Daily Reflection – Sep 8, 2016
Thursday 8 September 2016
First Reading: Romans 8:28-30
With delight I rejoice in the Lord
Gospel Reading: Matthew 1:1-16, 18-23
Today’s Feast: Feast of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary
The Book of the genealogy of Jesus Christ,
the son of David, the son of Abraham.
Abraham became the father of Isaac,
Isaac the father of Jacob,
Jacob the father of Judah and his brothers.
Judah became the father of Perez and Zerah,
whose mother was Tamar.
Perez became the father of Hezron,
Hezron the father of Ram,
Ram the father of Amminadab.
Amminadab became the father of Nahshon,
Nahshon the father of Salmon,
Salmon the father of Boaz,
whose mother was Rahab.
Boaz became the father of Obed,
whose mother was Ruth.
Obed became the father of Jesse,
Jesse the father of David the king.
David became the father of Solomon,
whose mother had been the wife of Uriah.
Solomon became the father of Rehoboam,
Rehoboam the father of Abijah,
Abijah the father of Asaph.
Asaph became the father of Jehoshaphat,
Jehoshaphat the father of Joram,
Joram the father of Uzziah.
Uzziah became the father of Jotham,
Jotham the father of Ahaz,
Ahaz the father of Hezekiah.
Hezekiah became the father of Manasseh,
Manasseh the father of Amos,
Amos the father of Josiah.
Josiah became the father of Jechoniah and his brothers
at the time of the Babylonian exile.
After the Babylonian exile,
Jechoniah became the father of Shealtiel,
Shealtiel the father of Zerubbabel,
Zerubbabel the father of Abiud.
Abiud became the father of Eliakim,
Eliakim the father of Azor,
Azor the father of Zadok.
Zadok became the father of Achim,
Achim the father of Eliud,
Eliud the father of Eleazar.
Eleazar became the father of Matthan,
Matthan the father of Jacob,
Jacob the father of Joseph, the husband of Mary.
Of her was born Jesus who is called the Christ.
Now 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.”
She will bear a son and you are to name him Jesus. (Matthew 1:21)
Do you think the Virgin Mary had a “bucket list”?
A bucket list is a popular trend in which people make a list of goals that they want to accomplish before they die: things like writing their life story, visiting a foreign city, or going skydiving.
It’s hard to imagine what Mary’s bucket list may have contained. It’s likely that she had some goals in life, even if they were just dreams of how her life would progress once she and Joseph were wedded. Yet as we celebrate Mary’s birthday today, we can see that her greatest accomplishments happened when she put aside her own goals and said yes to whatever was on God’s bucket list for her.
We know that it wasn’t always easy. Mary probably never anticipated an early pregnancy or having to flee to Egypt or watching her only child die a criminal’s brutal death. But then again, she probably never expected that she would have a front-row seat to hundreds of miracles, to her son’s resurrection, or to the world-changing descent of the Holy Spirit.
Mary shows us that saying yes to God’s plan for our lives can be far more rewarding—and surprising—than any list we could ever come up with. Of course, there are challenges that we might never have imagined, but they are far outweighed by the adventure, the excitement, and even the fun that come from having a living relationship with almighty God. You never know exactly where he’s going to lead you. You never know exactly what he might ask you to do. But you can be sure that following him will bring you untold blessings, just as it did for Mary.
Today, take some time to honor Mary as the woman who shows us how to say yes to God’s plan. Thank her for her openness to God and her willingness to trade in her bucket list for his. And above all, trust that God has nothing but good planned for you.
“Father, come and strengthen me to be more like Mary: to ponder your word in my heart, to be open to your plan for my life, to love your Son, and to sing your praises every day.”