daily biblical sermons

Mary's son will inherit the throne of his father David and reign over a kingdom that will last forever
Fr. Steven Scherrer, MM, Th.D.
Homily of Monday, the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary, December 09, 2019
Genesis 3:9-15, 20, Psalm 97, Ephesians 1:3-6, 11-12, Luke 1:26-38


Biblical quotations are taken from the Revised Standard Version unless otherwise noted




“And the angel said to her [Mary], ‘Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. And behold you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus. He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Most High; and the Lord God will give to him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there will be no end” (Luke 1:30-33).



Immediately after Adam and Eve sinned by eating the forbidden fruit, God said to the serpent, who was the devil that tempted them to eat of the fruit, “I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your seed and her seed; he shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise his heel” (Genesis 3:15, first reading). This famous prophecy is called the protoevangelium, the “first gospel,” the first glimmering of hope of salvation from the alienation from God that their sin had caused them.



The woman’s seed [Jesus] shall bruise Satan’s head, while Satan bruises his heel. “This wound [received by the devil] was administered at Calvary when the Savior decisively triumphed over the devil” (William MacDonald, Believer’s Bible Commentary (Thomas Nelson, 1989), page 36). The devil bruising the heel of the woman’s seed is Jesus’ crucifixion, for he is the promised seed of the woman who would crush Satan’s head. This act will be the mighty victory of the Savior of the world over sin, Satan, and death.



Jesus, on the cross, will bear our sins, for “the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all” (Isaiah 53:6). And on the cross he will suffer our death penalty for our sins for us, for “he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities; upon him was the chastisement that made us whole, and with his stripes we are healed” (Isaiah 53:5).



God “condemned [our] sin in the flesh [of Jesus Christ on the cross], in order that the just requirement of the law [that sinners die for their sins] might be fulfilled in us” (Romans 8:3-4). In other words, Jesus Christ is the prophesied seed of Eve who would crush Satan’s head by having his heel bruised by Satan on the cross, where he suffered our death penalty for our sins for us so that all that put their faith in him would have his suffering and death on the cross for our sins credited to our own personal account as paying our debt that we have with God of suffering and death for our sins.



Therefore when God sees that we have faith in Jesus Christ and his atoning death on the cross, whereby he made reparation for our sins, God declares us ungodly sinners righteous, because he sees that our debt of punishment for our sins has already been justly and duly paid for us by our substitute, the Son of God, on the cross.



The first step in the fulfillment of this great prophecy (the protoevangelium) is the incarnation, whereby the eternal Son of God takes on a human nature and becomes flesh in the womb of the Blessed Virgin Mary by a virginal conception. Today the angel Gabriel announces to the Virgin Mary that she will have a son, by the power of the Holy Spirit, without male seed, for “the Holy Spirit will come upon you [Mary], and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore the child to be born will be called holy, the Son of God” (Luke 1:35). This is how the Son of God, who lived in splendor in the bosom of the Father from all eternity, became man in the womb of the Blessed Virgin Mary, without a human father, in order to save the world by substituting for us on the cross in suffering and dying for our sins in our place, instead of us. Without the incarnation, which today’s gospel relates, God’s plan for our redemption, as we see it in the Scriptures, could not have been fulfilled.



But the angel Gabriel, in announcing this to Mary, also told her that her son will not only “be called the Son of the Most High” (Luke 1:32); but also that “the Lord God will give to him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there will be no end” (Luke 1:32-33).



This kingdom already exists in a spiritual way in the hearts of those that have accepted Mary’s son Jesus Christ the Savior of the world as their Savior and Lord, for when they do this, they experience the victory that God promised in Genesis to Adam and Eve, which is the victory over Satan, sin, and death.



We were in Satan’s clutches because of the sin of Adam and Eve, our first parents, which alienated them and all their descendants from an intimate relationship with God. That is what sin does. It alienates us from God and dims the experience of his love in our hearts so that we walk in darkness and depression, wounded in our spirit and unable to extricate ourselves from this sad condition. But Mary’s son, on the cross, was victorious over Satan and sin by suffering our just punishment for our sins for us for the benefit of all that accept him in faith as their Savior and firmly intend to follow him in their life as their Lord. This, then, also gives them victory over death, namely over eternal death in punishment for our sins that will follow our physical death.



Since the just punishment for our sins has already been suffered for us by our Savior and substitute Jesus Christ on the cross and is credited to our account by God when he sees that we have put our faith for our salvation in his Son, our physical death no longer leads to eternal death in hell separated from God, but rather becomes the portal of our entrance into eternal life in light, joy, and love with God in heaven, as we await the resurrection of our body on the last day.



This everlasting kingdom, over which Jesus Christ the son of Mary is the King, will last forever, “and of his kingdom there will be no end” (Luke 1:33). We still look forward to Jesus’ glorious return on the clouds of heaven with all his holy ones in great light. This will be when the reign of Christ the King becomes manifest throughout the world in the millennial kingdom (Revelation 20:4) and on the new earth under the new heavens (2 Peter 3:13).



This is the kingdom promised to the son of man by the prophecy of Daniel, “With the clouds of heaven there came one like a son of man … And to him was given dominion and glory and kingdom, that all peoples, nations, and languages should serve him; and his dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and his kingdom one that shall not be destroyed” (Daniel 7:13-14).



Then also will be fulfilled the great prophecy that Nathan made to King David, “I will raise up your offspring after you, who shall come forth from your body, and I will establish his kingdom … I will establish the throne of his kingdom for ever … And your house and your kingdom shall be made sure for ever before me; your throne shall be established for ever” (2 Samuel 7:12-13, 16).



Today is the feast of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary, namely that she was conceived without Original Sin to be a fitting mother of Jesus. Since this doctrine has little biblical basis, it was rejected by St. Bernard of Clairvaux and most of the scholastic theologians of the Middle Ages including St. Thomas Aquinas, but gradually as time went on belief that Mary was immaculately conceived grew in popularity until it was infallibly declared a doctrine of the Church by Pope Pius IX on December 8, 1854 (The Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church (Second Edition; Oxford University Press, 1958, 1974).



So today we honor the Blessed Virgin Mary as a holy temple of God without sin as a model for us to inspire us to imitate her and live a holy life, free from sin. Indeed “God chose us in Christ before the world began, to be holy and blameless in his sight, to be full of love” (Ephesians 1:4, second reading and reading at Lauds). We too are to be holy and blameless in God’s sight.



It is God who makes us righteous, for Isaiah says, “I will greatly rejoice in the Lord, my soul shall exult in my God; for he has clothed me with the garments of salvation, he has covered me with the robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom decks himself with a garland, and as a bride adorns herself with her jewels” (Isaiah 61:10 RSV, entrance antiphon). This robe of righteousness is given to us when we put our faith in Jesus Christ, because of his atoning death on the cross for our sins, for by our faith God clothes us with his robe of righteousness, that is, he declares and thereby makes us truly righteous, with the righteousness of God himself reckoned to us (Romans 4:5). In this we imitate the righteousness of the Blessed Virgin Mary, which was a special gift to her from God, earned by the death of her son on the cross, and given to her ahead of time in an anticipatory way in order to make her a suitable mother of the Savior of the world.


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