Feast of the Birth of the Blessed Virgin Mary
Gospel: Matthew 1:1-16
The genealogy according to Matthew uses the standard formula “The father of…” to indicate the significance of the person mentioned. However this is not used when referring to Joseph. Instead, he is identified as the “husband of Mary”. The verse continues: “of her was born Jesus…” The unique role of Mary can be deduced from this. It is through Mary that Jesus is born to us, without the active involvement of the human father. It is through Mary that the power of the spirit worked. Mary is the virgin who gives birth to the Messiah, “our high priest: holy innocent, undefiled, separated from sinners, higher than the heavens” (Heb. 7:26). The Greek parthenos is correctly translated as “Virgin”, in the Hebrew original, the word “Almah” literally young woman of marriageable age, but the Septuagint renders it with the Greek Pathernos. Moreover, Almah is used in the old testament to describe the state of Virginity.