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Mary, Mother of Salvation
Feast of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary
This is how the birth of Jesus Christ came about. When his mother Mary was betrothed to Joseph, but before they lived together, she was found with child through the Holy Spirit. Joseph her husband, since he was a righteous man, yet unwilling to expose her to shame, decided to divorce her quietly. Such was his intention when, behold, the angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, “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.” All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet: Behold, the virgin shall be with child and bear a son, and they shall name him Emmanuel, which means “God is with us.”
Opening Prayer: Come Holy Spirit, send me your spirit of love and humility, the same spirit that filled Mary when she conceived Our Lord, Jesus Christ. Help me be so humble, completely detached from sin, and open to you that you can fill me completely. May the Spirit of Christ be conceived in me, and may I bear him to the world.
- Happy Birthday to Our Mother! Today’s feast is a celebration of the birth of our Blessed Mother. The Church’s tradition of celebrating this feast comes from an early Christian writing, The Protoevangelium of James, written around 150 AD. Here we learn that St. Joachim and St. Anne were Mary’s parents. We do not celebrate Mary for her own merits, but for who she became through Christ: the Mother of God. Through her humility and her fiat, her “yes” to God, she participated in the salvation of the world. St. Augustine wrote of Mary, “She is the flower of the field from whom bloomed the precious lily of the valley.” Do we believe that God can do “great things” for us as he did for Mary (Luke 1:48-49)?
- Salvation Has Come through Mary: The Hebrew word for salvation is yeshua. In Hebrew, Jesus’ name is Yeshua. Jesus is salvation! The Good News of his saving grace has been promised to Israel for all generations, ever since the very first proclamation of his coming at the fall of man when God the Father cursed Satan: “I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers; he will strike your head, and you will strike his heel” (Genesis 3:15). Notice that God established Mary in his saving plan from the very beginning. She is the New Eve whose offspring, Jesus, struck at Satan’s head when he died to save us from sin and death. Because Jesus, our salvation, came through Mary, we can ask for her intercession for all of our needs, especially for the salvation of those we love. We can pray, as St. Louis de Monfort said, “to Jesus through Mary.”
- Confident Children: What confidence we should have as children of Mary! She is not only our Mother, she is the Mother of the King of the Universe, the Queen Mother. She stands next to the throne of her Son: “at your right hand stands the queen in gold of Ophir” (Psalm 45:9). We can trust in her intercession because of her great love for us. Her Immaculate Heart blooms, bleeds, and is on fire for love of us, her children. We can rest in the safety of her spiritual protection when we face the evils of the world. Our confidence in her, again, is not due to her own merits, but because of her charity, humility, and identity as the Mother of salvation. With Mary we can sing, “Surely God is my salvation; I will trust, and will not be afraid, for the Lord God is my strength and my might; he has become my salvation” (Isaiah 12:2).
Conversing with Christ: My Jesus, you chose your Blessed Mother for all time to become your first earthly home. Thank you for giving her to us, your disciples (John 19:26). Jesus, sometimes it is hard to trust and be unafraid in this world. I believe that you are with me, just as today’s Gospel proclaims. Please remind me of this and send your Mother to my side when I am weak and afraid.
Resolution: Lord, today by your grace I will pray a rosary in thanksgiving for your Blessed Mother and mine. I will ask Mary to help me feel confident and unafraid. May she bring me ever closer to you, my Jesus.
For Further Reflection: Read an account of Mary’s birth and early life in The Protoevangelium of James on New Advent. This writing is not in the canon of Scripture, but it is considered an important early Christian writing.
Carey Boyzuck, MTS, is a wife, mother, freelance writer, pastoral assistant, and lay member of Regnum Christi. She blogs at www.word-life-light.com.
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