March 31 2008 Monday Solemnity of the Annunciation of the Lord
About the sources used. The readings on this site are not official for the Mass of Roman Rite of the Catholic Church in the USA, but are from sources free from copyright. They are here to present the comparable readings alongside traditional Catholic commentary as published in the Haydock Bible for your own personal study. Readings vary depending on your local calendar.
Official Readings of the Liturgy at – http://www.usccb.org/nab/033108.shtml – Note. The Official Liturgical readings may not match the current NAB you may have.
All text today is copied from SacredBible.org and the Haydock Commentary site linked to on the right.
Isaiah 7:10-14; 8:10
DR Challoner Text
10 And the Lord spoke again to Achaz (Ahaz), saying:
11 Ask thee a sign of the Lord thy God, either unto the depth of hell, or unto the height above.
12 And Achaz said: I will not ask, and I will not tempt the Lord.
13 And he said: Hear ye therefore, O house of David: Is it a small thing for you to be grievous to men, that you are grievous to my God also?
14 Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign. Behold a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son and his name shall be called Emmanuel.
10 Take counsel together, and it shall be defeated: speak a word, and it shall not be done: because God is with us.
Responsorial Psalm 39:7-11 (40:7-11 Hebrew)
DR Challoner Text Only for Personal Reading
Sacrifice and oblation thou didst not desire;
but thou hast pierced ears for me.
Burnt offering and sin offering thou didst not require:
Then said I, Behold I come.
In the head of the book it is written of me
That I should do thy will: O my God,
I have desired it, and thy law in the midst of my heart.
I have declared thy justice in a great church,
lo, I will not restrain my lips:
O Lord, thou knowest it.
I have not hid thy justice within my heart:
I have declared thy truth and thy salvation.
I have not concealed thy mercy and thy truth from a great council.
The Epistle of Saint Paul the Apostle to the Hebrews 10:4-10
DR Challoner text
4 For it is impossible that with the blood of oxen and goats sin should be taken away. 5 Wherefore, when he cometh into the world he saith: Sacrifice and oblation thou wouldest not: but a body thou hast fitted to me. 6 Holocausts for sin did not please thee. 7 Then said I: Behold I come: in the head of the book it is written of me: that I should do thy will, O God. 8 In saying before, Sacrifices, and oblations, and holocausts for sin thou wouldest not, neither are they pleasing to thee, which are offered according to the law. 9 Then said I: Behold, I come to do thy will, O God: He taketh away the first, that he may establish that which followeth. 10 In the which will, we are sanctified by the oblation of the body of Jesus Christ once.
The Gospel According to Saint Luke 1:26-38
DR Challoner Text
And in the sixth month, the angel Gabriel was sent from God into a city of Galilee, called Nazareth, To a virgin espoused to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David: and the virgin’s name was Mary. And the angel being come in, said unto her:
Hail, full of grace, the Lord is with thee: blessed art thou among women.
Who having heard, was troubled at his saying and thought with herself what manner of salutation this should be. And the angel said to her:
Fear not, Mary, for thou hast found grace with God. Behold thou shalt conceive in thy womb and shalt bring forth a son: and thou shalt call his name Jesus. He shall be great and shall be called the Son of the Most High. And the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of David his father: and he shall reign in the house of Jacob for ever. And of his kingdom there shall be no end.
And Mary said to the angel:
How shall this be done, because I know not man?
And the angel answering, said to her:
The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee and the power of the Most High shall overshadow thee. And therefore also the Holy which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God. And behold thy cousin Elizabeth, she also hath conceived a son in her old age: and this is the sixth month with her that is called barren. Because no word shall be impossible with God.
And Mary said:
Behold the handmaid of the Lord: be it done to me according to thy word.
And the angel departed from her.
Haydock Commentary Isaiah 7:10-14; 8:10
- Ver. 11. Above. Require it to thunder, (1 Kings xii. 17.) or the earth to open, Numbers xvi. 28. (Calmet)
- Ver. 12. Lord. He was afraid of being forced to relinquish his evil ways. (St. Jerome) — Though an idolater, he knew he ought not to tempt God.
