We rejoice today as we celebrate the birth of the Mother of God
Reflections on the readings for the Feast of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary (September 8, 2020): 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
Even the names of her parents, Anne and Joachim, come to us only by tradition. Still, from the early centuries of the Church there has been great interest in Mary’s whole life, including her nativity.
Today we have the joy of saying “Happy Birthday” to Mary, Mother of God and our mother as well. Our first direct Biblical encounter with the Blessed Virgin Mary is when the angel appears to her when she was a young woman, a virgin. Gabriel tells her that it is God’s desire that she bear His Son. Her simple words of agreement still resound through the universe. We know about the nativity of Jesus through the Gospels according to Matthew and Luke. The Old Testament also speaks in several places about the coming of the Messiah. “You, Bethlehem-Ephrathah… from you shall come forth for me one who is to be ruler in Israel.… He shall stand firm and shepherd His flock by the strength of the Lord, in the majestic name of the Lord, His God; … He shall be peace” (Micah 5:1, 3-4).
Yet about the birth of Mary we are told nothing. Even the names of her parents, Anne and Joachim, come to us only by tradition. Still, from the early centuries of the Church there has been great interest in Mary’s whole life, including her nativity. St. Augustine wrote, “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 changed.” And while we say to the Blessed Virgin, “Happy Birthday” we can also say it to ourselves and to all our fellow Christians because Mary’s coming into the world would change our lives as well. Her “yes” to God’s will, her cooperation with His grace meant that the Divine plan for our salvation would allow us to open His gift of heaven through the sacrifice of her Son, the Son of God.
Suggested missionary action: Let us celebrate the birthday of the Blessed Virgin Mary by offering a World Mission Rosary for the welfare of the Church’s missionaries and the people they strive to help. And let us be sure to thank Jesus for the beautiful gift of His mother to us all.