Readings: Romans 8: 28 – 30 Or Micah 5: 2 – 5a Gospel: Matthew 1: 18 – 23
The birth of a child is always a joyful event in the family. Every child comes into the world with
the assurance that God is not yet fed up with the human race. Today we celebrate the birth a woman
who came with more than that assurance. She heralded, in the words of the Church, ‘the dawn of
hope and salvation to the whole world”.
Born a great saint, her “soul was the most beautiful” ever created by God, excults St. Alphonsus de
Liguori. He adds, “Having been destined to become the Mother of the Eternal Word, this Child was
enriched with so great a grace that even at the moment of her Immaculate Conception she exceeded
all the Saints and Angels in sanctity for she was given a higher order of grace, which corresponded
to her dignity of Mother of God.”
Mary, the new Eve, is a gift to the Church, Mary, the Mother of the Church! She is, in a very
special way, a gift to all of us, bequeathed as she has been by her own divine son, Jesus Christ, as a
mother to each one of us.
Mary is the joy of the Father who was delighted with her. His marvelous masterpiece. Mary is the
joy of the Son who contemplated in her the tabernacle wherein He was to take flesh in order to save
the world unto the Father. Mary is the ultimate joy of the Holy Spirit who saw in her His most
chaste and faithful spouse on whom He would descend to form Christ.
It is a joyous occasion for the Church and all of us to honor Mary. The Birth of Our Lady should
also make us appreciate the gift of life the Lord has given to all of us. Lie is the primary gift to us on
which everything else is based. There is no faith, no hope, and no love, if there is no life. All other
gifts are for the enhancement of the quality of our life, so that our life may bear fruit. The
appreciation of the gift of life that we have received must also make us to appreciate the gift of life
in all. The awareness of the preciousness of our gift of life will help us to respect the gift of life in
Mary became the bearer of the gift of life incarnated in Jesus. She brought forth the Word of God in
her womb. She looked after the child Jesus and accompanied him till the end. We need to
appreciate especially the gift of our mothers to us. They not only have brought us forth in this
world, they also have accompanied us to the best of their ability to become what we are today. We
pray for all mothers in the world that they too may appreciate not only their life but also the life they
bring forth in their children and for the accompaniment they give to each of them for their growth
and welfare. We also pray for the would be mothers that just as Mary received the gift of life within
her in the person of Jesus, they too may joyfully accept the children that would be born to them and
lovingly accompany them in their growth.
We are honored by the Birth of Mary. She has gone before us showing us the way how we are to
live our life. We should remember that Mary was an ordinary human person like any one of us. She
was the humble woman of Nazareth. She is considered a model, not because she was an
extraordinary person, but she is like one of us with all her anxieties, fears, doubts and uncertainties.
Like any other ordinary human person, she too had to go through difficult moments in her life such
as that she did not have a comfortable place to give birth to her child; she had to live for a while as a
refugee in a strange land; she felt the loneliness of a widow; she had to witness her son being
ridiculed, humiliated, rejected, bruised, and dying on the cross. Yet, she does not give up. She goes
through all these experiences in a spirit of faith, hope, humility and submission to God’s will.
This ordinary woman lives her day to day life heroically, contemplating within herself all that goes
on in and around her, in spite of fears and anxieties, doubts and insecurities. She is a woman of
faith, a woman of openness to God. She lived her life in faithfulness to God. Ultimately, this is all
that matters in our life. For, living our life in faithfulness to God brings out the best within us. It
makes us saints out of our darkness; it makes us holy in spite of our weaknesses and limitations; it
makes our life hopeful, in spite of moments or periods of uncertainties and insecurities.
We can learn from Mary to appreciate the gift of life. That she appreciated the gift of life is clear
from the fact that she was overjoyed with the news that her cousin Elizabeth too had conceived in
her old age. Immediately she rushes to visit Elizabeth and greets her. The Gospel says she “arose,
an went with haste entered the house.” Mary teaches that true acceptance of the gift of life brings
openness to the other, shares in the joy and concerns of one another. And in this process others feel
ennobled, consoled, supported, encouraged, appreciated, helped and enlivened.
This appreciation of the gift of life and the manifold blessings received through it from God makes
Mary to be grateful to God. Everything she experienced is summed up in her hymn of
Magnificat:”My soul magnifies the Lord.” It is the summary of what she believes, what has
happened to her because of the generosity of God.
Like Mary, we too need to appreciate the gift of our life and that of one another. We too must take
time to gather all the blessings and graces we have received from the first moment of our life until
now. We too need to continually live in an attitude of gratefulness to God and openness to receive
further his graces and blessings. We too must compose our own hymn of ‘Magnificat’, gratitude to
the Lord. For, all that we are and all that we have, come from the Lord, the Source of all that is
good. He too continues to do His mighty works in us and for us. Together with Mary, then, let us
today rejoice for our gift of life and praise the Lord, always remembering that our life though a gift,
belongs to God and that we are called to enrich it by our holy way of living.
“O Mary, you who appreciated the gift of life, brought forth the Divine Life into the world, you who
remained grateful for it to the Lord, continue to pray for us. Amen.”
Wish You Happy Feast of the Nativity of Our Blessed Mother.