Monday, November 11, 2013

Mary Did You Know?

"For a child is born to us . . . and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, God the Mighty, Father of the World to Come, the Prince of Peace."
The Word became a human being full of grace
 and truth, lived among us. We saw his glory,
the glory which he received as the Father's
only Son. John 1:14
      These words show us that the Christ of prophecy was venerated by the ancient Jews, as far as it was possible, in the same way that the actual Christ has been by Christians. We shall see this most clearly if we study the meaning of these titles which were applied to the Messiahs by their Inspired writer, Isaias. First, the Messiah is called wonderful, which literally interpreted, means Miraculous One. And St. Matthew, the evangelist, describes his birth as follows: "When Mary, his mother, was espoused to Joseph before they came together she was found with child of the Holy Ghost." Furthermore, he tells us that this took place "that the word might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet Isaias saying, Behold a virgin shall be with child and shall bring forth a son and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted, is god with us." The manner of his birth, therefore, as related in the gospels, proves his right to the title of Miraculous One which was given him by the prophet.
      Secondly, the title Counsellor belongs to him more than to any other because he was the most perfect teacher and guide that the world has ever known. All who have ever studied his doctrine readily admit that he has taught the world more wisdom than it has ever learned from any other source or all other sources put together.
      Again, the title, God the Mighty, is applied to Christ because the incarnation of the Son of God shows forth the divine power in a more singular manner even than the creation. Moreover, no attribute of the Deity is lessened by the union of the divine with the human nature as understood and taught by the Christian religion. As St. Paul says, speaking of Christ, "In him dwelleth the fullness of the Godhead corporally." Christ was perfect God as well as perfect man. There was no mixture of the two distinct natures in Christ--indeed, such a thing would be an impossibility.
      The fourth title, Father of the World to Come, denotes the Messiah as the ruler of eternity, the supreme ruler and final judge of all mankind. St. Luke, the evangelist, also describes him as the Son of Man, who will come in a cloud with great power and majesty. And the Apostles' Creed declares that he will come to judge the living and the dead.
      Finally, he is styled the Prince of Peace, and this title sets forth his crowning work, which is the complete and perfect reconciliation of man with God. This means the coming of his kingdom, for which all Christians look and pray as he has taught them. H. H. Wyman, C. S. P., St. Mary's Church., San Francisco


      "Mary, Did You Know?" is a Christmas song with lyrics written by Mark Lowry and music written by Buddy Greene. Mark Lowry wrote the words in 1984 when his pastor asked him to write the program for the living Christmas tree choir presentation. The music was written by Buddy Greene. Michael English was the first recording artist to record and release 'Mary, Did You Know?" on his debut album titled Michael English which was released on January 1, 1992. Country music artist Kathy Mattea recorded her version of the song in 1993 for her Christmas album "Good News", thus giving the song its first widespread exposure to Country radio.

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