“Behold, the virgin shall be with child and bear a son, and they shall name him Emmanuel, which means ‘God is with us’” (Matthew 1:23).
Reflections on the readings for the Feast of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary (September 8, 2022): 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.
On this birthday of Mary, let us celebrate the joy of her coming into this same world into which we, too, have been born.
Today we rejoice in the happy occasion of an infant’s birth, beloved of God and her parents who would be a person of faith, hope, and love -- just as each and every one of us is called to be. The earliest commemoration of the Blessed Virgin Mary’s birth was at the dedication of a basilica in her honor in Jerusalem in the 6th century. It is now known as the Church of St. Anne, and some traditions say that Mary’s family lived there at some time. And, just as on the nativity of her Son Jesus, today we remember the promises of God for the welfare of His people. Moreover, we look forward to the gift of salvation that the Heavenly Father prepared for us so perfectly, so beautifully. “The Lord says: You, Bethlehem-Ephrathah, too small to be among the clans of Judah, from you shall come forth for Me one who is to be ruler in Israel. … (Therefore the Lord will give them up, until the time when she who is to give birth has borne.) … He shall stand firm and shepherd his flock by the strength of the Lord. … His greatness shall reach to the ends of the earth; He shall be peace” (Micah 5:1-2,3,4).
He shall be peace. And His mother, the Queen of Peace, wants to guide us in His way. She whom we contemplate today as a newborn baby would in time embrace the will of God by becoming the mother of His Son. That same fidelity in following Jesus, the Second Person of the Blessed Trinity, and living His love is asked of every Christian. St. Augustine said that the Blessed Virgin Mary “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.” On this birthday of Mary, let us celebrate the joy of her coming into this same world into which we, too, have been born. Through her, God the Father would send His Son to save us for Himself through all eternity. If we ask her, Mary will intercede for us to draw ever closer to her and Jesus our Lord.
Suggested missionary action: Let us offer a Rosary today, asking our Blessed Virgin Mary to look after us, God’s children all. In a special way we can also pray for her to care for mothers who are carrying their babies, or those already born, especially those in greatest need who face challenges, even crises. May the Mother of God guide us in assisting them in generous, practical, loving ways.