Wednesday, September 8, 2010

The Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary

(Micah 5:1-4a; Matthew 1-16.18-23)

Although it is different in the southern hemisphere, in the north we celebrate the birth of Mary when summer’s heat dissipates into comfortable warmth. The weather outside mirrors Mary’s presence to the Church as gentle and consoling. For this reason, we confidently turn to her for assistance in praying to God.

Of course, stories of successful Marian intercession are many and varied. She was beseeched for years to pray for the conversion of the Soviet Union. One of the great blessings of our times, although still not fully realized, has been the peaceful dismantling of atheistic Communism.

It is not necessary to ask Mary’s help. After all, the New Testament proclaims Jesus himself as our primary intercessor. But Mary, as the gospel today indicates, keeps our faith moored to the surety that Jesus is human as well as divine. Going to Mary with human needs is not doing an end-run around Jesus. Quite the contrary, it is acknowledging Jesus as completely concerned with our requirements and aspirations.