Feast of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary
The Byzantine Orthodox Church has a beautiful prayer to the Christ child on Christmas. The prayer expresses the age-old desire to present Jesus with a special gift. It proposes as a truly worthy offering on the part of humanity a Virgin Mother. She is Mary, the fairest of women – one who will prepare Jesus for his mission of revealing God’s love.
Today the Church celebrates Mary in a special way. Hers is the only birthday recognized in the liturgical calendar besides those of Jesus and John the Baptist. By calling attention to her birth, the Church recognizes a life completely dedicated to God.
Mary is also singled out as a model for young and old today. We should find in her chastity to be happy in our state of life. She also personifies obedience to God’s will as she accepts the offer to be the Mother of the Savior. Most of all, of course, Mary exemplifies love. She cares for Jesus at his birth in Matthew and Luke and at his death in John’s gospel. She speaks up in Cana for the whole world. “’They have no wine,’” is a plaintive call for the happiness of the kingdom. Each of us should strive to live as faithfully as this woman.