Annunciation: The day God waited patiently for Mary’s “yes!”

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And in the sixth month, the angel Gabriel was sent from God into a city of Galilee, called Nazareth, To a virgin espoused to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David: and the virgin’s name was Mary.

And the angel being come in, said unto her: Hail, full of grace, the Lord is with thee: blessed art thou among women. Who having heard, was troubled at his saying and thought with herself what manner of salutation this should be.

And the angel said to her: Fear not, Mary, for thou hast found grace with God. Behold thou shalt conceive in thy womb and shalt bring forth a son: and thou shalt call his name Jesus. He shall be great and shall be called the Son of the Most High. And the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of David his father: and he shall reign in the house of Jacob for ever. And of his kingdom there shall be no end.

And Mary said to the angel: How shall this be done, because I know not man? And the angel answering, said to her: The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee and the power of the Most High shall overshadow thee. And therefore also the Holy which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God. And behold thy cousin Elizabeth, she also hath conceived a son in her old age: and this is the sixth month with her that is called barren. Because no word shall be impossible with God.

And Mary said: Behold the handmaid of the Lord: be it done to me according to thy word. And the angel departed from her. (Luke 1:26-38)

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We are surrounded by Philistines, you and I, and how like Goliath do all of them appear!

In one way or another, all of us have this call as well, this call from God deep within our souls to stand firm for the Church and to trust in Christ. For Christ is the Lord and Son of God, and the good shepherd who alone can scatter the wolves and the lions. Yes, there is a God in the Church, and the battle is His.

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Since Bethlehem was St. Joseph’s Home Town, Why Couldn’t the Holy Family Have Stayed With Relatives?


Luke 2:1-7  And it came to pass that in those days there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus that the whole world should be enrolled.  This enrolling was first made by Cyrinus, the governor of Syria.  And all went to be enrolled, every one into his own city. And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem: because he was of the house and family of David.  To be enrolled with Mary his espoused wife, who was with child. And it came to pass that when they were there, her days were accomplished that she should be delivered.  And she brought forth her first born son and wrapped him up in swaddling clothes and laid him in a manger: because there was no room for them in the inn.

Q: Since Bethlehem was St. Joseph’s Home Town, Why Couldn’t the Holy Family Have Stayed With Relatives?

A: The short, simple answer is: They did stay with relatives.

Joseph and Mary were of the House of David. King David’s father Jesse, along with his whole family, were shepherds, who (about 800 years earlier) lived in and around Bethlehem. Their descendants still kept sheep on the rolling plains there, (as many still do.)

Who received the very first angelic notice of the birth of the Messiah? The shepherds … in fields … as they lay … keeping their sheep!

Who were the first to visit the Christ child? The shepherds! And compared to laying out in the exposed fields, the stable (carved out of the side of a nearby, rocky hill) was much warmer and more practical … even if it lacked certain amenities.

God is all about love and family, and it’s just like God to graciously remember these types of things, and to grant certain, special privileges to those he loves, according to his grace … and also in recognition of the merit of those who have gone before, who made a conscious, free will choice to cooperate with God’s grace, and do his will.

What greater privilege and blessing could there be for King David’s people?

Wikipedia has a good explanation of the genealogies of Mary and Joseph, as well as how and why the Blessed Virgin Mary would have married St. Joseph, even though both knew they would never consummate their marriage, in a carnal way. I generally don’t use Wiki as a source, but this explanation appears to be spot-on :

Now compare the 2 genealogies of Jesus in Matthew 1:1-17 and Luke 3:23-38, and you’ll discover that Mary and Joseph were both of the tribe of Judah and descendants of David. Joseph descended through Solomon, the royal but cursed line, while Mary’s line was through Solomon’s brother Nathan.

Here’s the tricky part. Mary had no brothers, and so was entitled to inherit her family’s land as long as she married someone also descended from David. Joseph fit the bill and being in the royal line had a claim to the throne, but carried the blood curse. No biological son of his could ever legally qualify as Israel’s king, but Joseph could secure Mary’s right of inheritance.

When Mary accepted Joseph’s offer of marriage she preserved her family’s land and also made good her son’s claim to the throne of Israel. Jesus was in the royal succession through Joseph but escaped the curse since he wasn’t Joseph’s biological son. But He was a biological descendant of David’s through his mother and therefore of the “house and lineage of David.”

