“Your birth, O Virgin
Mother of God, proclaims joy
to the whole world!”
(Liturgy of the day)
How much we long for a better world in which joy prevails rather than the doom and gloom we are experiencing in so many ways. Pope St Paul VI proclaimed
“the day of her birth is truly a pre-announcement
and the beginning of a better world”.
The feast of Mary’s birth originated in Jerusalem towards the end of the 5th century. With the whole Church we honour Mary, the mother of Jesus. She was chosen in a special way to be the handmaid of the Lord and to play an important role in salvation history and in the mystery of our redemption. In a talk given by Father Kentenich to the Schoenstatt Sisters of Mary on September 10th 1939, he said: “From all eternity, He [the Eternal Father] had planned that the Divine Word should assume human nature. So, even the thought of the Divine Word taking His human nature from the little maiden of Nazareth was included in God’s eternal plan. We may conclude from this that the Heavenly Father must have embraced the Blessed Mother with great warmth in His thoughts… She was destined to be the Mother of our Saviour”.
The birth of Our Lady was the object of longing and joyful expectation from all eternity not only in God’s plans but also in the hearts of those longing for a Messiah to be born. Mary’s wondrous birth far surpassed all human reckoning in that she was born without the stain of sin. We are told that John the Baptist leapt in his mother’s womb when Mary visited her. Thus, we too have the capacity to recognize that joyous and hope-filled presence of the Christ-bringer and Christ-bearer and to have our hearts lifted in wonder and awe.
We also call Mary the “Dawn of Day’ or the “Dove of Peace”. Dawn precedes the fullness of the light of day. The dove of peace brought the message of peace for all expectant hearts. Mary’s birth brought hope and joy for all humankind. She exemplifies for us the fullness of our human dignity. She personifies complete openness to God’s wishes and her birth heralds a new springtime for all of humanity.
In our turbulent times, it seems that darkness constantly threatens to overcome the light and peace is being eroded in countless ways – by the evil one, by power-hungry people and by a lukewarm Christianity. Mary is the one who crushes the head of the serpent, who teaches us to serve with humility and who forms and educates us towards a radical commitment to our faith. She is truly God’s masterpiece in whom nature and grace are fully integrated! She is our Immaculata! We are called to be like her and reveal her features for our times. May she be ‘born again” in and through each one of us!