Feast of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary

It has been nine months since the solemnity of the Immaculate Conception, so today we celebrate the feast of the birth of the Blessed Virgin Mary.  The sacred scriptures contain no description of the birth of our Lady.  The earliest description is found in the Protoevangelium of James, which dates to the second century.  Because the fathers of the church found some aspects of that text questionable (but not heretical), it was kept out of the canon of scripture.

What today’s gospel contains, instead, is the genealogy of our Lord.  St. Matthew gives us a lengthy genealogy, containing many men and women.  Very few of us would be able to provide a similar genealogy for ourselves.  The point is that if you want to know a person, then you will want to know where he or she came from.  Likewise, if you love a person, then you will have at least some love for the people and places and events that helped to form that person.  Therefore, if you love our Lord, then it is to be expected that you will grow in love for His mother and his other ancestors, like Ruth, Jesse and David.

This is not to deny that verse in Philippians: “forgetting what lies behind but straining forward to what lies ahead.”  We can better understand what lies ahead, which is ultimately God Himself, if we consider the good things that He has done in the past.

September 8th, 2016