Sep 8 – Feast of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary
The birth of the Blessed Virgin Mary announced joy and the approaching salvation of a lost world. Mary was brought into the world not like other children of Adam, infected with the contagion of sin, but pure, holy, beautiful, and glorious, adorned with all the most precious graces fitting for the one predestined to be the Mother of the Saviour. Never did she have the slightest inclination towards anything other than the absolute and immediate Will of God.
She appeared indeed in the weak condition of all mortals, but in the eyes of Heaven she already transcended the highest seraphim in purity, humility, charity, and the richest ornaments of grace. God had created her in the original grace, as in the beginning Adam and Eve had enjoyed that ineffable privilege; after original sin, it was lost for all Adam’s posterity, until the time of the Redemption dawned in Mary. (Cf. I Cor. 15:21-23)
The nations celebrate, often too noisily, the birthdays of the great ones of this earth… How then ought we, Christians, to rejoice in that of the Virgin Mary, Mother of our Salvation, and to present publicly to God the homage of our best praises and thanksgiving for the great mercies He has shown in her, imploring her mediation with her Divine Son!
Jesus of Nazareth will not reject the supplications of His most holy Mother, through whom He chose to descend from Heaven; she, the Spouse of the Canticle, is all beautiful and is the one He was pleased to obey while on earth. Her love, care, and tenderness for Him, the title and qualities which she bears, the charity and graces with which she is adorned, and the crown of glory with which she is honoured, incline Him readily to receive her recommendations and petitions.
The Lord says this:
But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah,
the least of the clans of Judah,
out of you will be born for me
the one who is to rule over Israel;
his origin goes back to the distant past,
to the days of old.
The Lord is therefore going to abandon them
till the time when she who is to give birth gives birth.
Then the remnant of his brothers will come back
to the sons of Israel.
He will stand and feed his flock
with the power of the Lord,
with the majesty of the name of his God.
They will live secure, for from then on he will extend his power
to the ends of the land.
He himself will be peace.
A genealogy of Jesus Christ, son of David, son of Abraham:
Abraham was the father of Isaac,
Isaac the father of Jacob,
Jacob the father of Judah and his brothers,
Judah was the father of Perez and Zerah, Tamar being their mother,
Perez was the father of Hezron,
Hezron the father of Ram,
Ram was the father of Amminadab,
Amminadab the father of Nahshon,
Nahshon the father of Salmon,
Salmon was the father of Boaz, Rahab being his mother,
Boaz was the father of Obed, Ruth being his mother,
Obed was the father of Jesse;
and Jesse was the father of King David.
David was the father of Solomon, whose mother had been Uriah’s wife,
Solomon was the father of Rehoboam,
Rehoboam the father of Abijah, Abijah the father of Asa,
Asa was the father of Jehoshaphat,
Jehoshaphat the father of Joram,
Joram the father of Azariah,
Azariah was the father of Jotham,
Jotham the father of Ahaz,
Ahaz the father of Hezekiah,
Hezekiah was the father of Manasseh,
Manasseh the father of Amon,
Amon the father of Josiah;
and Josiah was the father of Jechoniah and his brothers.
Then the deportation to Babylon took place.
After the deportation to Babylon:
Jechoniah was the father of Shealtiel,
Shealtiel the father of Zerubbabel,
Zerubbabel was the father of Abiud,
Abiud the father of Eliakim,
Eliakim the father of Azor,
Azor was the father of Zadok,
Zadok the father of Achim,
Achim the father of Eliud,
Eliud was the father of Eleazar,
Eleazar the father of Matthan,
Matthan the father of Jacob;
and Jacob was the father of Joseph the husband of Mary;
of her was born Jesus who is called Christ.
This is how Jesus Christ came to be born. His mother Mary was betrothed to Joseph; but before they came to live together she was found to be with child through the Holy Spirit. Her husband Joseph; being a man of honour and wanting to spare her publicity, decided to divorce her informally. He had made up his mind to do this when the angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, ‘Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because she has conceived what is in her by the Holy Spirit. She will give birth to a son and you must name him Jesus, because he is the one who is to save his people from their sins.’ Now all this took place to fulfil the words spoken by the Lord through the prophet:
The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son
and they will call him Emmanuel,
a name which means ‘God-is-with-us.’
“She was found to be with child through the Holy Spirit”
It is worth noting that in Islamic tradition, it is said that, there are 2 people who were spared by the touch of satan, what we would call original sin, and they were Mary & Jesus. Of course we also believed that John the Baptist was sanctified before birthday, but Mary, was conceived immaculately. Not by a human act, but by the power of the Holy Spirit.
It was the same Spirit that overshadowed her at the annunciation. This spirit preserved her from the stain of original sin at the moment of her conception. In fancy talk, “by a singular privilege and grace granted in view of the merits of Jesus Christ.” This purity was indeed needed as a relatively short time thereafter, she would become the living tabernacle for Word made flesh.
This grace which she receive also prepared her to become the channel of grace she is now, as mediatrix of all grace. I think never before has a woman had so many superlative titles applied to her. I am moved greatly by the litany of the Blessed Virgin Mary whereby we honour her with so many names that reveal her essential role in the life of the church and of us individual Christians who call her mother.
I am in the midst of my third year of the 33 Days to Morning Glory consecration and recently I was told that many Catholics still don’t identify with the Blessed Mother. Its not that the church declares that as Catholics we must be of a Marian character or disposition, but I think once we acknowledge the beauty in Gods plan for our salvation and how God used Mary to bring about this salvation; it becomes impossible, personally, to fathom why we would not also want to involve Mary. God did it! In his omnipotence he could have done all this a thousand other ways. But he chose to come through a humble, young virgin. Who are we to ignore her, when God chose to enter the world through her. I think he will enter our lives more easily too, if he entered through her.
If you are unconvinced, I suggest seeing what St Maximilian Kolbe and St Louise de Montfort have to say on the matter. For the “un-Marian” Catholic, it borders on scandalous. But take it to prayer and allow grace to come upon you and you will receive the tender, loving embrace of a mother. I had a moment like that 3-4 years ago and I still remember that embrace, and the tears of joy that flowed down my cheeks at that moment.
If God is Our Father, i’m sure He intends for us to have a Mother. She’s not God and cant do anything if not for Him, but he chose to give her a share in His ministry of saving us. This was her vocation from her birth.
(Today’s OXYGEN by Daryl De Payva)
Prayer: Father, source of light in every age, the virgin conceived and bore Your Son Who is called Wonderful God, Prince of Peace. May her prayer, the gift of a mother’s love, be Your people’s joy through all ages. May her response, born of a humble heart, draw Your Spirit to rest on Your people. Grant this through Christ our Lord. Amen.
Prayer is obtained from http://www.catholicdoors.com/prayers/english/p00298.htm
Thanksgiving: Thank you Lord, for giving us a mother in the order of grace.