December 2006 - Volume 11, Issue 5

The Nativity Of Mary


Photo of a painting of MaryAnd behold an angel of the Lord came to Anna and said, "Anna, the Lord has heard your prayer. You shall conceive and bear a child, and your offspring shall be spoken of in all the world. (Nativity of Mary 4.1)

And Anna said, "As the Lord my God lives, if I bear a child, whether male or female, I will bring it as a gift to the Lord my God, and it shall serve him all of its days. (Nativity of Mary 4.1)

In her ninth month, Anna gave birth to a daughter, as the angel had said. And she nursed the child and called her Mary. (Nativity of Mary 5.2)

Day by day Mary grew strong; when she was six months old, her mother stood her on the ground to see if she could stand. And Mary walked seven steps and returned to her mother. (Nativity of Mary 6.1)

On Mary's first birthday, Joachim brought Mary to the priests and they blessed her, saying, "O God of our ancestors, bless this child and give her a name renowned forever among all generations." (Nativity of Mary 6.2)

And they brought her to the chief priests, and they blessed her, saying, "O God of the heavenly heights, look down on this child and bless her with a supreme and unsurpassable blessing." (Nativity of Mary 6.2)

When Mary was three, her parents brought her to the temple. And the priest took her and placed her on the third step of the altar, and the Lord God put grace upon her and she danced for joy with her feet, and the whole house of Israel loved her. (Nativity of Mary 7.3

And her parents went home marveling and praising God, because Mary did not turn back after them. (Nativity of Mary 8.1)

And Mary lived in the temple nurtured like a dove, and received food from the hand of an angel. (Nativity of Mary 8.1)

The Story of Christmas

Photo of a painting of Mary and the Angel GabrielIn the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent by God to a town in Galilee called Nazareth, to a virgin engage to ... Joseph, of the house of David. The virgin's name was Mary. (Luke 1:26-7)

And he came to her and said, "Greetings, favored one! The Lord is with you." (Luke 1:28)

But she was much perplexed by his words and pondered what sort of greeting this might be. (Luke 1:29)

The angel said to her, "Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God." (Luke 1:30)

"And now, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you will name him Jesus." (Luke 1:31)

"He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Most High, and the Lord God will give to him the throne of his ancestor David. (Luke 1:32)

"He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of his kingdom there will be no end. (Luke 1:33)

Mary said to the angel, "How is this to take place, since I am a virgin?" (Luke 1:34)

The angel said to her, "The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore the child to be born will be holy; he will be called Son of God." (Luke 1:35)

"And now, your relative Elizabeth in her old age has also conceived a son; and this is the sixth month for her who was said to be barren." (Luke 1:36)

"For nothing will be impossible with God." (Luke 1:37)

Then Mary said, "Here am I, the servant of the Lord; let it be with me according to your word." Then the angel departed from her. (Luke 1:38)

In those days, Mary set out and went with haste to a Judean town in the hill country, where she entered the house of Zechariah and greeted Elizabeth. (Luke 1:39-40)

When Elizabeth heard Mary's greeting, the child leaped in her womb. And Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit and exclaimed, "Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb." (Luke 1:42-2)

"And why has this happened to me, that the mother of my Lord comes to me? For as soon as I heard the sound of your greeting, the child in my womb leaped for joy." (Luke 1:43-4)

"And blessed is she who believed that there would be a fulfillment of what was spoken to her by the Lord." (Luke 1:45)

And Mary said, "My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior, for he has looked with favor on the lowliness of his servant." (Luke 1:46-8a)

"Surely, from now on all generations will call me blessed." (Luke 1:48b)

"For the Mighty One has done great things for me, and holy is his name. His mercy is for those who fear him from generation to generation." (Luke 1:49-50)

"He has shown strength with his arm; he has scattered the proud in the thoughts of their hearts." (Luke 1:51)

"He has brought down the powerful from their thrones, and lifted up the lowly; he has filled the hungry with good things, and sent the rich away empty." (Luke 1:52-3)

"He has helped his servant Israel, in remembrance of his mercy, according to the promise he made to our ancestors, to Abraham and to his descendants forever." (Luke 1:54-5)

And Mary remained with her about three months and then returned to her home. (Luke 1:56)

The Gift of the Magi

Photo of stained glass window showing the baby JesusNow the birth of Jesus the Messiah took place in this way. When his mother Mary had been engaged to Joseph, but before they lived together, she was found to be with child from the Holy Spirit. (Matthew 1:18)

Her husband Joseph, being a righteous man and unwilling to expose her to public disgrace, planned to dismiss her quietly. (Matthew 1:18)

But just when he had resolved to do this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, "Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife, for the child conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit." (Matthew 1:20-1)

All this took place to fulfill what had been spoken by the Lord through the prophet: "Look, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and they shall name him Immanuel," which means, "God is with me." (Matthew 1:22-3)

When Joseph awake from sleep he did as the angel of the Lord had commanded him; he took her as his wife, but had no marital relations with her until she had borne a son; and he named him Jesus. (Matthew 1:24-5)

In those days a decree went out from Emperor Augustus that all the world should be registered. Joseph also Bethlehem...with Mary, to whom he was engaged and who was expecting a child. (Luke 2:1,4-5)

While they were there, the time came for her to deliver her child. And she gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped him in bands of cloth, and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn. (Luke2:6-7)

When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds...went with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the child lying in the manger. (Luke 2:15-6)

When the shepherds saw the child, they made known what had been told them about him, and all who heard it were amazed. But Mary treasured all their words and pondered them in her heart. (Luke 2:19)

After eight days had passed, it was time to circumcise the child; and he was called Jesus, the name given by the angel before he was conceived in the womb. (Luke 2:21)

When the time came for their purification, they brought him up to Jerusalem to present him to the Lord, and they offered a sacrifice according to ...the law of the Lord. (Luke 2:22,24)

Guided by the Spirit, Simeon came into the temple; and when the parents brought in the child Jesus, Simeon took him in his arms and praised God, saying, "Master, now you are dismissing your servant in peace...for my eyes have seen your salvation." (Luke 2:25a,27-30)

And the child's father and mother were amazed at what was being said about him. (Luke 2:33)

Then Simeon blessed them and said to his mother Mary, "This child is be a sign that will be opposed so that the inner thoughts of many will be revealed– and a sword will pierce your own soul too." (Luke 2:34-5

When they had finished everything required by the law of the Lord, they returned to Galilee, to their own town of Nazareth. (Luke 2:39)

On entering the house, [the Magi] saw the child with Mary his mother; and they knelt down and paid him homage. Then, opening their treasure chests, they offered him gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh. (Matthew 2:11)

From Mary's Little Instruction Book: Learning from the Wisdom of the Blessed Mother by Eileen Elias Freeman

Photo of a red bow and ribbon