Feast of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary, September 8
May We Always Rejoice and Give Thanksgiving to Our Eternal Father’s Immeasurable Love for His Children, for Having Chosen to Give to Each of Us This Most Profoundly Beautiful Work of His Creation, Our Blessed Mother Mary.
“We know that all things work for good for those who love God, who are called according to his purpose.” – words which we find in today’s alternate First Reading from the Letter of Saint Paul to the Romans.
And in our Gospel Reading, we find the genealogy of Jesus starting with Abraham, and culminating with the angel’s message to Joseph, all in preparation for the Birth of our Lord.
When we think back more than two thousand years ago, we can only imagine what must have been going through the mind of Mary, a very young girl, who had just experienced a phenomenal wonder of such immense proportion – that she would be chosen by God the Father, among all the women since the very beginning of humanity to the very end of life as we now know it upon this Earth, to give flesh to the Eternal Word, the Only-Begotten Son of the Eternal and Almighty Father – to bring into this world the prophesied Messiah, the Christ, the Anointed One of God.
And Scripture tells us how she responded, “Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord. May it be done to me according to your word.”
Today, we celebrate the Feastday of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary, and the Church has celebrated this Feast of Mary’s birth since at least the sixth century, with evidence that Christians in Syria or Palestine began to recognize September 8th as the date of her nativity.
Scripture does not give an account of her birth. However, the apocryphal book, the “Protoevangelium of James”, helps us to understand the story behind the birth of Mary. This work has no historical value, and the Church has not included it in its accepted list of Canons (the books which comprise our Bible); but it does reflect the development of Christian piety since the early centuries of Marian devotion.
According to the account written in this book, Anna and Joachim were infertile but continue to pray that Anna may become pregnant. They receive the promise of a child that will advance God’s plan of salvation for the world. Such a story stresses the special Presence of God in Mary’s life from the very beginning.
And Saint Paul tells us today, “For those he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son…And those he predestined he also called; and those he called he also justified; and those he justified he also glorified.” And, this is exactly what happened when we read the account of Gabriel’s visit to Mary.
And even our Blessed Mother, in the prophetic address which she made to her cousin Elizabeth, and which is a part of the Canticle of Mary, or what is also called the Magnificat, said, “…behold, from now on will all ages call me blessed. The Mighty One has done great things for me, and holy is his name.”
And Mary’s statement echoes the words of the psalmist we find in today’s Responsorial, “Let me sing of the LORD, ‘He has been good to me.’”
Saint Augustine, one of the early Fathers of the Church, connects Mary’s birth with Jesus’ salvific work. He tells mankind to rejoice and shine forth in the light of her birth, with the words, “She is the flower of the field from whom bloomed the Precious Lily of the valley. Through her birth, the nature, inherited from our first parents, is [forever] changed.”
As we look around us today, as we look into the eyes of infants and our young children who will become mankind’s future, we can see every human birth as a calling out to God, and also a calling out to our own hearts as a new hope for the world in which we live.
In accordance with God’s plan, the beauty of newborn life is the result of the love realized between two human beings who have joined together with God’s Love in His creative work. Children give to their parents hope in a world filled with so much travesty, violence and sadness. Each new child has the potential of being a channel of God’s Loving Presence, bringing peace to a world so badly in need of feeling and realizing a lasting peace.
This is all true in such a magnificent and wondrous way in the birth of Mary. If Jesus is the perfect expression of God’s Love, Mary then becomes the foreshadowing of that Perfection. If Jesus has brought the fullness of salvation, Mary’s birth ushers in its dawning!
If Jesus is the fulfillment of all of God’s promises, then Mary becomes the means through which we can better find our way to her Divine Son and become the recipient of His promises!
When we attend a birthday celebration, do we not rejoice with family and friends? Next to the Birth of Jesus, Mary’s birth offers the greatest possible happiness, for the hope of our world rests on the “fiat” which she freely gave so long ago, a fiat which ultimately invites each of us into the very Heart of her Divine Son; and the very hope of our own eternal salvation lies at the foot of the Cross of her own Son’s ultimate Sacrifice.
In all of this, we come to realize that the birth of Mary ushers in the dawning of a lasting hope, which, in the end, gives to all of mankind the joyful anticipation for which it has so dearly yearned.
May we always rejoice and give our deepest and most heartfelt thanksgiving to our Eternal Father’s immeasurable Love for His children, for having chosen to give to each of us this most profoundly beautiful work of His creation –
– the spouse of His Most Holy Spirit, the Mother of His Divine Son – our own Blessed Mother Mary! †
Please Comment, Like and Share, and Suggest to your Facebook friends – to spread the message of God’s Merciful Love.
Por favor Comente, Le Gusta y Comparta, y Sugiera a tus amigos en Facebook – en difundir el mensaje del Misericordioso Amor de Dios.
Scripture for the Day
- “We know that all things work for good for those who love God, who are called according to his purpose.” (Romans 8:28)
- “For those he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, so that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. And those he predestined he also called; and those he called he also justified; and those he justified he also glorified.” (Romans 8:29-30)
- “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I dedicated you…” (Jeremiah 1:5ab)
- “Mary said, ‘Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord. May it be done to me according to your word.’” (Luke 1:38)
- “When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the infant leaped in her womb, and Elizabeth, filled with the holy Spirit, cried out in a loud voice and said, ‘Most blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb. And how does this happen to me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me?’” (Luke 1:41-43)
- “And Mary said: ‘My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord; my spirit rejoices in God my savior. For he has looked upon his handmaid’s lowliness; behold, from now on will all ages call me blessed. The Mighty One has done great things for me, and holy is his name.’” (Luke 1:46-49)
- “When Jesus saw his mother and the disciple there whom he loved, he said to his mother, ‘Woman, behold, your son.’ Then he said to the disciple, ‘Behold, your mother.’ And from that hour the disciple took her into his home.” (John 19:26-27)
- “A great sign appeared in the sky, a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars.” (Revelation 12:1)
- “I will sing to the LORD, for he has dealt bountifully with me!” (Psalm 13:6c)
Prayer for the Day
“Remember, O most gracious Virgin Mary,
that never was it known that anyone who fled to your protection,
implored your help or sought your intercession, was left unaided.
“Inspired by this confidence, I fly unto you,
O Virgin of virgins, my Mother.
To you I come, before you I stand, sinful and sorrowful.
“O Mother of the Word Incarnate,The Memorare (Fr. Claude Bernard, 12th Century)
despise not my petitions,
but, in your mercy, hear and answer me. Amen.”