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As the life of Christ began with Mary, so too the life of the Christian begins with Mary. The feast of the Nativity of Mary, Mother of God, is on September 8, nine months after she was conceived by her parents, whom tradition names Joachim and Anna. Today we celebrate one of the most consequential birthdays in the history of the world! Certainly, the only birthday more important is that of our divine Lord Himself. But today we honor His mother, and our mother, too.

The Blessed Virgin Mary was born into our world without the stain of original sin.

She was preserved from experiencing fallen human nature through the gift of her Immaculate Conception. Thus, she was the first to be born in the perfection of human nature after the fall, and she continued to experience this grace throughout her life, responding to God with her free will every step of the way.

Birthday celebrations bring happiness to the celebrant as well as to family and friends. This feast gives us the opportunity for each of us to ponder the incredible blessings that God has bestowed upon each one of us, to reflect on the childhood of Mary, and the new beginning that God brought about in her and with her. Every human birth is a call for new hope in the world. Therefore, the main invitation that will help us make better use of this opportunity is to begin something new in our walk with the Lord.

Begin new classes, engage new people, new projects, new hobbies that provide opportunities to grow in virtue and grow in knowledge of God’s presence. Writing about the ordinariness of Mary’s birth, modern Orthodox theologian Alexander Schmemann writes: Is there anything remarkable, anything especially unique about the normal birth of a child, a birth like any other? The Church began to commemorate the event with a special feast … because, on the contrary, the very fact that it is routine discloses something fresh and radiant about everything we call routine and ordinary, it gives new depth to the unremarkable details of human life… (Homily for the Nativity of the Theotokos)

Whatever undertaking you endeavor, however, ask God for the grace of childlike innocence when approaching it. that grace of innocent trust for which Our Lady is especially known. And this grace is a sharing in that newness of life which our Baptism promises.

A wonderful Birthday to our Blessed Mother! Happy Feast Day to all Her children!


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