The Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary
SHOOTING STRAIGHT - Valeriano Avila (The Freeman) - September 8, 2019 - 12:00am

It is the 23rd Sunday in Ordinary Time. However, today is also the birthday of the Blessed Virgin Mary whom we know was born to St. Anne and St. Joachim as written by the protoegevangelium of James, an apocryphal text from the second century. For the record, the Feast of the Virgin Mary is venerated in the Catholic Church, the Eastern Orthodox Church, the Oriental Orthodox Churches, and the Anglican Communion.

Usually, the Catholic Church celebrates the death of saints, however in the case of St. John the Baptist, who was already sanctified in the womb of his mother, St. Elizabeth, and the Virgin Mary, their births are celebrated because of their holy birth. Remember the Blessed Virgin Mary was the Immaculate Conception, which we already discussed here so many times before.

I checked with my sources in the internet and this is what was written for the Blessed Virgin Mary. “Pious accounts place the birthplace of the Virgin Mary in Sepphoris, Israel where a 5th-century basilica is excavated at the site. Some accounts speak of Nazareth and others say it was in a house near the Sheep Gate in Jerusalem. It is possible that a wealthy man such as Joachim had a home in both Judea and Galilee. However, Charles Souvay, writing in the Catholic Encyclopedia, says that the idea that Joachim possessed large herds and flocks cannot be asserted with certainty, as the sources for this are of very doubtful value.” Anyway, today’s gospel reading is on the sayings on discipleship, which can be found in Luke 14:25-33.

* * *

“25 Large crowds were traveling with Jesus, and turning to them he said: 26 “If anyone comes to me and does not hate father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters—yes, even their own life—such a person cannot be my disciple. 27 And whoever does not carry their cross and follow me cannot be my disciple.

“28 “Suppose one of you wants to build a tower. Won’t you first sit down and estimate the cost to see if you have enough money to complete it? 29 For if you lay the foundation and are not able to finish it, everyone who sees it will ridicule you,30 saying, ‘This person began to build and wasn’t able to finish.’

“31 “Or suppose a king is about to go to war against another king. Won’t he first sit down and consider whether he is able with ten thousand men to oppose the one coming against him with twenty thousand?

“32 If he is not able, he will send a delegation while the other is still a long way off and will ask for terms of peace.33 In the same way, those of you who do not give up everything you have cannot be my disciples.”

* * *

These are the very teachings of our Lord Jesus Christ to the hundreds, if not the thousands of followers who walked with him in Judea. So many of them told him that they want to follow him but the Lord said, “If anyone comes to me and does not hate father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters—yes, even their own life—such a person cannot be my disciple. And whoever does not carry their cross and follow me cannot be my disciple.” Don’t you find it strange that our Lord uses the words “cross” in this statement long before he was even sentenced to crucifixion?

As we all know, the cross is the tool for execution by the Romans as it gives a slow, painful death to the man sentenced to die. However, it is clear to us that our Lord uses the “cross” as his way of identifying our daily struggle in life. Thus in telling his disciples about how they can become disciples of Christ he said, “In the same way, those of you who do not give up everything you have cannot be my disciples.”

As for his other lessons on building a house or a king going to war, all these are rather common sense. Of course it would be foolish for you to start a home unless you already have the funds to finish it, in the same way that a king must know whether or not he has enough troops to vanquish his opponent or negotiate peace with the enemy. These are good lessons that our Lord taught us to consider.

vsbobita@gmail.com

BLESSED VIRGIN MARY
Philstar
  • Latest
Latest
Latest
Are you sure you want to log out?
X
Login

Philstar.com is one of the most vibrant, opinionated, discerning communities of readers on cyberspace. With your meaningful insights, help shape the stories that can shape the country. Sign up now!

SIGN IN
or sign in with