- Ver. 14. Virgin, halma, (Haydock) one secluded from the company of men. Alma in Latin signifies “a holy person,” and in Punic “a virgin.” The term is never applied to any but “a young virgin.” If it meant a young woman, what sort of a sign would this be? (St. Jerome) — It was indeed above the sagacity of man to declare that the child to be born would be a boy, and live till the kings should be destroyed. But the prophet undoubtedly speaks of Jesus Christ, the wonderful, &c., (chap. ix. 5.) as well as of a boy, who should prefigure him, and be an earnest of the speedy destruction of the two kings. He was to be born of Isaias, (chap. viii. 4.) and of all the qualities belonging to the true Emmanuel, only that regards him, which intimates that the country should be delivered before he should come to years of discretion, ver. 16. (Calmet, Diss.) (Bossuet) — The Fathers generally apply all to Christ. — Called. Or shall be in effect, chap. i. 26. (Calmet) — The king hardly trusted in God’s mercies, whereupon the incarnation of Christ, &c., is foretold. (Worthington)
- Ver. 10. God. Hebrew, “Emmanuel.” We have a pledge of God’s protection.
Haydock Commentary Hebrews 10:4-10
- Ver. 3-4. But in them a remembrance of sins is made every year. For it is impossible that with the blood of oxen and goats sins should be taken way. The sacrifices of the former law, even that great sacrifice on the day of expiation, when victims were offered for the ignorances or sins of the priests, and of all the people, were only types and figures of Christ’s sacrifice upon the cross, it was impossible that they themselves should take away sins, like that one oblation of Christ, though in them was made a remembrance of sins, and of the same sins for which so many victims had been offered. (Witham)
- Ver. 5-9. Therefore, Christ as it were, coming into the world, he saith, by the psalmist, (Psalm xxxix. 7. 8.) Sacrifice and oblation thou didst not desire, &c. That is, such sacrifices as were offered in the former law, they could not please thee, appease thy anger, nor make a sufficient reparation for sin. — But a  body thou hast fitted to me. Thou didst decree I should be made man, to suffer and die upon a cross to redeem mankind. And I as willingly understood the work of man’s redemption. — Behold I come: in the head of the book it is written of me. That is, in the volumes of the Scriptures. — He taketh away the first, that he may establish the second. That is, he taketh away what I first mentioned, the imperfect sacrifices of the law of Moses, that to them might succeed the sacrifice of Christ. (Witham)
- Ver. 10. The source and primary cause of our sanctification is the will of God, who so loved the world as to give us his only Son; the meritorious cause of our sanctification is the voluntary oblation of Jesus Christ, sacrificed for us upon the cross. Methodists shamefully misrepresent the tenets of Catholics, as if we excluded Christ from the work of our salvation, or hoped to be saved not by the merits of Christ, but by our own.
Haydock Commentary Luke 1:26-38
- Ver. 27. The word Miriam, or Mary, is expounded by St. Jerome from different etymologies, to signify in Hebrew, star of the sea, and in Chaldaic, lady. Both interpretations admirably well agree with her, who is the glorious Queen of heaven, our patroness and star, to direct us in the stormy ocean of this world. — “O you,” cries out St. Bernard, “who find yourselves tossed to and fro in this tempestuous life, turn not your eyes away from the brightness of this star, if you would not be overwhelmed in these storms. If the winds of temptations arise; if you fall among the rocks of tribulation; look up to the star, call upon Mary. If your are agitated, and hard driven with the surges of pride, ambition, detraction, jealously, or envy; look up to the star, call upon Mary. If anger, covetousness, or lust, beat furiously on the vessel of your soul; look up to the star, call upon Mary. If you are beginning to founder, and are just sinking into the gulf of melancholy and despair; think on Mary. In dangers, in distresses, in perplexities, think on Mary, call on Mary. Let her name be never absent from your mouth; from your mouth let it constantly descend into your heart; and, that you may obtain the suffrage of her prayers; both in life and death, never depart from the example of her pious conversation.” (St. Bernard, hom. ii. super Missus est.)
