Wednesday, 8 September 2021 : Feast of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary (Homily and Scripture Reflections)

Liturgical Colour : White

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, today we celebrate the Feast of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary, commemorating the birthday of the Blessed Mother of God, Mary, marking that day when the Mother of Our Lord and Saviour was born into this world, to the loving family of St. Joachim and St. Anne, her parents. As we celebrate this Feast of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary today, all of us are called to look upon Mary, on her faith and dedication to God, on her virtuous and upright life.

Yes, brothers and sisters in Christ, Mary is our best role model among all the children of God, as one who has been chosen and given the special grace to be free from the taints of original sin, immaculate and pure, and at the same time, full of love and commitment to the Lord. Mary is the Woman that the Lord had promised to all of us, His beloved people, through whom the salvation of this world would come from, by her role as the Mother of that Saviour of all, Our Lord Jesus Christ.

Through Mary, God has fulfilled His long awaited promises to all of His people, revealing to them His salvation through a simple and humble woman, the virgin lady of Nazareth, a small and insignificant small town in Galilee, at the periphery of the Jewish world and settlements at that time. Mary was specially prepared by the Lord, by a singular grace, hallowed and made to be immaculate and pure, completely free from the taints of original sin, so that this vessel crafted by the Lord’s hands, may be worthy to bear Himself and His divine existence into this world.

Yes, just as the old Ark of the Covenant was made by the hands of men and crafted with the finest goods of the Earth, and hallowed by God, hence, the New Ark, of the New Covenant of God, Mary, the beloved daughter of God and full of grace, made not by human hands but designed and prepared by God, made to be pure and immaculate, which is possible by God’s will and power, to be hallowed and ready for the coming of His salvation, the Divine Word of God incarnate in the flesh, becoming the Son of Man dwelling in Mary’s womb.

Mary’s Nativity marked the moment when the salvation of God began to come forth into the world, as God slowly revealed to us all the truth about Himself and His plans for us. Yet, this is an even more amazing story as God chose not the rich and powerful, the influential and the great to conduct His work of salvation, but instead, He chose a mere ordinary woman, from likely a poor family in Nazareth, on the peripheries to be the one whom He chose to be the Mother of the Saviour.

And why is this significant for us, brothers and sisters in Christ? It shows us that God chose us all sinners, unworthy as we may be, and called us to be His disciples and followers, and just as He has chosen Mary, to be the one bearing the Messiah, and made her to be full of grace, we too are called to embrace God and His love, and to be filled with His grace. We have all been called from our most ordinary backgrounds, from our various occupations and lives, to be the genuine and loving disciples of the Lord.

That is what all of us must recognise as God calls all of us to be His faithful labourers and workers, in the world, in our communities and among our own circles of friends and relatives, and among those whom we encounter daily in life, to our acquaintances and neighbours, and even to strangers whom we met along the way. We have to be role models of faith, to be the bearers of God’s hope and truth to all, just as Mary has been a great role model to us. We are all reminded today, just as we celebrate her birthday, that we can also be like her, in her commitment to the Lord and in her virtuous and graceful life.

The question is, are we all willing to embrace the Lord wholeheartedly the way that Mary has done with her life? Are we willing to live our lives with sincere devotion to God and to practice our faith with genuine actions and not just mere words and formality only? Mary dedicated her life to the mission entrusted to her, and saw through many challenges throughout, having taken care of her Son, Our Lord and Saviour, protected and nurtured Him, and followed Him throughout His ministry right up to the foot of the Cross. We cannot even begin to imagine the sufferings and the sorrows she had throughout her life, and yet, Mary joyfully dedicated it all out of her love for her Son.

As we celebrate the Feast of Mary’s Nativity, her birth and appearance into this world, all of us are reminded of the hope that she had brought into this world and the faith with which she has lived her life. We are called to follow her examples and commit ourselves to the Lord as best as we can, to be the bearers of hope and light amidst this darkened world, so that our actions, words and deeds may bring life to all whose lives we have touched. This is our calling as Christians, as those who have shared in Christ the gift of His light and hope, and the assurance of salvation and eternal life.

In our daily lives, can we spend more time and effort to be faithful to the Lord, and to be exemplary and inspirational to one another so that we may help each other to be ever closer to God, and to be more attuned to His truth and ways? Are we also willing to reach out to the less fortunate and those who are suffering around us, sharing with them the love of God, and the hope of salvation. Let us discern these things carefully and remind ourselves of the many things that we can do as God’s faithful people, in keeping our faith alive and in following the good examples and inspiration from our beloved mother, Mary, the Mother of Our Lord and Saviour.

As we rejoice together celebrating her birthday, let us all continue to entrust ourselves to the Lord through His blessed mother, who is also our mother. Let us all turn towards the Lord and allow ourselves to be guided to Him by our ever patient and loving mother, who is always ever praying and interceding for our sake from Heaven, at the side of her Son’s glorious Throne. May the Lord heed her prayers for our sake, and may He have mercy on us sinners, and bring us all to Him, into His fullness of grace and eternal life of true joy. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death. Amen.