Today, nine months after we celebrate Mary’s Immaculate Conception, we celebrate the day of her birth, not knowing the exact date, but sure of its importance. Today we remember when Mary, like every human person, began to live outside her mother’s womb and start the path to her extraordinary vocation, already blessed with the singular grace of being preserved from all stain of original sin. Her vocation makes no sense on its own, but when we consider the lineage recalled in today’s Gospel, we realize how important it is: thanks to her the Messiah could be born in time, just as the Son is eternally begotten by the Father.
All the veneration we give Mary is due to her Son. In the lineage Joseph was mentioned as descending from David, but his importance was underscored as being the “husband of Mary”: today the woman who would enable the Word to become flesh and dwell among us was born. We can trace a path from Mary’s birth all the way to her Assumption of fidelity to the grace of God, charity, simplicity, humility and kindness. We also celebrate today the birth of our mother in the order of grace, whose vocation is to welcome all of humanity into her maternal care and lead them to her Son.
Let’s try to imitate Mary today in one of her virtues. That’d be the best birthday gift we could give her.
Readings: Micah 5:1–4a; Psalm 13:6a–c; Matthew 1:1–16, 18–23.