- Ver. 28. Hail, full of grace: by the greatest share of divine graces granted to any creature. This translation, approved by the ancient Fathers, agrees with the ancient Syriac and Arabic versions. There was no need therefore to change it into gracious, with Erasmus; into freely beloved, with Beza; into highly favoured, with the Protestant translators. For if seven deacons (Acts vi. 3.) are said to be full of the Holy Ghost, as it is again said of St. Stephen, (Acts vii. 55.) and also of the same St. Stephen, (Acts vi. ver. 8.) that he was full of grace, (as the learned Dr. Wells translates it in his amendments made to the Protestant translation) why should any one be offended at this salutation given to the blessed mother of God; who would not have been raised to this highest dignity, had not her soul been first prepared for it by the greatest share of divine graces? — The Lord is with thee, by his interior graces; and now, at this moment, is about to confer upon thee the highest of all dignities, by making thee truly the mother of God. (Witham) — The Catholic Church makes frequent use of these words which were brought by the archangel from heaven, as well to honour Jesus Christ and his virgin Mother, as because they were the first glad tidings of Christ’s incarnation, and man’s salvation; and are the very abridgment and sum of the whole gospel. In the Greek Church, they are used daily in the Mass [the Divine Liturgy]. See the Liturgy of St. James, and that of St. Chrysostom.
- Ver. 29. When she had heard. In the Greek text, when she had seen; as if she also saw the angel, as St. Ambrose observed. (Witham)
- Ver. 31. It may perhaps in the first instance of reflection, appear shocking to our ideas, that a God should dwell in a human body; but does not the sun emit its rays into all kinds of places, without any detriment of its purity? How much more would the Sun of justice, assuming a most pure body, formed of the purest blood of the spotless Virgin, not only remain free from every the least stain himself, but even impart additional sanctity to his virgin Mother. (St. Thomas Aquinas)
- Ver. 32. He … shall be called; i.e. according to the style of the Scriptures, he shall truly be the Son of God. (Witham)
- Ver. 33. Those are here called of the house of Jacob, who out of the multitude of the Jews believed in Christ. This is conformable to that text of St. Paul: All are not Israelites that are of Israel, but the children of the promise are accounted for the seed. (Romans ix. 6, 8.) (St. Chrysostom, hom. vii. on S. Matt.) — And of his kingdom there shall be no end: which clearly shews it was not to be a temporal, but a spiritual and an eternal kingdom. (Witham)
- Ver. 34. How shall this be done? She only asks about the manner. — Because I know not man. This answer, as St. Augustine takes notice, would have been to no purpose, had she not made a vow to God to live always a virgin. (Witham) — Listen to the words of this pure Virgin. The angel tells her she shall conceive; but she insists upon her virginity, holding her purity in higher estimation than the promised dignity. (St. Gregory of Nyssa.) — She did not doubt the truth of what the angel said, (as Calvin impiously maintained) but she wished it might not happen to the prejudice of her vowed virginity. (St. Ambrose, St. Augustine, Ven. Bede, Theophylactus, &c. &c.)
- Ver. 35. The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, &c. By the divine power thou shalt bring forth, and yet remain always a pure virgin. — And therefore also the Holy which shall be born of thee, shall be called (shall be) the Son of God. The second person of the ever blessed Trinity, being united to our human nature, remaining unchangeably the same God, and being born of the Virgin Mary; it must needs be true to say that God was born, that God suffered and died for us; and consequently that the blessed Virgin Mary was truly the mother of God, or of him that is truly God; though not the mother of the Godhead: as the Catholic Church declared in the council of Ephesus, (431) against the heretic Nestorius. (Witham) — Seek not for natural order in things that transcend nature. You ask, how shall this be done, since you know not man? This, your ignorance of man, is the very reason why this will take place within you. For had you not been pure, you never would have been deemed worthy of so great a mystery. Not because marriage is bad, but because virginity is far more excellent. The common Lord of all ought in his birth to have something common with all mankind, and still something different. He was conceived and born in the womb like the rest of mankind, but he differed from them in being born of a virgin. (St. Chrysostom, xlix. in Genes.)
- Ver. 36. We find that Aaron, who was of the tribe of Levi, took a wife of the tribe of Juda, viz. Elizabeth, the sister of Naasson. In the successors of David we find that Joiada, the chief priest, took a wife of the family of David, viz. the daughter of Joram; from which it appears that both the royal and sacerdotal tribes were united, and that Mary and Elizabeth were relatives. It was certainly proper that Christ should be born of both these tribes, because he was in himself both king and priest. (Ven. Bede)
- Ver. 38. Behold the handmaid. With all modesty and humility of heart and mind, the blessed Virgin consented to the divine will: and from that moment in her was conceived the Saviour and Redeemer of the world. (Witham) — Thus ought the virgin, who brought forth meekness and humility itself, to shew forth an example of the most profound humility. (St. Ambrose)