Sept 8: Nativity of Mary

The Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Saturday, 08-09-18
Micah 5:1-4 / Matthew 1:1-16, 18-23

In the liturgy, the Church celebrates the nativities of three persons - Jesus, Mary and John the Baptist.

Today, the Church celebrates the nativity of Mary and the date of the birth of Mary is the 8th September.

We may wonder why the 8th September is the birthday of Our Lady.

This date is connected to yet another important date - 8th December - the feast of the Immaculate Conception.

In 1854, on the 8th December, Pope Pius IX declared the Immaculate Conception of Mary to be an article of faith.

In essence, it means that by the grace of God, Mary was conceived without sin in her mother's womb.

So at the moment of her conception, Mary was freed from sin and that signalled the first stage of God's plan of salvation for mankind.

God prepared Mary to be sinless as as to bear Jesus, the Son of God, in her womb.

So God had a detailed plan as to how to go about fulfilling His promise of salvation for mankind.

So the birthday of Our Lady is not just a day of another devotion to Our Lady. It has its foundations in the Immaculate Conception of Our Lady. And the Immaculate Conception is part of this great plan of salvation of mankind.

So God had a carefully thought out plan to save us.

Let us be careful and not to forfeit God's gift of salvation for us, and let us also be grateful for this gift.

Let us also ask Our Lady to pray for us sinners, and let us join her to pray for the salvation of sinners.                                                                                                             ***                                                                                                                                             If we have to think of a gospel passage or a bible passage to dedicate to someone on his/her birthday, we would certainly think of a profound passage that might include God's blessings on that person and how wonderfully God has made that person.

But in celebrating the birthday of the BVM, the passage that is chosen from the gospel of Matthew talks about Joseph intending to call off the marriage with Mary, and the angel of the Lord had to intervene.

Somehow the gospel passage for this liturgy seems a bit inappropriate, maybe even a bit too profane.

Yes, Mary's fears came true in that Joseph wanted to call off the marriage, and that might leave her to face an uncertain and even dangerous future.

Yet, the humanity, the humanness, of Mary and Joseph are highlighted to show us that they too had to face their fears and worries and anxieties, when it comes to doing God's will.

In fact, fear has that ability and that potential to paralyze us from doing God's will and to walk in His ways.

Yet, let us remember that as in the Annunciation, Mary was told "Do not fear"; in today's gospel, Joseph was also told "Do not fear".

As we gather for the Eucharist, we are also told "Do not fear", because God is with us.

Yes, we need not fear, because we also have a heavenly Mother who is always praying for us.

Yes, Mary knows the power of fear, but she also knows the power of prayer.

As we celebrate the birthday of our Blessed Mother, let us join her in prayer to pray for ourselves, for the Church and for the world. And what better way to do it than to pray the Rosary with our Lady. And not just today but everyday.