MATTHEW 1:1-16, 18-23 [or 1:18-23]
This is how the birth of Jesus Christ came about. When his mother Mary was betrothed to Joseph, but before they lived together, she was found with child through the Holy Spirit. Joseph her husband, since he was a righteous man, yet unwilling to expose her to shame, decided to divorce her quietly. Such was his intention when, behold, the angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, “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.” 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.”
THE VIRGIN SHALL BE WITH CHILD. Matthew quotes Isaiah in the Greek version of the Hebrew Bible called Septuagint. The Hebrew original has “young woman,” which the Greek translates “virgin.” To ask which is correct is to pose the wrong question. Both original and translation are inspired and canonical. Early Christian writers made use of the Greek version when quoting the Old Testament. Both versions were written under divine inspiration for the communities living simultaneously in Palestine and Egypt.
We Catholics base our belief that Mary, the mother of Jesus, is a virgin on this apostolic tradition written in Matthew. If we do not believe in Mary’s virginity, we go against this belief and become heretics.
The Gospel says that Mary is found with child through the Holy Spirit—not through any man. Her betrothal and marriage to Joseph are not meant to be cover-ups. Mary is not immoral; she will not have carnal relations with Joseph. Her childbearing is the work of the Holy Spirit.
When Joseph hesitates to take her into his home, God reiterates that it is the work of the Holy Spirit. Joseph has only to accompany her and the child to be born.
Mary is special in God’s eyes because God directly acts upon the mother of his Son Jesus.
SOURCE: “365 Days with the Lord 2018,” ST. PAULS Philippines, 7708 St. Paul Rd., SAV, Makati City (Phils.); Tel.: 895-9701; Fax 895-7328; E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org; Website: http://www.stpauls.ph.