Christmas Blessings ~ 2019

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And they found the child with Mary, His Mother (Matt. 2:11)

When one reflects upon the Nativity of Our Lord Jesus Christ, there is one person who is never missing in the scene: Mary. This is not without reason. When sin came into the world through a woman (Gen. 3:1ff; cf. 1 Tim. 2:14: And Adam was not seduced; but the woman being seduced, was in the transgression.) it was apropos that sin should be taken away through a woman and God made it clear when He said: I will put enmities between thee and the woman, and thy seed and her seed: she shall crush thy head, and thou shalt lie in wait for her heel.  (Gen. 3:15)

The influence of Rationalism causing one to see Old Testament Scripture as merely an historical record of the Israelites and the development of the Hebrew concept of God has distorted the understanding of what Sacred Scripture ought to be: the history of salvation showing God’s interaction with man in order to prepare man for the coming of His Son. Through Original Sin man had lost the right to heaven, to participate in eternal life. The Mercy of God demanded a second chance; the justice of God demanded punishment. If both were to be met in the middle, reparation had to be made. But, the reparation of so grievous an offence was beyond man; it was also outside of God’s capability to be made to suffer. It meant a new creation had to come into existence if both mercy and justice were to be satisfied: a true man who was also true God—to unite the infinite with the finite. God promised to provide a Redeemer; man had to accept God’s promise could be fulfilled, while living a life expressive of fulfilling His Commands. One sees, then, that the punishment of the wicked and the rewarding of the good testified that God’s will would be fulfilled. The intervention of God demonstrated He could accomplish what He intended—whether man cooperated or not. Therefore, one sees wayward mankind destroyed through a flood, with only Noe and his family surviving. One sees mankind again revolting against God, but then being scattered across the earth when building the Tower of Babel. One sees Abraham chosen to be the father of a great nation even though his wife was barren. One sees Joseph save his brothers by being sold into slavery by these very brothers. One sees Moses saving his people from Egyptian servitude by having them sacrifice a lamb. One sees the greatest kingdom established only to be destroyed through the foolishness of the wisest of men. But one also reads that the promise that a woman would crush the serpent’s head would was, in fact, to be achieved—and not through the intervention of a man, capsulated in the astonishing prophesy of Isaias:  Behold! a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and his name shall be called Emmanuel. (Isa. 7:14) Humanly speaking, how could a virgin conceive without the aid of a man? This is human wisdom: Hath not God made foolish the wisdom of this world? (1 Corinthians 1:20) And, so, Scripture shows the woman crushing the head of the serpent. Sara, barren in her bearing years, gives birth to a son in her unbearing years of old age (cf. Gen. 17:17) Rebecca chooses Jacob, whom she preferred because of his devotion to her, over Esau,  who had the customary birthright, and whom Isaac preferred. (Gen. 27.) Rachel, gave birth to Joseph, who saved the world from perishing (Gen. 30 and 41). Rachel also took away the pagan idols, and saved people from her father’s wrath (Gen. 31). Thamar obtained the ring and staff of Juda by giving birth to Phares and Zara by through her father-in-law—her son Phares receiving the promise and birth-right, not the legitimate children of Juda who were displeasing to God the Father. (Gen. 38) Mary, the sister of Moses, who would save the Israelites from Egyptian captivity, guarded the savior of Israel (Exod. 1) and led the women in praising God: So Mary the prophetess, the sister of Aaron, took a timbrel in her hand: and all the women went forth after her with timbrels and with dances: And she began the song to them, saying: Let us sing to the Lord, for he is gloriously magnified, the horse and his rider he hath thrown into the sea. (Exod. 15:20-21.) It points to the Magnificat of Mary in the New Testament: My soul doth magnify the Lord. . .   He hath shewed might in his arm: he hath scattered the proud in the conceit of their heart. [52] He hath put down the mighty from their seat, and hath exalted the humble. (Luke 1:46, 51-52) Rahab, to save the people of God and allow them to enter the Promised Land, placed herself in danger by hiding the spies and later became the mother of Booz. (Joshua 2:1ff; 6:17ff; Matt. 1:5) Ruth, the Moabitess, would leave her country to go to Bethlehem and give birth to a son: The Lord make this woman who cometh into thy house, like Rachel, and Lia, who built up the house of Israel: that she may be an example of virtue in Ephrata, and may have a famous name in Bethlehem: And that the house may be, as the house of Phares, whom Thamar bore unto Juda, of the seed which the Lord shall give thee of this young woman. (Book of Ruth).

Debbora would lead the armies against the enemies of Israel: She said to him: I will go indeed with thee, but at this time the victory shall not be attributed to thee, because Sisara shall be delivered into the hand of a woman. Debbora therefore arose, and went with Barac to Cedes. [10] And he called unto him Zabulon and Nephtali, and went up with ten thousand fighting men, having Debbora in his company. (Judges 4:9-10) And Jael would crush the head of the enemy: So Jahel Haber’s wife took a nail of the tent, and taking also a hammer: and going in softly, and with silence, she put the nail upon the temples of his head, and striking it with the hammer, drove it through his brain fast into the ground: and so passing from deep sleep to death, he fainted away and died. (ibid. 4:21) In Judges, chapter 9, we read again: And Abimelech coming near the tower, fought stoutly: and approaching to the gate, endeavoured to set fire to it: And behold a certain woman casting a piece of a millstone from above, dashed it against the head of Abimelech, and broke his skull. (ibid. 9:52-53)

Anna, is given a child (Samuel) to offer to the service of God and also provides the same sentiments of Mary’s Magnificat: My heart hath rejoiced in the Lord, and my horn is exalted in my God: my mouth is enlarged over my enemies: because I have joyed in thy salvation. There is none holy as the Lord is: for there is no other beside thee, and there is none strong like our God. . . . The bow of the mighty is overcome, and the weak are girt with strength. They that were full before have hired out themselves for bread: and the hungry are filled, so that the barren hath borne many: and she that had many children is weakened. The Lord killeth and maketh alive, he bringeth down to hell and bringeth back again. The Lord maketh poor and maketh rich, he humbleth and he exalteth. He raiseth up the needy from the dust, and lifteth up the poor from the dunghill: that he may sit with princes, and hold the throne of glory. (1 Kings 2:1-8) In 2 Kings, chapter twenty, there is the woman of who throws over the wall the head of Seba. Judith and Esther both overthrow the enemies of the people of God as found in the inspired books of their deeds. And, therefore, when it was time to announce the Redeemer, an angel is sent to a virgin espoused to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David; and the virgin’s name was Mary. (Luke 1:27) These words of the Evangelists are purposeful for mankind had waited for the Woman, and now they can point to her as the one who crushes the Serpent’s head —for they find the child with Mary, His Mother (Matt. 2:11) This is why every scene of the birth of Christ is not without Mary, for the Scriptures must be fulfilled (cf. Matt. 26:54).

I wish all a most blessed Christmas, celebrating the birth of Our Lord Jesus Christ. For those who are not able to be present at Holy Mass because of illness, distance or having no priest to offer the august Sacrifice, I will remember you as Holy Mass is offered.

In His Service,

Father Courtney Edward Krie