THE BIRTH OF THE BLESED VIRGIN MARY – 8 SEPTEMBER
In celebrating this special feast of the Virgin Mary, St. Andrew of Crete [c.650-July 4, 712 or 726 or 740] once declared, “Let all creation sing and dance and contribute its fullest measure of joy to the day’s celebration. Today heaven and earth join in a single festival and celebrate together, for today a shrine is fashioned for the world’s Creator! Today a new dwelling is readied by creatures for the Author of creation!” We also can join in the rejoicing, since it was for our sake too that God chose Mary to be the mother of Jesus.
We are all familiar with the famous passage from John’s Gospel that says, “God so loved the world that He gave His only Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16). We hear this verse and marvel at God’s plan of salvation in Christ. But it’s also marvelous the way God’s plan involved a sinless virgin mother to bear His Son into the world.
From age to age, God has unfolded His plan with painstaking care. He did not just send Jesus to earth one day. He had to choose and form the right parents for His Son, and He even went so far as to choose and form His grandparents, and so on. Imagine all the work God did to shape Mary so that she could become Jesus’ first teacher in what it was like to live in this world and stay close to God.
Recalling all God’s plans shows us how committed God is to us. Indeed, just as God carefully chose Mary to play a special part in His plan of salvation, He now has an important role for each of us to play as we imitate Mary’s humility and trust. Just as He did with Mary, God delights in telling us the plans He has for us!
Jakarta, 8 September 2014
A Christian Pilgrim