for Sunday, December 19, 2010
That the Virgin will conceive and bear a son is the great sign to all
peoples of God's sending the Savior. So many people today no longer
believe in virgin birth at all. This is a very sad situation. For those
of us who believe that God's word is given to us in the Holy Scriptures, it
is practically impossible not to believe in the Virgin Birth.
The first reading today, from the Prophet Isaiah, is one of the first
references to virgin birth. It is true that the Hebrew text can indicate
only an unmarried young woman. On the other hand, when the text was
translated from Hebrew to Greek, the faith of the believing community was
reflected in the choice of a Greek word with clearly indicates a virgin.
This particular passage should help form us as believers. We come to know
more profoundly that Holy Scripture is not a scientific handbook that
simply plots out how salvation will happen and then it does. Rather the
Holy Scripture is a living word from God Himself. Living words continue to
grow and to expand in meaning as we meditate them.
The Gospel is also this type of living word of God. We see Joseph
responding to an angel who comes to him in a dream but who quotes the
Prophet Isaiah - the very passage we have heard. The New Testament is
written in Greek and the reference to Isaiah is to the Septuagint version
and clearly indicates a virgin who will give birth. There is no doubt that
this early Church in its writings accepted the Virgin birth of the Savior.
As we come to the end of Advent we are challenged, each of us, to listen
to God's Word, to accept God's word, to understand how this word works in
Scripture and in our personal lives. We cannot respond to this challenge
without a daily reading of some small portion of Scripture. We need to be
faithful to this smallest invitation in our life: Come to me, all you who
labor and are burdened. I will give you rest.
We cannot have that rest until we can come to the Lord. We cannot come to
the Lord without knowing Him. We come to know the Lord through the Church
and through the Scriptures given to us in the Church.
Come, let us adore Him. Come, let us seek Him. As we wait for the Lord,
may our hearts be ever alert to what He asks of us.
Readings of the day:
Reflections are available for the following Sundays: