Mary, Mother of God

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    Church of the Annunciation - Carmelite Church Mdina
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    Tuesday 31 December 2013
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All men will be called her children: the Most High himself has established her.

L-Ghasar (Evening Prayers) – 7:00pm

Ċelebrazzjoni ta’ l-Uffiċċju tal-Qari u l-Vġili ta’ Marija Omm Alla (Office of Readings)  – 7:30pm

Quddiesa tas-Solennità ta’ Marija Omm Alla (Mass) – 8:00pm


Rogier van der Weyden

Rogier van der Weyden – Saint Mary nursing Jesus


A reading from a Letter of St. Athanasius

The Word ‘took to Himself descent from Abraham’, as the Apostle says, ‘and therefore it was essential that He should in this way become completely like His brothers’, and take a body similar to us. That is why Mary is really part of His plan, so that He may take this body from her and offer it up for us as something that is His own. Accordingly, scripture mentions His birth, and says: ‘She wrapped Him up in swaddling clothes’; the breasts that suckled Him were called blessed; sacrifice was offered because He was the first-born, Gabriel announced the good news to Mary with all clarity; He did not say simply: ‘what is born in you’, in case it might be thought that the body had been introduced into her from outside; He said: ‘what is born of you’, so that it would be accepted that what she gave birth to, came from her in the natural way.

The Word took this course of action so that He could take on Himself what was ours, offer it in sacrifice, and to away with it altogether, and then clothe us in what was His, as He inspired the Apostle to say: ‘This perishable nature must put on the imperishable, and this mortal nature must put on immortality.’

This was no mere fiction, as some have thought. Far from it! Our Savior really did become man, and this brought about the salvation of the whole man. Our salvation is no illusion, nor is it salvation of the body only: the salvation of the whole man, body and soul, was really brought about in the Word Himself.

What was born of Mary, according to scripture, was by nature human; the Lord’s body was a real one – real, because it was the same as ours. This was so because Mary was our sister, since we are all descended from Adam.

This is the meaning of John’s words: ‘The Word became flesh’, as can be seen from a similar passage in Paul: ‘Christ became a curse for us.’ The human body has been greatly enhanced through the fellowship and the union of the Word with it. From being mortal, it has become immortal; through physical, it has become spiritual; though made from the earth, it has passed through the gates of heaven.

Though the Word took a body from Mary, the Trinity remains a Trinity, and admits neither addition no diminution. It is always perfect. In the Trinity one Godhead is acknowledged, and so in the Church one God is proclaimed, the Father of the Word.

Short Prayer: Heavenly Father, since You gave mankind a Savior through blessed Mary, virgin and mother, grant that we may feel the power of her intercession when she pleads for us with Jesus Christ, Your Son, the author of life, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, God, for ever and ever. Amen.

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  • 6:30 am Rosary
  • 6:45 am Lauds
  • 7:00 am Holy Mass
  • 12:30 pm Office of Readings & Midday Prayer
  • 5:30 pm (Wednesdays) Holy Mass
  • 7:00 pm (Saturdays) Lectio Divina in common
  • 7:30 pm Meditation
  • 8:00 pm Vespers
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