This whole issue revolves around the facts that a) God has bound Himself to His own laws and b) He keeps His word; facts that should give you great comfort. God is not a man that He should lie, nor a son of man that He should change His mind (Num. 23:19). Legally, a virgin birth was required to produce a sinless man who would be qualified and able to serve as our Kinsman Redeemer, and God longed to redeem us. A virgin birth was also required to sidestep the blood curse on the royal line, fulfilling God’s promise to David that a biological descendant of his would sit on the throne of Israel forever.

As for explaining the “big picture” … nobody did it quite as succinctly as St. Paul … in Acts of the Apostles 13:16-39:

Then Paul rising up and with his hand bespeaking silence, said: Ye men of Israel and you that fear God, give ear.  The God of the people of Israel chose our fathers and exalted the people when they were sojourners in the land of Egypt: And with an high arm brought them out from thence:  And for the space of forty years endured their manners in the desert: And, destroying seven nations in the land of Chaanan, divided their land among them by lot.

As it were, after four hundred and fifty years. And after these things, he gave unto them judges, until Samuel the prophet.  And after that they desired a king: and God gave them Saul the son of Cis, a man of the tribe of Benjamin, forty years.  And when he had removed him, he raised them up David to be king: to whom giving testimony, he said: I have found David, the son of Jesse, a man according to my own heart, who shall do all my wills.

Of this man’s seed, God, according to his promise, hath raised up to Israel a Saviour Jesus:  John first preaching, before his coming, the baptism of penance to all the people of Israel.  And when John was fulfilling his course, he said: I am not he whom you think me to be. But behold, there cometh one after me, whose shoes of his feet I am not worthy to loose.

Men, brethren, children of the stock of Abraham, and whosoever among you fear God: to you the word of this salvation is sent.  For they that inhabited Jerusalem and the rulers thereof, not knowing him, nor the voices of the prophets which are read every sabbath, judging him, have fulfilled them.  And finding no cause of death in him, they desired of Pilate that they might kill him.

And when they had fulfilled all things that were written of him, taking him down from the tree, they laid him in a sepulchre. But God raised him up from the dead the third day.  Who was seen for many days by them who came up with him from Galilee to Jerusalem, who to this present are his witnesses to the people.

And we declare unto you that the promise which was made to our fathers, This same God hath fulfilled to our children, raising up Jesus, as in the second psalm also is written: Thou art my Son: this day have I begotten thee.  And to shew that he raised him up from the dead, not to return now any more to corruption, he said thus: I will give you the holy things of David, faithful.

And therefore, in another place also, he saith: Thou shalt not suffer thy holy one to see corruption. For David, when he had served in his generation, according to the will of God, slept: and was laid unto his fathers and saw corruption. But he whom God hath raised from the dead saw no corruption.

Be it known therefore to you, men, brethren, that through him forgiveness of sins is preached to you: and from all the things from which you could not be justified by the law of Moses. In him every one that believeth is justified.

Illustrated Christmas Bible Study: Christmas is A Catholic Tradition

2Thessalonians 2:13-14

But we ought to give thanks to God always for you, brethren, beloved of God, for that God hath chosen you firstfruits unto salvation, in sanctification of the spirit and faith of the truth: Whereunto also he hath called you by our gospel, unto the purchasing of the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore, brethren, stand fast: and hold the traditions, which you have learned, whether by word or by our epistle.

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Mother of nine has no plans on slowing down

Mother of nine has no plans on slowing down

Reporter Progress Newspaper

Downers Grove, IL –

These days, the average American mother has about two children. But Daria Skrzypczynski is not your average mom.

The former Westmont resident who now lives in Downers Grove has not only given birth to and raised nine children, she has also home-schooled all but one.

“Some people think I’m crazy, but now that I have functioning adults, people give me more credibility,” said Daria, whose three boys and six girls range from 3 years to 22 years old .

Click here for the rest of the story …

What Does “Hosanna” Mean?

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Q: What Does “Hosanna” Mean?

A: “Hosanna” means … “Messiah Save Us!”

The context, is an emphatic “NOW!”

