Micah 5:1-4, Psalm 13; Matthew 1:1-6, 18-23
Today the Church celebrates the birthday of the Blessed Virgin Mary. Her parents were Saints Joachim and Anne. The Scripture did not give an account of Mary’s birth, but the Apocryphal protoevangelium of James remains a reliable authority in this regard. (The word protoevangelium means “proto-gospel” or “precursor to the gospel,” that gives additional details about Mary’s birth and childhood as well as about the birth of Jesus). According to his account, Anna and Joachim were infertile couples who prayed for a child and waited on God. Eventually, they were blessed with a daughter – Mary. This was a fulfilment of the promise of a child who will advance God’s plan of salvation for the world as given in the prophecy of Micah in the first reading.
Saint 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 whom bloomed the precious lily of the valley. Through her birth the nature inherited from our first parents is changed.” Therefore, we can say that every human birth is a call for new hope in the world. The genealogy in the gospel is a clear expression of this hope in the world. As we celebrate Mary’s birth today, may we be filled with new hope in God’s plan for the salvation of the world. May we also realize that our birth is a call to make Christ present in the world. Lastly, may we find grace to accept children lovingly from God without altering their right to life. God bless you.
LET US PRAY
Impart to your servants, we pray, O Lord, the gift of heavenly grace, that the feast of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin may bring deeper peace to those for whom the birth of her Son was the dawning of salvation. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, God, for ever and ever. Amen.