CHRISTMAS NOVENA (Dec. 17-25)
Dec. 17: Gospel of the Day, Commentary and Prayer.
St. Leo the Great, The Genealogy of Jesus Christ.
Dear brethren in Christ, as preparation for Christmas, below you have the Gospel of the day, commentary by St. Leo the Great for meditation, and the corresponding Antiphon and Opening prayer of the Mass.
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Fr. Rolly Arjonillo, Catholics striving for Holiness.
- Antiphon and Gospel for Dec. 17
- Divine office Reading on the Genealogy of Our Lord Jesus Christ.
Rejoice, O heavens, and exult, O earth, for our Lord will come to show mercy to his poor.
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.
Thus the total number of generations from Abraham to David is fourteen generations; from David to the Babylonian exile, fourteen generations; from the Babylonian exile to the Christ, fourteen generations.
A letter of Pope St Leo the Great
The mystery of our reconciliation with God
To speak of our Lord, the son of the Blessed Virgin Mary, as true and perfect man is of no value to us if we do not believe that he is descended from the line of ancestors set out in the Gospel.
Matthew’s gospel begins by setting out the genealogy of Jesus Christ, son of David, son of Abraham, and then traces his human descent by bringing his ancestral line down to his mother’s husband, Joseph. On the other hand, Luke traces his parentage backward step by step to the actual father of mankind, to show that both the first and the last Adam share the same nature.
No doubt the Son of God in his omnipotence could have taught and sanctified men by appearing to them in a semblance of human form as he did to the patriarchs and prophets, when for instance he engaged in a wrestling contest or entered into conversation with them, or when he accepted their hospitality and even ate the food they set before him. But these appearances were only types, signs that mysteriously foretold the coming of one who would take a true human nature from the stock of the patriarchs who had gone before him. No mere figure, then, fulfilled the mystery of our reconciliation with God, ordained from all eternity.
The Holy Spirit had not yet come upon the Virgin nor had the power of the MostHigh overshadowed her, so that within her spotless womb Wisdom might build itself a house and the Word become flesh. The divine nature and the nature of a servant were to be united in one person so that the Creator of time might be born in time, and he through whom all things were made might be brought forth in their midst.
For unless the new man, by being made in the likeness of sinful flesh, had taken on himself the nature of our first parents, unless he had stooped to be one in substance with his mother while sharing the Father’s substance and, being alone free from sin, united our nature to his, the whole human race would still be held captive under the dominion of Satan. The Conqueror’s victory would have profited us nothing if the battle had been fought outside our human condition. But through this wonderful blending the mystery of new birth shone upon us, so that through the same Spirit by whom Christ was conceived and brought forth we too might be born again in a spiritual birth; and in consequence the evangelist declares the faithful to have been born not of blood, nor of the desire of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.
℟. See, the root of Jesse shall come down to save the peoples, the nations shall rally to him,* and his name shall be glorious.
℣. The Lord God will give him the throne of his ancestor David, and he will be king over Israel for ever,* and his name shall be glorious.
O God, Creator and Redeemer of human nature, who willed that your Word should take flesh in an ever-virgin womb, look with favor on our prayers, that your Only Begotten Son, having taken to himself our humanity, may be pleased to grant us a share in his divinity. Who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
AUDIO CREDIT: Oh, Little Town of Bethlehem Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)
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PHOTO CREDIT AND SOURCE: Adoration of the Kings by Giuseppe Chiari (1564-1727), in http://i2.wp.com/www.catholichousehold.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/12/4.-Adoration-of-the-Kings-Chiari-1.jpg?resize=750%2C1120
CHRISTMAS NOVENA 1. Dec. 17 in https://wp.me/p6k7Mv-1Lp
CHRISTMAS NOVENA 2. Dec. 18 in https://wp.me/p6k7Mv-1Lz
CHRISTMAS NOVENA 3. Dec. 19 in https://wp.me/p6k7Mv-1LK
CHRISTMAS NOVENA 4. Dec. 20 in https://wp.me/p6k7Mv-1LT
CHRISTMAS NOVENA 5.Dec. 21 in https://wp.me/p6k7Mv-1MF
CHRISTMAS NOVENA 6. Dec. 22 in https://wp.me/p6k7Mv-1MQ
CHRISTMAS NOVENA 7. Dec. 23 in https://wp.me/p6k7Mv-1N3