REFLECTION FOR TODAY,
September 8, 2020
By Fr. Andrew Ibegbulem, OSA
“Behold, the virgin shall be with child and bear a son, and they shall name him Emmanuel.” Matthew 1:23
Usually the Church commemorates and honours the saints at their death anniversary. The death anniversary as their entry into heaven and rewarded with eternal life with God for their lives of service and sacrifice on earth.
The nativity, or birth, is only celebrated for Jesus Christ at Christmas, and also for Mary and for John the Baptist. The reason for this is found in the singular mission each had in salvation history, but traditionally also because these alone were holy in their very birth.
St. John the Baptist was sanctified in St Elizabeth’s womb and he leapt for joy (Lk 1:15). He was be the herald of the coming of the Saviour
For Mary, it was her Immaculate Conception. She was to be the Mother of the Son of God and her birth signalled the beginning of God’s plan of salvation that was to be fulfilled in Jesus Christ. For Mary, she had a mission in life, and she was faithful to that mission and fulfilled that mission.
We all love to celebrate birthdays. Today is the birthday celebration of our dear mother. In December we honor her Immaculate Conception. In January we celebrate her as the Mother of God. In August we celebrate her Assumption into Heaven and there are many other days throughout the year where we honor a unique aspect of her life. But today is simply her birthday celebration!
Celebrating her birthday is a way of celebrating her personhood. We celebrate her simply for being herself. We do not necessarily focus in on any of the unique, beautiful and profound aspects of her life today. We do not necessarily look at all she accomplished, her perfect yes to God, her coronation in Heaven, her assumption or any other specifics. All parts of her life are glorious, beautiful, awe-inspiring and worthy of their own unique feasts and celebration.
Today, however, we simply celebrate our Blessed Mother because she was created and brought into this world by God and that alone is worth celebrating. We honor her simply because we love her and we celebrate her birthday as we would celebrate the birthday of anyone we love and care for.
Reflect, today, upon the fact that Mother Mary is your mother. She truly is your mother and it’s worth celebrating her birthday in the same way that you would celebrate anyone’s birthday who was a member of your family. Your honoring of Mary, today, is a way of solidifying your bond with her and assuring her that you desire her to be an important part of your life.
Happy birthday, Blessed Mother! We love you dearly!
Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with you. Blessed are you among women and blessed is the fruit of your womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners now and at the hour of our death. Amen. Precious Jesus, through the heart of the Immaculate Virgin Mary, our Mother, we trust in You!