The Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary
Micah 5:1-4a or Romans 8:28-30
Matthew 1:1-16, 18-23 or 1:18-23
Mary’s Song is Ours
We celebrate the birthday of Mary each year on September 8. I had the privilege to profess my vows as a Passionist on this day 26 years ago. In the first reading, we see that "small" Bethlehem is chosen and is in no means least of the clans of Judah. In the genealogy, some obscure people with storied pasts are chosen to be a part of the lineage of the Messiah. In the alternate reading from Romans, we understand that we were chosen through God’s initiative.
Mary’s song of praise becomes ours when we realize that God has handpicked and favored us. Our lives are the result of divine election and providence. When I was in Scranton, PA preaching our novena to St. Ann, the Catholic TV station asked me to do an interview for them. During the interview, I was asked how it felt to minister on radio and television. I said, "I am well aware that God could have chosen people better looking, more articulate, and holier than I. God chooses the weak and the lowly on purpose to shame the strong." That is why my heart throbs with gratitude and praise when I consider the graciousness of God in my life. Thanks be to God for his gracious plan. We were predestined in Christ to be blessed and fruitful.
Every evening in the Liturgy of the Hours, we sing Mary’s song of praise. Her song is ours on this day when we celebrate her birth and life. "My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord; my spirit rejoices in God my Savior for God has looked with favor on his lowly servant…"
Fr. Cedric Pisegna, C.P. is a missionary preacher, author of 15 books and creator of television and radio programs airing in many cities. You can learn more about his ministry at: http://www.frcedric.org/