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“BEHOLD, A VIRGIN SHALL CONCEIVE AND BEAR A SON…”

The prospect of a deepening time of contagion is a collective strain on our nerves. Nonetheless, we must summon the courage and patience to endure it. God’s grace will not be wanting to us.

How especially welcome the days of Advent should be to us then with their message of a darkened earth looking towards its Redeemer. The words of the Prophet Isaias (Isaiah) fill our Advent liturgies of the Mass and Divine Office.

Isaias, who lived seven centuries before Christ. is considered to be the greatest of the Old Testament Prophets. His immense book contains a number of Messianic prophecies which foretell Jesus Christ in such detail that the Church looks upon Isaias as the “Old Testament Evangelist” and the writer of the “gospel before the Gospel.”

For example, Isaias prophecies the Virgin Birth: “Behold a virgin shall conceive and bear a son: and his name shall be called Emmanuel.” (Isaias 7:14) 

St. Matthew recalls this Prophecy when he relates the miraculous circumstances of Jesus’ Birth: “Now all this was done that it might be fulfilled which the Lord spoke by the prophet, saying: ‘Behold a virgin shall be with child and bring forth a son: and they shall call his name EMMANUEL, which being interpreted is, Godwith-us.’ (Matt. 1:22-23)”

In the Roman Liturgy, the First Sunday of Advent takes us immediately into the Mystery of the Incarnation. The Roman stational church is the basilica of St. Mary Major where the precious relic of the wood of Christ’s manger crib is kept. Both the words of the Introit, “To thee, O God, I lift up my soul…” (Psalm 24) and the Communion, The Lord will bestow His loving kindness, and our land will yield its fruit.” (Psalm 84) lend themselves to a Marian interpretation, the first as the prayer of Mary’s lips, and the second as an image of the Incarnation—Mary’s virginal womb is the “land” which yields its fruit: “...and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus.

Fr. Higgins

 

About Our Parish

Mary Immaculate of Lourdes is Newton and Needham Massachusetts's oldest Roman Catholic Parish. Founded as Saint Mary's Parish in 1870 it was renamed "Mary Immaculate of Lourdes" when the new Church was dedicated on Thanksgiving Day, 1910. In addition to being a regular territorial parish of the Archdiocese of Boston it is also a "Mission Parish" since 2007 with a special apostolate for the Traditional Latin Mass (1962 Missal).

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"If you are willing to serenely bear the trial of being displeasing to yourself, then you will be for Jesus a pleasant place of shelter."
- St. Therese of Lisieux (+1897)

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