Monthly Reflection for September

“Origo mundi melioris”:-

Blessed Virgin Mary’sbirth is the beginning of a better world

“Your birth, O Virgin Mother of God, proclaims joy to the whole world, for from you arose the glorious Sun of Justice, Christ our God; He freed us from the age-old curse and filled us with holiness; he destroyed death and gave us eternal life.”Amen.

The History of the Feast :-

 “The feast of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary is celebrated each year on the eighth of September. Usually it is the custom of the church to celebrate the feast day of a saint on the date of their death as this is truly their “die natalis”, the day remembered as their birth into everlasting happiness. Mary, however, entered this world sinless through the privilege of the Immaculate Conception and is the firstborn of the redeemed. Her nativity is a cause for great joy as it is considered the” dawn of our salvation” as Pope Paul VI wrote in the document, MarialisCultus in 1972.

There is no reference in the Sacred Scriptures to the birth of Mary. That which is known about Mary’s nativity is found in the Apocrypha, principally the Protoevangelium of James which has been dated by historians prior to 200 AD. This book gives us a detailed account of the birth of Mary which begins in the fifth chapter and even gives a detailed conversation between Mary’s mother, St. Anne and the midwife.

The earliest document commemorating this feast comes from the sixth century. It is generally believed that this feast originated in Jerusalem since there is evidence, in the fifth century, of a church dedicated to St. Anne, located north of the Temple in the neighborhood of the Pool of Bethesda. Sofronius, the Patriarch of Jerusalem, affirmed in the year 603 that this was the location of Mary’s birth. After the Council of Ephesus in 431 AD, the cult of the Blessed Virgin Mary increased significantly. This, combined with the influence of the Apocrypha, may have been a factor in the increase of popular devotion of the people toward Mary

It is generally believed that the date of September 8 was chosen to celebrate the Nativity of Mary since the civil year began in Constantinople on September 1. Scholars believe that this date was chosen since it was symbolic that the “beginning” of the work of salvation should be commemorated near to the beginning of the newyear. The Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception of Mary was later fixed at December 8, nine months prior.

This feast day was introduced in Rome from the Eastern Church in the seventh century. The Syro-Sicilian Pope St. Sergius I, who reigned from 687-701, prescribed a litany and procession be part of the liturgical celebration of this feast day. PaschasiusRadbertus (d.860) wrote that this feast of Mary’s Nativity was being preached throughout the universal church and it became a holy day of obligation for the west by the year 1007.

The primary theme portrayed in the liturgical celebration of this feast day is that the world had been in the darkness of sin and with the arrival of Mary begins a glimmer of light. That light which appears at Mary’s holy birth preannounces the arrival of Christ, the Light of the World. Her birth is the beginning of a better world: “Origo mundi melioris.” The antiphon for the Canticle of Zechariah at Morning Prayer expressed these sentiments in the following way: “Your birth, O Virgin Mother of God, proclaims joy to the whole world, for from you arose the glorious Sun of Justice, Christ our God; He freed us from the age-old curse and filled us with holiness; he destroyed death and gave us eternal life.”
(Reference from ‘The Nativity of BVM’, by Reverend Matthew R. Mauriello)

Blessed Virgin Mary as an event of cosmic and historic significance

Mary was born for a great purpose God had chosen her to be the mother of the savior.  She had the unique privilege of the Immaculate Conception, even as a Child she was adorned with exceptional graces.  St. AlphonsusLiguori Says: ‘She was born a great saint.  Mary’s soul was the most beautiful soul that God ever created.  The disobedient old eve was the mother of the sinful humanity.  Obedient Mary the new Eve, is the mother of the redeemed.  The angel told her ‘the Lord is with you and has greatly blessed you’.  Elizabeth said to her ‘You are the most blessed of all women’.

From time immemorial purity has been considered all over the world as essential tosacrifice.  When God the Son came to the world to offer to the Father the Supreme and infinitely meritorious Sacrifice for the forgiveness of sins, he chose a sinless mother.  It was only reasonable that God should create Mary free from every stain of sin, for the honor of His Son Jesus Christ who is the focal point of every feast day celebration.  If Christ is the Sun of Justice, Mary is the morning star that signals day break.

The motherhood of the BlessedVirgin Mary has marked the beginning of our salvation.  Mary is the woman whose offspring crushed the head of the evil serpent, according to the word of God   (Genesis 3:15).   From her was born Christ our God and our Lord who defeated death and gave us eternal life.  Though we do not have her privileges, we too can become blameless, immaculate in our own small measure, by purifying ourselves of sin and by preserving God’s grace in us.  In this endeavor God is our help, for it is he who has called us to be holy and blameless in his presence (Ephesians 1: 4)

Let usmeditate onhow Mary was fully inserted in God’s plan of salvation and how she cooperated with him in that work with total availability.  She formed a unique group with her Son Jesus in carrying out the work entrusted by God.  Mary was a living miracle of god.  She said yes to Him at the annunciation and lived that yes till the last.  ‘She is not only mother of Jesus she is also our mother’ (St. Ansalem of Canterbury).  What a great mother we have in heaven she is honored all over the world all generations call her blessed.  And god has glorified her in heaven.

Let us remember that Mary reached this glory by passing through trusting obedience and humble silent service.  She gives us a shining example of how to become great and glorious.  In his saving plan for humanity God was pleased with the humility of Mary.  Humility is an indispensable condition for receiving divine gifts.  Onthis birthday of our Blessed Mother let us try to take a leaf out of her Book in accepting God’s plan in listening to his word and in humble service.

Birthday of Mary, the day of the girl Child.

He birthday of Mary, glorious daughter of Sion, is also the day of the girl Child.  God sends every child into the world as a part of his loving plan.  Therefore every family should wholeheartedly welcome every new born girl child with joy, love and hope.  Every person is precious and created in the image of God.  Yet there are many who treat the girl child as an unwelcome guest.  We are aware of the fact that ill treatment and discrimination against the girl child are widespread.  Many girls are subjected to injustice and cruelty even by their own parents and siblings.  God alone knows how many girls,destined to become great like Mother Teresa, Joan of Arc, Teresa of Avila or Clare of Assisi, have not been allowed to see the light of day.  God forbid that the any of us be a partner in such a crime and has the responsibility to discourage others doing it among us.

This therefore is the day in which we should examine the way we deal with our own girl children.  We should be honest enough to accept the truth, correct what is wrong and supply whatis waning.  Let parents today give their girl children of whatever age a loving care, a word of appreciation, and a considerate gift.  Let the brothers show their love and appreciation for their sisters.  And let this spirit and this relationship prevail every day and throughout the year and every year.  Let every doctor and nurse, every mother and father in our society look after all children, girls and boys alike, with love and attention, and respect their dignity and rights.

Where would we be without Mother Mary! Where would we be if our mother was not allowed to be born? Every girl is a precious gift. She is born in the image and likeness of God, equal in dignity as much as a boy.However we live in a culture where sons are preferred over daughters. The elimination, discrimination and atrocities meted out to girl children must be condemned;as such crimes disfigure the image and likeness of God in human persons.Empowering girls and recognizing their potentials bring changes in the world.

Let us pray earnestly for the girl child.   Let us ask Mary the greatest girl-child ever born, to help all to understand the value and beauty of every girl, and too guide us in nurturing and educating every girl child in the spirit of equality, justice and love.

Prayer:-God of Life and Compassion, hear our prayers and strengthen us, your people, to celebrate the gift of every child. Help us to bring a healing touch to children who are afraid, and take steps forward towards protecting them. We make this prayer through Mary, and her son Jesus, who showed us just how precious a girl child can be,