Feast of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary
Today we celebrate the Feast of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary, an important day for any religious family for whom Mary, the mother of Jesus, has a special place in its devotional life — for Saint Peter Julian Eymard believed that Mary’s great mission is to form Jesus in each of us.
In celebrating the birth of Mary, we are invited in our readings today to focus on two aspects of the meaning of this feast day. The first reading is taken from the prophet Micah. It foretells the coming of one who is to be the ruler of Israel (who) will shepherd his flock by the strength of the LORD . . .; he shall be peace. The Gospel reading is the genealogy of Jesus. At the end of the passage, we hear that familiar line, Behold, the virgin shall be with child and bear a son, and they shall name him Emmanuel, which means “God is with us.” Peace! God’s presence in our midst!
At the birth of our firstborn, Andrew, I remember feeling a miracle had occurred, especially given the difficulties we experienced having children. The birth of our second child Lizzie was equally such a blessing for us. In their births – as for millions of other loving parents – we saw their potential to be God’s presence and peace in the world. Indeed that has come to fruition. And now we enjoy seeing that as they parent the miracles in their own lives.
Mary’s miraculous birth foreshadowed the birth of Jesus, the perfect expression of God’s love. We are reminded of that at each Mass. Today let us pray that God’s peace and loving presence in Jesus will increase in our hearts.
Let Us Pray:
Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with you. Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners now and at the hour of our death. Amen.