Feast of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary
(Micah 5:1-4a; Matthew 1:1-16.18-23)
Did you ever have to pinch yourself to make sure you were not dreaming? Sometimes things happen that are so incredible that we think we are imagining them. Perhaps we see a person that we presumed to be dead. “Can it be so?” we ask ourselves. The other day an Iraqi Shiite soldier survived the massacre of fellow Shiite prisoners by ISIS militia. He had a terrible ordeal but still may have had to pinch himself to know that he was alive. We celebrate the birth of the Virgin Mary for a similar reason.
It is almost incredible that God would become human. Why would the Almighty reduce himself to the fragility of humankind? Perhaps it can be compared to one of us becoming an ant! Who would want to be the smallest of animals that carries cargo all day long? No one would, yet God became human. Today in recognizing the birth of Mary, we acknowledge that her son, divine by conception of the Holy Spirit, was through her a human being.
We must ask ourselves, why did God become human if it was such a come down? The answer, of course, is that He loves us. God saw in human beings a faint likeness to Himself that He wanted us to share in His eternal life. But that required that we become as caring as He. For this reason Christ died on the cross. By his life and death we are rid of our selfishness and filled with his love.