Thursday, September 8, 2016

Sept. 8, 2016: Nativity of Blessed Mother

The feast of the Nativity of Blessed Mother

Today we celebrate the birthday of Mary, the Mother of Jesus and our Mother. Any birthday we celebrate gives us the opportunity of celebrating the gift of life. In every family the birthday of a mother has a special time of joy as she is the one who cares for all and this is one opportunity to respond fondly to that love. The day of the nativity of Mary is dear to us as she is our special intercessor with her son Jesus and gets all favors to us. There are many Marian feast days celebrated in the Catholic Church and each one is dear to us. Today’s feast is certainly a family feast and we thank God for the gift of the person of Mary who is so human and so loving. Before we are born, our mothers are our entire world; they enfold, nourish, and protect us. When we are born they continue to care for us, by comforting, nursing, and teaching us as we grow. Mothers do not stop being mothers just because we are grown. Our mother will always be our mother. So it is with our Blessed Mother, the Virgin Mary. She will always be Jesus’ Mother, and she will always be our Mother with Jesus our brother. And if, for whatever reason, our own birth mother is not quite all we would like her to be, our Blessed Mother stands ready, arms open to take us in. As our Mother, she will continue to nourish, protect, comfort, and teach us as we grow. Daily prayers that greet and thank her for her love and care, and intercessory prayers that ask for her aid, ensure her place in our families, our homes, and our hearts. She is the Mother of God, the Queen of the Saints, the humble spouse of the Church, and attentive patron of hundreds of persons and we depend on her for all our needs.

The feast of the Nativity of Mary celebrated on the 8th of September is closely connected with the Immaculate Conception of Mary. From all eternity God prepared a fit dwelling place for his son and chose the pure sinless womb of the Virgin Mary. She was to be prepared by divine providence to be the Mother of Jesus the son of God, and therefore was conceived in the womb of her mother Anna, her father being Joachim, without the stain of sin and her birth is considered by the Church as a solemn event. With a special role in the salvation of the world, Our Lady’s birthday has been described as the hope of the entire world and the dawn of salvation. That is why the Liturgy of the day says: “Let us celebrate with joy the birth of the Virgin Mary, of who was born the Sun of Justice…. Her birth constitutes the hope and the light of salvation for the whole world…. Her image is light for the whole Christian people”. St. Augustine connects Mary’s birth with Jesus’ saving work. He tells the earth to rejoice and shine forth in the light of her birth. “She is the flower of the field from who bloomed the precious lily of the valley. Through her birth the nature inherited from our first parents is changed.” The opening prayer at Mass speaks of the birth of Mary’s Son as the dawn of our salvation and asks for an increase of peace.

Created as a new creation, the Second Eve, Mary was immaculate in nature from the moment of her conception. Mary was created holy, gave birth to the Son of God in holiness, lived a holy life in the Presence of God and was taken to Heaven in the fullness of her holiness. Truly, she shall be blessed every generation. That message of faith given to us on the nativity of Mary challenges us. There are times when our self-sufficient society would willingly banish the sight of suffering. In Lourdes Mary has created a city where the sick and the weak are the privileged partners of our care and concern. That is a sign from Mary also of the type of society we should be building. We need to experience the faith of Mary in our lives in these days.

Fr Eugene Lobo S.J. Mangalore, India