The Nativity of Mary

Today is the feast of the Nativity of Mary. It has been exactly nine months since we celebrated her Immaculate Conception, so today the Church from ancient times has celebrated her birth.

Tradition has it (e.g., the “gospel of James”) that Mary was born to Joachim and Anna, her parents. We know essentially nothing of her birth, but it is thought she was born either in Jerusalem, not far from the Temple, or in Nazareth. What we know by faith is she was born sinless by the singular grace given her by God and through the merits of her Son’s death and resurrection, and she retained her sinlessness throughout her life.

Today’s feast is “a new day dawning” in our world. As I was driving to town today, some twelve miles in distance, I was struck by the early light of the eastern sky along the Mississippi River. I couldn’t help but think of Mary’s birth as the beginnings of a new day in the history of humankind. I knew I was going to be asked to offer the homily at 6:30 am Mass at the Cathedral in La Crosse this morning, so this early morning experience formed the center of the thoughts I shared with the congregation: Mary is the dawning of a new day, reflecting the light of her Son. She is the new Eve, the instrument through which salvation and truth entered the world.  The first Eve was the instrument through whom sin entered the world; now Mary comes to reverse the course, to crush the head of the serpant, to act as God’s dwelling for nine months, to model for us the heights to which we are called as sons and daughters of the Lord, and to intercede for us in a very powerful way in our efforts to conquer sin and death in our own lives.

A new day has dawned…

About Deacon Bob

Moderator: Deacon Bob Yerhot of the Diocese of Winona-Rochester, Minnesota.
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