Feast of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary
(1 Micah 5:1-4a or Romans 8:28-30; Matthew 1:1-16.18-23)
In his homily for the canonization of St. Teresa of Kolkata Pope Francis told his audience that they must ask themselves, “’What is God’s will in my life?’” Mother Teresa as a religious discerned a calling from God to take care of the poor. She acted on it in such deep and varied ways that her saintliness became evident to the world. Just so the Virgin Mary, whose birthday we celebrate today, discerned her calling.
Today’s gospel indicates how God planned for eternity the coming of His Son. His intentions were implemented at once independently and coordinately in the actions of each person in the long list of Jesus’ ancestors. Most of all, they were construed and acted upon by Mary and Joseph. The two must have discovered in their reflections why they were born. That is, Mary found by giving birth and raising Jesus and Joseph by participating in his upbringing answers to Pope Francis’ question: “What is God’s will in my life?”
Each of us should be asking herself or himself the same question. The answer probably will not be to become a priest or religious. But it can be said with certainty that the answer will be not only something moral but also something supportive of God’s people. God has graciously given everyone one of us life so that we might serve others as part of His eternal family.