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by Sep 8, 2023Friar Reflection

Today we celebrate the Feast of the Nativity or birth of the Blessed Virgin Mary.  Today’s Gospel tells the story of the nativity or birth of Jesus: “This is how the birth (genesis) of Jesus Christ came about.”  Matthew connects the birth of Jesus with the first book of the bible (Genesis) which describes the creation of the heavens and the earth and the creation of human beings in God’s image and likeness.  God has been at work in the world and in the lives of human beings from the beginning of time.  With the nativity of Jesus God desires to become fully involved in our world and in our lives: “In times past, God spoke in partial and various ways to our ancestors through the prophets; in these last days, he spoke to us through a son, whom he made heir of all things and through whom he created the universe…” (Hebrews 1:1-2).

God wants to speak to us through his Son.  He begins this new intervention with the nativity or birth of Mary.  Jesus is conceived through the power of the holy Spirit.  An angel proclaimed to Joseph the meaning and mission of this miraculous birth:

“Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary your wife into your home. For it is through the holy Spirit that this child has been conceived in her. She will bear a son and you are to name him Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.” (Matt 1:20-21).

The Church declares that Mary can be called not only mother of Jesus but also the Mother of God because she has given birth to the Savior of the world.  It is her “yes” to the call of God that inaugurates this new age: “Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord. May it be done to me according to your word.” (Luke 1:38).  As we celebrate Mary’s birth, we can recall our own nativity, our own birth, when we were formed in the image and likeness of God.  We are also called to follow the example of Mary and live out our human dignity by saying yes to God each day: “Behold we are servants of the Lord.  May it be done to us according to God’s word.”

Image: “Statue Virgin Mary Medjugorje – Hotel Pansion Porta – Bosnia Herzegovina – Creative Commons by gnuckx” by gnuckx is marked with CC0 1.0.