REFLECTION FOR TODAY
September 8, 2021
By Fr. Andrew Ibegbulem, OSA
“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
Today we celebrate one of the most consequential birthdays in the history of the world! The genealogy of Jesus from which our gospel reference form part of reminds us that God’s plan for the coming of His son was a long time preparation.
The Blessed Virgin Mary was born into our world without the stain of original sin. She was preserved from experiencing fallen human nature through the gift of her Immaculate Conception. Thus, she was the first to be born in the perfection of human nature after the fall, and she continued to experience this grace throughout her life, responding to God with her free will every step of the way.
The role God gave to the Blessed Virgin Mary was so profound that it is almost dizzying to contemplate His favor to her exceeding the favor granted to any other human being. It was to her that God assigned the most profound and intimate responsibility for the fulfillment of His plan.
We all like and enjoy celebrating our birthdays. We all look forward to that special day each year when family and friends honor us and celebrate us in a special way. We can be assured that even our Blessed Mother loved her birthday while on earth and continues to enjoy this special celebration in Heaven
In honoring the birthday of our Blessed Mother, it is an important opportunity for each of us to ponder the incredible blessings that God has bestowed upon each one of us. No, we are not Immaculate as Mother Mary was. We were each born into original sin and have sinned throughout our lives. But the blessings of grace, given to each one of us, is exceptionally real.
As Christians, we only need to work to have the eyes to see these graces. Baptism, for example, bestows upon the soul an eternal transformation. Though our sin may cloud that transformation at times, the transformation is eternal. Our souls are changed. We are made new. Grace is poured into our hearts, and we become children of God. And for the soul who can perceive the countless other ways that God bestows blessings, gratitude is the only appropriate response.
Reflect, today, upon the glorious celebration of the birthday of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of God. Begin by trying to rejoice in her life through her eyes. Try to imagine what she saw as she looked into her own graced soul. From there, try to rejoice, also, in your soul. Be grateful for all that God has done for you. Work to have eyes that see these countless graces and allow yourself to rejoice in God’s blessings with our Blessed Mother.
Dearest Mother, today I rejoice in the incredible gift that God gave to you in your Immaculate Conception and birth into our world. I pray that I may honor you in a fitting way this day and to especially understand more clearly the beauty of your graced soul. Pray for me that I may also rejoice in the countless graces bestowed upon me by our merciful God. I love you, dear Mother. Precious Jesus, through the heart of the Blessed Virgin Mary, I trust in You!