Birthday of the Blessed Virgin Mary

For centuries, God had been promising his people a saviour, one who would “shepherd his flock” and whose greatness would “reach to the ends of the earth” (Micah 5:3).  So over the generations, countless Jews waited, trusting that God’s promises would be fulfilled.  That’s why the birth of Our Lady was such a momentous event: it signalled the time of fulfilment.

The Church has celebrated Our Lady’s birth since the sixth century, not only to honour her as the Mother of God but also to mark a unique moment in salvation history.  As the Fathers of the Second Vatican Council put it: “After a long period of waiting, the times are fulfilled in her, the exalted Daughter of Zion, and the new plan of salvation is established” (On the Church, 55).

Today’s feast tells us that God always keeps his promises.  Mary and Joseph knew this truth.  What a shocking message the angel Gabriel delivered when he told Mary that she, a virgin, was to bear God’s Son.  She didn’t know how it would happen, yet she believed.  When Joseph learned in a dream that Mary’s child was conceived through the Holy Spirit, he too trusted God’s word and acted in faith by marrying her.  And neither of them was disappointed.

And so today we rejoice in God’s faithfulness and love.  It’s a day to celebrate that love as it was manifested in the Virgin Mary.  We see that love in every episode of her life.  Naturally, we want to honour her for saying yes to the angel at the Annunciation.  But that yes was the culmination of years of humble openness to God.

Today we should imitate Our Lady with our own yes to God.  It’s a great day to tell him that we want to try our best to follow Our Lady’s example.  We may not be perfectly sinless, but Christ still lives in us.  So, let’s honour him today by taking his mother’s advice: “Do whatever he tells you” (John 2:5).

Image result for virgin mary

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