As we observe the birth of Mary, let us recall the joys and sorrows and wonders of her life
Reflections on the readings for the Feast of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary (September 8, 2021): MI 5:1-4; PS 13:6; MT 1:1-16,18-23
MISSIO offers “Mission In Scripture” to nurture a missionary heart, providing reflections on the missionary themes in the readings of Sundays, Feast Days and Holy Days.
In Mary and Joseph, as in Joachim and Anne, we find deep fidelity to the will of God. In Jesus Christ that selfless loyalty culminated in the sacrifice of His life to save the souls of all of His Father’s treasured children.
Beginning with the Eastern Church, this feast venerating the birth of the Blessed Virgin Mary has been celebrated since the sixth century. The birth of any child is a cause for joy because God has sent another precious son or daughter into the world. Saints Joachim and Anne, the names given by tradition the Mary’s parents, surely treasured her and brought her up to be a faithful Jew. While Scriptures reveal nothing about her childhood, Mary must have been taught to worship, serve and love the Almighty from her earliest days. In the Gospel according to St. Matthew, we hear these first words about her life: “When His mother Mary was betrothed to Joseph…she was found with child through the Holy Spirit. Joseph her husband, since he was a righteous man yet unwilling to expose her to shame, decided to divorce her quietly.… Behold, the angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream.… All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet: Behold, the virgin shall be with child and bear a son and they shall name Him Emmanuel’” (Matthew 1:18-20,21-23).
The Blessed Virgin Mary did bear that Son, the Son of God. She cared for and protected Him, along with her beloved husband Joseph, the guardian and foster father of Jesus. And the Holy Child grew in holiness and obedience to His Heavenly Father. In Mary and Joseph, as in Joachim and Anne, we find deep fidelity to the will of God. In Jesus Christ that selfless loyalty culminated in the sacrifice of His life to save the souls of all of His Father’s treasured children. And the Blessed Virgin was there on that day, too. So, on this day, when we observe the birth of Mary, let us recall the joys and sorrows and wonders of her life. And let us ask her to stay with us now so that we may join her and her dear Son in eternity.
Suggested missionary action: Let us celebrate the birthday of our beloved Mother Mary, by giving her presents of our prayers and acts of charity. In particular, we can support the work of the Pope’s missions as they seek the welfare of those who are in need, both materially and spiritually.