Today we rejoice in the birth of the Blessed Virgin Mary...
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
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Almighty God chose her of all His cherished daughters to become the mother of His Son, the Redeemer of His people.
The Blessed Virgin Mary has been esteemed by faithful Christians since the early centuries of the Church. With the Council of Ephesus in 431 A.D., when she was officially given the title Mother of God, Mary has been uniquely singled out and revered. From the sixth century, the Church has honored the birth of Mary of Nazareth, the mother of Jesus, King and Savior of the world. There is no reference in Scriptures to her birth or to the way God spared her soul from original sin. However, the dogma of the Immaculate Conception of Mary which is uniquely associated with her nativity, was officially declared by the Church in 1854 and is appropriately celebrated on December 8. The Blessed Virgin’s extraordinary place in the Almighty’s plan to redeem the world from the wretched, ugly consequences of sin and death is what we really celebrate in a special way on this feast. By tradition, Mary’s parents have been called Joachim and Anne. And again, it has been customarily believed that they had no other children and yearned and prayed for the blessing of a child. We can only imagine the joy with which they greeted the birth of their precious daughter.
When we hear Gospel for today, we are reminded of the generations of Jewish people from the time of Abraham who awaited the coming of their Messiah. While Mary was His Mother, it is her spouse St. Joseph and his ancestors about whom we learn. We meet Joseph who would be the guardian and legal father of Mary’s Son while he is struggling to deal with her pregnancy, knowing that her baby is not his child. Despite his own confused feelings, he wanted to spare her from shame and punishment. “The angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, ‘Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary your wife into your home. For it is through the Holy Spirit that this child has been conceived in her. She will bear a son and you are to name Him Jesus, because He will save His people from their sins’” (Matthew 1:20-21). So today let us look ahead to the Nativity of the Holy Infant, our Lord and King, by happily celebrating the birth of His Mother, the Blessed Virgin Mary, Queen of heaven and earth.