Marian Devotion (Day 6)
May 06, 2024
Fr. John Colacino C.PP.S.
Day 6
A reading from the letter to the Galatians (4:22-31)

It is written that Abraham had two sons, one by a slave woman and one by a free woman. The son by the slave woman was born through the flesh. The son by the free woman was born through a promise.

 Now this is an allegory. These women represent two covenants. One covenant is given on Mount Sinai and bears children who are born into slavery; this is Hagar. Hagar stands for Sinai, a mountain in Arabia, and corresponds to the present city of Jerusalem, for she is in slavery together with her children. However, the Jerusalem that is above is the free woman, and she is our mother.  For it is written,

“Rejoice, you barren woman
    who never bore a child;
break forth in song and shout with joy,
    you who never were in labor.
For more numerous are the children of the deserted wife
    than the children of the one who has a husband.”

 Now you, brethren, are, like Isaac, the children of the promise.  But just as in those days the child who was born through the flesh persecuted the child who was born through the Spirit, so is it now also.  However, what does Scripture say?

“Drive out the slave woman and her son!
    For the son of the slave woman shall not share the inheritance
    with the son of the free woman.”

 Therefore, brethren, we are the children not of the slave woman but of the free woman.

From a homily on the ancestors of Christ by St. Gregory Palamas

Matthew [in his genealogy of Christ]…begins with those born first, and makes no mention of anyone before Abraham. He traces the line down from Abraham until he reaches Joseph to whom, by divine dispensation, the Virgin Mother of God was betrothed, being of the same tribe and homeland as him, that her own stock might be shown from this to be in no way inferior.

Luke, by contrast, begins not with the earliest forebears but the most recent, and working his way back from Joseph the Betrothed, does not stop at Abraham. Having included Abraham’s predecessors, he does not end with Adam, but lists God among Christ’s human forebears (Luke 3.23-38). He wishes to show, in my opinion, that from the beginning man was not just a creation of God, but also a son in the Spirit, which was given to him at the same time as his soul, through God’s quickening breath (Gen 2.7).

It was granted to him as a pledge that, if, waiting patiently for it, he kept the commandment, he would be able to share through the same Spirit in a more perfect union with God, by which he would live forever with Him and obtain immortality. By heeding the evil counsel of the pernicious angel, man transgressed the divine commandments, was shown to be unworthy, forfeited the pledge and interrupted God’s plan.

God’s grace, however, is unalterable and His purpose cannot prove false, so some of man’s offspring were chosen, that, from among many, a suitable receptacle for this divine adoption and grace might be found, who would serve God’s will perfectly, and would be revealed as a vessel worthy to unite divine and human nature in one person, not just exalting our nature, but restoring the human race.

The holy Maid and Virgin Mother of God was this vessel, so she was proclaimed by the archangel Gabriel as full of grace, being the chosen one among the chosen, blameless, undefiled and worthy to contain the person of the God-man and to collaborate with Him. Therefore God pre-ordained her before all ages, chose her from among all who had ever lived, and deemed her worthy of more grace than anyone else, making her the holiest of saints, even before her mysterious childbearing. For that reason, He graciously willed that she should make her home in the Holy of Holies, and accepted her as His companion to share His dwelling from her childhood. He did not simply choose her from the masses, but from the elect of all time, who were admired and renowned for their piety and wisdom, and for their character, words and deeds, which pleased God and brought benefit to all.

Musical Selection

Lo, how a Rose e'er blooming From tender stem has sprung of Jesse's lineage coming As those of old have sung. It came, a Flow'ret bright, Amid the cold of winter, When half- spent was the night. 
Isaiah 'twas foretold it, The Rose I have in mind, With Mary we behold it, The Virgin Mother kind. To show God's love aright. She bore to us a Savior, When half-spent was the night. 
This Flow'r whose fragrance tender with sweetness fills the air, Dispels with glorious splendor The darkness ev'ry where. True Man, yet very God, From sin and death he saves us And lightens ev'ry load. 
O God, who chose the Blessed Virgin Mary,
foremost among the poor and humble,
to be the Mother of the Savior,
grant, we pray, that, following her example,
we may offer you the homage of sincere faith
and place in you all our hope of salvation.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
God, for ever and ever. Amen. (Chosen Daughter of Israel II)