Mat 21:1 And when they drew nigh unto Jerusalem, and came unto Bethphage, unto the mount of Olives, then Jesus sent two disciples,
Mat 21:2 saying unto them, Go into the village that is over against you, and straightway ye shall find an ass tied, and a colt with her: loose them, and bring them unto me.
Mat 21:3 And if any one say aught unto you, ye shall say, The Lord hath need of them; and straightway he will send them.
Mat 21:4 Now this is come to pass, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken through the prophet, saying,
Mat 21:5 Tell ye the daughter of Zion, Behold, thy King cometh unto thee, Meek, and riding upon an ass, And upon a colt the foal of an ass.
Mat 21:6 And the disciples went, and did even as Jesus appointed them,
Mat 21:7 and brought the ass, and the colt, and put on them their garments; and he sat thereon.
Mat 21:8 And the most part of the multitude spread their garments in the way; and others cut branches from the trees, and spread them in the way.
Mat 21:9 And the multitudes that went before him, and that followed, cried, saying, Hosanna to the son of David: Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord; Hosanna in the highest.
Mat 21:10 And when he was come into Jerusalem, all the city was stirred, saying, Who is this?
Mat 21:11 And the multitudes said, This is the prophet, Jesus, from Nazareth of Galilee.

Why Do Catholics Consider the Virgin Mary To Be An Intercessor?

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Q: Why do Catholics consider the Blessed Virgin Mary to be an intercessor?

Isn’t Mary just a created human person, like all the rest of us? And according to the Bible, isn’t Jesus the ONE intercessor between God and man?

Please explain.

A: Since you mentioned the Bible, crack your Bible open to Genesis 3:15. There you’ll see God’s very first promise to fallen mankind, and there you’ll find the first reference to “the woman” whose “seed” would someday crush the head of the serpent. 

People insist on their own intepretation of things, but one thing is certain … Mary is that “woman” … Mary said “yes” when God sent Gabriel to ask her to be the mother of his divine son … and some 9 months hence … Jesus did indeed emerge from Mary’s blessed womb.

Mary remained Jesus’ mom, and his first, best, and most constant disciple, ever since … and if that’s not a selfless act of intercession on behalf of all mankind (second only to God’s) than I don’t know what is.

Furthermore … anyone who expects Jesus to ignore this fact, and merely “discard” his mother Mary, once she had served her purpose, doesn’t know God! 

But there’s more. Go to the Gospel of Luke, chapter 1, verse 32.

Gabriel explains to Mary precisely WHO her son will be. One of his titles is the eternal King of the Royal House of Israel. And since Mary will ALWAYS be Jesus’ mom, Mary will ALWAYS remain the mother of the King.

According to the practices of the Royal House, first established by King David, later observed and followed by King Solomon, and ratified by God, through the authentic scriptures, the MOTHER of the King is the QUEEN, and the official duty of the Queen of the Royal House is to intercede with the King, on behalf of the people.   

Meet me at the 1st Book of Kings, Chapter 2, beginning with verse 12, for the proof.

Witness a disgruntled and powerless Adonais approaching Bathsheba, the Queen Mother, asking her to intercede for him, with  King Solomon. Then, witness the way the Queen is subsequently received:

The Queen enjoys unrestricted access to the King.

As the Queen approaches, the King sets up a throne for her, at this right hand.

He bows, and gives her his undivided attention. 

Those familiar with the Ten Commandments might recognize this as “Honor your Father and your Mother.”

In verse 24, we see Solomon acting on his mother’s request … but not in the way Adonais had expected. Adonais will be put to death!

There’s nothing in the rules that says the King must grant his mother’s request! 

Catholics rightly understand that these Old Testament events prefigure the grace-filled, New Testament reality.

In the New Testament, Jesus works a miracle at Cana, simply because his mother (the woman) asks, while one of the enduring promises of Christ is that all the faithful will rule and reign with him, in eternity.

It was Jesus who clearly stated that he is the God of the living, and not the dead … and that Abraham was able to “see” his coming, and was glad.

For these and other very good reasons, Catholics believe that the Blessed Virgin Mary, the Queen Mother of the House of Israel, and the mother of Jesus Christ, is also alive and in Heaven, ruling and reigning with Jesus, the Eternal King of the Ages, just as he promised.