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The Octave Day of Christmas Mass Reading

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The Octave Day of Christmas Mass Reading

The Octave Day of Christmas
Solemnity of the Blessed Virgin Mary, the Mother of God
Lectionary: 18

First Reading Nm 6:22-27

The LORD said to Moses:
“Speak to Aaron and his sons and tell them:
This is how you shall bless the Israelites.
Say to them:
The LORD bless you and keep you!
The LORD let his face shine upon
you, and be gracious to you!
The LORD look upon you kindly and
give you peace!
So shall they invoke my name upon the Israelites,
and I will bless them.”
Responsorial Psalm Ps 67:2-3, 5, 6, 8

R. (2a) May God bless us in his mercy.
May God have pity on us and bless us;
may he let his face shine upon us.
So may your way be known upon earth;
among all nations, your salvation.
R. May God bless us in his mercy.
May the nations be glad and exult
because you rule the peoples in equity;
the nations on the earth you guide.
R. May God bless us in his mercy.
May the peoples praise you, O God;
may all the peoples praise you!
May God bless us,
and may all the ends of the earth fear him!
R. May God bless us in his mercy.

Second Reading Gal 4:4-7

Brothers and sisters:
When the fullness of time had come, God sent his Son,
born of a woman, born under the law,
to ransom those under the law,
so that we might receive adoption as sons.
As proof that you are sons,
God sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts,
crying out, “Abba, Father!”
So you are no longer a slave but a son,
and if a son then also an heir, through God.

Alleluia Heb 1:1-2

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
In the past God spoke to our ancestors through the prophets;
In these last days, he has spoken to us through the Son.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel Reading Lk 2:16-21

The shepherds went in haste to Bethlehem and found Mary and Joseph,
and the infant lying in the manger.
When they saw this,
they made known the message
that had been told them about this child.
All who heard it were amazed
by what had been told them by the shepherds.
And Mary kept all these things,
reflecting on them in her heart.
Then the shepherds returned,
glorifying and praising God
for all they had heard and seen,
just as it had been told to them.

When eight days were completed for his circumcision,
he was named Jesus, the name given him by the angel
before he was conceived in the womb.

Reflection

Meditation: What’s the significance of a name? For the Jewish people the giving of a name had great importance. When a name was given it represented what that person should be in the future. An unknown name meant that someone could not be completely known. To not acknowledge someone’s name meant both denial of the person, destruction of their personality, and change in their destiny. A person’s name expressed the reality of his or her being at its deepest level. A Jewish male child was named at the time of circumcision, eight days after birth. This rite was instituted by God as an outward sign to single out those who belonged to the chosen people (Genesis 17:10-12). It was a sign of the covenant that God made with Abraham and his posterity.

 

Jesus – the eternal Son of God who was born of a woman to become our Savior

In fulfilment of this precept, Mary’s newborn child is given the name Jesus on the eighth day according to the Jewish custom. Joseph and Mary gave the name Jesus because that is the name given by God’s messenger before Jesus was conceived in Mary’s womb (Luke 1:31, Matthew 1:21). This name signifies Jesus’ identity and his mission. The literal Hebrew means the Lord saves. Since God alone can forgive sins and free us from death, it is God who, in Jesus his eternal Son became a man to offer up his life as the atoning sacrifice to save his people from their sins (Matthew 1:21). The son that Mary bore is both God and man – the “Word who was God” (John 1:1) and who “became flesh and dwelt among us” (John 1:14). That is why Mary is not only called the mother of the Christ (the Greek word for Messiah in Hebrew) but also the mother of God or Theotokos in Greek which literally means “God bearer.”

Jesus – the name above every other name

In the birth and naming of this child we see the wondrous design and plan of God in giving us a Savior who would bring us grace (the gift of God’s favor), mercy, and freedom from the power of sin and the fear of death. The name Jesus signifies that the very name of God is present in the person of his Son who became man for our salvation. Peter the Apostle exclaimed that there is no other name under heaven given among mortals by which we must be saved (Acts 2:12). In the name of Jesus demons flee, cripples walk, the blind see, the deaf hear, and the dead are raised. His name is exalted far above every other name (Philippians 2:9-11).

The name Jesus is at the heart of all Christian prayer. It is through and in Jesus that we pray to the Father in the power of the Holy Spirit. Many Christians have died with one word on their lips, the name of Jesus. Do you exalt the name of Jesus and pray with confidence in his name?

“Lord Jesus Christ, I exalt your name above every other name. For in you I have pardon, mercy, grace and victory over sin and death. You humbled yourself for my sake and for the sake of all sinners by sharing in our humanity and by dying on the cross. Help me to always praise your holy name and to live for your greater glory.”

The following reflection is courtesy of Presentation Ministries (c) 2016. Their website is located at presentationministries.com

GOD WAS A BABY

“When the designated time had come, God sent forth His Son born of a woman, born under the law, to deliver from the law those who were subjected to it, so that we might receive our status as adopted sons.” —Galatians 4:4-5
We began the Christmas season celebrating Jesus’ birth. On this eighth day of Christmas, we celebrate His conception, that is, the conception of God. To express the reality of His conception, God’s Incarnation, we speak of Mary as the mother of God. This states that God really and permanently became a human being. He did not merely inhabit a human body or appear in the form of a human being. God actually became a human being.

God, in the womb of Mary, was a fetus about the size of a thumbnail. God nursed at Mary’s breast. God talked “baby-talk.” God had to be taught to walk. In addition to these physical realities of God’s becoming human, God spiritually took on our weak human nature. He was born under the law (Gal 4:4). He was like us in all things but sin (Heb 4:15). He was tempted in every way that we are (Heb 4:15). The awesome God, the All-holy One, the great I AM, emptied Himself (see Phil 2:7) to the point that He had to struggle to overcome the little, petty temptations with which all human beings struggle.

Why did God so humiliate Himself and become man? “God is Love” (1 Jn 4:16).

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