December 16 - Our Lady of Happy Deliverance (Spain, 1565)

A Shoot Will Come out from the Stump of Jesse

What did the bush seen by Moses announce, with its flame that didn't consume the wood, if not Mary giving birth without pain? (Ex 3:2). And wasn't Aaron's branch, blossoming without being watered (Nb 17:8), the figure of the Virgin conceiving without having known a man? From that great miracle Isaiah reveals a still greater mystery: a shoot will come out from the stump of Jesse and from its root a flower will emerge (Is 11:1). The shoot, in his mind, is the Virgin, and the flower, the Son of the Virgin. And this famous fleece, taken from the sheep by the shearer without marring its skin, and whose pure wool, laid out on the ground, was alternately covered with dew on the dry ground and dry on the soaking ground: What else does it signify if not the flesh of Christ borrowed from the flesh of Mary without harming her virginity? In her, this is for certain, heavenly dew came down with divine bliss to the point that we can all share in this bliss and that without her we are but a barren land.

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