Gospel Reading: Luke 2:16-21
They found Mary and Joseph and the infant.
When the eight days were completed, he was named Jesus.
The shepherds went in haste to Bethlehem and found Mary and Joseph, and the infant lying in the manger. When they saw this, they made known the message that had been told them about this child. All who heard it were amazed by what had been told them by the shepherds. And Mary kept all these things, reflecting on them in her heart. Then the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen, just as it had been told to them. When eight days were completed for his circumcision, he was named Jesus, the name given him by the angel before he was conceived in the womb.
Beautiful Words on Mary, the Mother of God:
As Mother of God and mother of all God’s children, she is exalted above all creatures on the throne of glory; maternity itself is glorified through her. As Virgin, she manifests an incomparable beauty pleasing to God, along with the fruitfulness of virginal purity. As Queen, she evidences the conquering power of a serving love and of purity intact. Every woman who wants to fulfill her destiny must look to Mary as the ideal.
—Edith Stein, Essays on Woman
Prayer of Saint Cyril of Alexandria:
(In Honor of Mary, Mother of God).
Hail, Mary, Mother of God,
venerable treasure of the whole universe,
lamp that is never extinguished,
crown of virginity,
support of the true faith,
dwelling of Him whom no place can contain,
O Mother and Virgin!
Through you all the holy Gospels
call blessed the One whom comes
in the name of the Lord.
Hail, Mother of God.
You enclosed under your heart
the infinite God whom no space can contain.
Through you the Most Holy Trinity is adored and glorified,
the priceless cross is venerated throughout the universe.
Through you the heavens rejoice,
and the angels and archangels are filled with gladness.
Through you the demons are banished,
and the tempter fell from heaven.
Through you the fallen human race is admitted to heaven.
Hail, Mother of God.
Through you kings rule,
and the only-begotten Son of God has become a star of light
to those who were sitting in darkness
and in the shadow of death. Amen.