Sunday, 20 December 2015


Mary, Joseph:
                                      Behold our Baby – Behold, your Saviour                                                                      

Pilate: Behold, the man! -  Behold, your king!

There’s nothing quite like over-joyed parents proudly showing off  their newly born child to all and sundry. They themselves feel very, very special. Mary and Joseph must have experienced all this and something more!  Their   parenting was at a completely different level!
What the Angel Gabriel had to say to Mary and Joseph had never, ever been said before and would never, ever be repeated.  What he had to say to Mary about her becoming a mother was absolutely unique.  As was the explanation  the Angel gave to Joseph about how his cherished wife was with child. The Holy Spirit was uniquely, necessarily involved in this. Thank   God!
 Both of them would have been astounded   about  what the Angel had to say about the exceptional identity  of their babe!
He would have an infinitely   more than an a   private, domestic significance. Gabriel told Joseph, ‘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," (Matt.1.21).
Matthew then comments, ‘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." "
With such an identity, with such a God-given destiny, this babe was meant to  have a global impact on the whole history of  mankind
Mary and Joseph must have sensed that their  being the parents of Jesus was an amazing  gift  from God, a privilege, a responsibility,  entrusted  to them by God. Their reality was that
‘When the fullness of time had come, God sent his Son, born of a woman,  ( Mary) born under the law, to ransom those under the law, so that we might receive adoption,´(Gal. 3.16).
And, ‘For God so much loved the world that he gave  His only Son, so that everyone who believes in Him might not perish but might have eternal life,’ (John 3.16.) 
Through   Mary and Joseph  God gave Emmanuel, Jesus, Saviour,  to the world – to you, to me, to absolutely everyone!  
Surely this was the supreme Spiritual Work Of Mercy – on God’s part and on the part of Mary and Joseph. This is their profound, intimate, sharing in the loving  mercy of Almighty God Himself. Something magnificent! Something utterly  unique!
Pope John Paul 11 gave us  two  beautiful messages – one concerning Mary  under the title of the ‘Mother of the Redeemer,’ and the other concerning Joseph, under the title of   ‘Guardian of the Redeemer.’
In this Jubilee Year of Mercy, with its strong emphasis on the Corporal and Spiritual Works  of  Mercy, I see, through  our  illustration,  Mary and Joseph  offering us  God’s infinite, merciful love  made flesh in their Son, Jesus.
God  called  Mary  and Joseph  to do this.  And they  would  want us to share in their happiness  by  continuing  their  merciful,  good work, which  is God’s merciful, good  work,  of  sharing Jesus with others.

Isidore and I offer you this message as our Christmas present  to you, our readers, who have given us so much support and encouragement  in  our efforts to share the Good News in our own rather eccentric  way.  In the New Year we will share our thoughts on Indulgences and on other themes.

May God richly bless you during this Christmas  Season,
Isidore  and Peter Clarke, O.P.

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