark in the account of her visitation to Elizabeth in 2 Samuel ch.6 The Ark waits in the hill country for 3 months before being received by David ; Mary stays for 3 months in the hill country with Elizabeth; David admits his unworthiness to receive the Ark; Elizabeth admits her unworthiness to receive Mary; David gives a great shout at the approach of the Ark; Elizabeth gives a loud cry at the visit of Mary; David dances before the Ark; John the Baptist leaps for joy in his mother’s womb at the sound of Mary’s voice.
The Queen Mother : In the Bible the Queen Mother was the second in the land after the king –the king would have plenty of wives/queens, but only one mother, the Queen mother. We know this from the way Solomon treated his mother. In the New Testament , Christ is portrayed as the King, and so Our Lady his mother, would be the Queen Mother, above all as she stood by the cross of her Son, King of the Jews.