Picture by Dennis Maturan
Praised be Jesus, Mary, and Joseph!
The ber months are already upon us and it’s beginning to look like Christmas. I do not say this on account of our overly excited friends to play Christmas songs and put up decors at the onset of September. You might have noticed, the readings today are very Christmassy. The prophet Micah speaks of Bethlehem from which will come the Messiah-king of Israel. And of course, who will not forget the genealogy of the Lord which is always read on the 2nd day of the Simbang Gabi and also on the vigil Mass of Christmas? We might find fault with those who begin Christmas early but it seems that today’s liturgy does the same thing.
Of course we are not celebrating today the Birth of the Lord but that of his Mother. And yet, we cannot help but associate the two with each other. After all, the birth of the Mother is the sure sign of the birth of the Son. Even the collect could not help but make the connection: …the feast of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin may bring deeper peace to those for whom the birth of her Son was the dawning of salvation! It does not surprise us that on the feast of our Lady’s birth, the readings do not refer in any way whatsoever to her birth but to that of her Son Jesus. And I think it is because the significance of the mystery we celebrate today is found in the mystery of the Incarnation of the Son of God. The Incarnation of God the Son is the necessary step to the Paschal Mystery for what flesh and blood could Christ sacrifice on the Cross had he not assumed human nature? Would the Immortal God be capable of dying had he not taken upon himself human flesh? And could the Incarnation take place without involving a woman who would consent to be his Mother…the Virgin who shall be with child and bear a son who shall be named Immanuel? Indeed, she who was born today is the bridal chamber from where the Bridegroom shall rise to meet his bride. She is the ark upon which the Lord shall sit as on a throne. She is God’s field in which the Holy Spirit shall drop down heavenly dew so that it may bring forth a Savior. Hers would be a womb so blessed that it will bring forth a holy fruit who is Christ the Lord.
The birth of our Lady shows God’s resoluteness in fulfilling his promise of salvation to sinful humanity. God is truly intent on saving us…thus he brings forth the virgin who will soon provide his only begotten Son with the flesh he needed for the sacrifice. The unblemished Lamb of God will come forth from his Immaculate Mother. Here is the Woman who will be in enmity with the serpent and who will crush his head. God is fulfilling his promises. He may have given his people up but only insofar as the prophecy would be fulfilled: “The Lord shall give them up, until the time when she who is to give birth has borne.” Yes, that time of redemption is at hand. The one who is to give birth is born. The Lord will not give up his people any longer. His anger has abated. His anger does not last forever. He is now ready to reconcile the world to himself. The long night of waiting is drawing to a close. The rising of the Sun of Justice is soon to come. The one from whom He will come forth is born today!
Jesus, I trust in you! O Mary conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to thee!