The conception of Jesus (Mt 1:18-1:18)

“Here is how the birth

Of Jesus,

The Messiah Christ,

Took place.

Mary,

His mother,

Had been engaged

To Joseph.

However,

Before they lived together communally,

She was found

To be pregnant with a child

From the Holy Spirit.”

 

Τοῦ δὲ Ἰησοῦ Χριστοῦ ἡ γένεσις οὕτως ἦν. μνηστευθείσης τῆς μητρὸς αὐτοῦ Μαρίας τῷ Ἰωσήφ, πρὶν ἢ συνελθεῖν αὐτοὺς εὑρέθη ἐν γαστρὶ ἔχουσα ἐκ πνεύματος ἁγίου.

 

Matthew was going to explain how the birth (ἡ γένεσις) of Jesus Christ (δὲ Ἰησοῦ Χριστοῦ), the anointed Messiah, took place. His mother (τῆς μητρὸς αὐτοῦ), Mary (Μαρίας), was engaged or betrothed (μνηστευθείσης) to Joseph (τῷ Ἰωσήφ). In this arranged marriage, these were two engaged people. Perhaps the father of Mary had agreed to the marriage of his young daughter to Joseph, the son of Jacob. There was no mention of Mary’s father or mother here. This was the common engagement process where the girl stayed with her parents for as long as a year. However, before they came to live together in marriage (πρὶν ἢ συνελθεῖν αὐτοὺς), Mary was found to be pregnant. Literally, there was a child in the womb (εὑρέθη ἐν γαστρὶ ἔχουσα). However, this pregnancy was from the Holy Spirit (ἐκ πνεύματος ἁγίου), not from Joseph or another man. Right from the beginning, Jesus was in the womb of Mary because of the Holy Spirit. This divine presence was different in many ways,

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Susanna is brought forward (Dan 13:30-13:33)

“So,

They sent for her.

She came

With her parents,

With her children,

With all her relatives.

Now Susanna was

A woman

Of great refinement.

She was beautiful

In appearance.

As she was veiled,

The scoundrels ordered her

To be unveiled.

Thus,

They might feast

Their eyes

On her beauty.

Those who were with her,

All who saw her,

Were weeping.”

Thus, these old judges sent for Susanna to come to the assembly. She came with her parents, her children, and her relatives. There was no mention of her husband. Thus, she was more than a newlywed, since she had children. She was a woman of great refinement and beauty. These scoundrel judges ordered that she be unveiled, so that they could feast on her beauty. However, those who were with her began to weep and cry.

Degenerate children (Sir 22:3-22:8)

“It is a disgrace

To be the father

Of an undisciplined son.

The birth of a daughter

Is a loss.

A sensible daughter

Obtains a husband of her own.

But the daughter

Who acts shamefully

Is a grief to her father.

An impudent daughter

Disgraces her father.

She disgraces her husband.

She is despised by both.

Like music in time of mourning

Is an ill-timed conversation.

But thrashing is wisdom at all times.

Discipline is wisdom at all times.

Children who are brought up

In a good life,

Conceal the lowly birth of their parents.

Children who are disdainfully haughty

Stain the nobility of their kindred.

Children who are boorish

Stain the nobility of their kindred.”

What happens if you have bad kids, degenerate children? Sirach warns that an undisciplined son is a disgrace to his father. Notice that he says that the birth of a daughter is considered to be a loss. The obvious importance of the male son runs throughout all of these biblical writings. A sensible daughter is able to get her own husband. The shameful daughter, however, disgraces both her father and her husband. There is a proper time for everything, but thrashing and disciplining children is wise at all times. Once again, Sirach insists that children should be disciplined all the time. If your children are brought up well, this will conceal the lowly background of you, his or her parents. However, the opposite is also true. Children who are disrespectful, haughty, and boorish stain whatever noble birth the parents and their family may have.

The blessing of Gabael (Tob 9:6-9:6)

“Good and noble son of a father good and noble,

Upright and generous!

May the Lord grant the blessings of heaven to you!

May the Lord grant the blessings of heaven to your wife!

And to your wife’s father and mother!

Blessed be God!

I see in Tobias the very image of my cousin Tobit.”

This is the prayer or blessing of Gabael for Tobias. He called him the good and noble son of a good and noble father. They were both upright and generous. He wanted the Lord to grant the blessings of heaven to Tobias, his wife, and her parents. He blest God. Then he said that Tobias looked just like his father, Tobit, his cousin.