Feast of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary
Today the Church celebrates the birthday of Mary, the wife of Joseph and the mother of Jesus. Her birth is not recounted in the Sacred Scriptures, but the circumstances of her marriage to Joseph and of the birth of her son are (see Mt 1-2 and Lk 1-2). From these sacred stories and also from the witness of early Christian writers, the Church has come to infer what kind of person Mary must have been, and specifically, what kind of birth she must have had.
We read in Luke’s Gospel that the angel Gabriel said to Mary, “…you have found favor with God.” (Lk 1:30) With joy, Mary was chosen to be the mother of a great king, who “…will be called Son of the Most High.” (Lk 1:32) In Matthew’s Gospel, the angel of the Lord said to Joseph in a dream, “[Mary] will bear a son and you are to name him Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.” (Mt 1:21) Back in Luke’s Gospel, Gabriel concludes, “Therefore the child to be born will be called holy, the Son of God.” (Lk 1:35) If Mary was to bear such a great honor—a king, a savior, the Son of God—then Mary herself must have been great, right? Well, yes, but not by her own merit. She herself praised God, saying, “the Almighty has done great things for me….” (Lk 1:49)
Mary was a human being, like us. She spent nine months in the womb of her own mother and then was born. This is a beautiful human phenomenon in itself. Yet, it signified the dawning of the promise of human redemption. (see Gen 3:15) For from her came the salvation of God, Christ the Lord.
Today let us remember Mary’s humanity, yet also her role as the mother of her divine Son.
Reflection by Br. Luke Kral, OSB