This liturgical year September 8, 2019, the Feast of the Birth of Mary fell on a Sunday. The Sunday Mass always supersedes the feast of a saint, but let us never overlook Mary’s role in salvation history.
Taken from Saint of the Day – Leonard Foley, O.F.M., Editor
The Church has celebrated Mary’s birth since at least the 6th century. A September birth was chosen because the Eastern Church begins its Church year in September. The September 8th date helped determine the date for the feasts of the Immaculate Conception (nine months earlier).
Scripture does not give an account of Mary’s birth. However, the apocryphal Protoevangelium of James fills in the gap. This work has no historical value, but it does reflect the development of Christian piety. According to this account, Anna and Joachim are infertile but pray for a child. They receive the promise of a child that will advance God’s plan of salvation for the world. Such a story (like many biblical counterparts) stresses the special presence of God in Mary’s life from the beginning.
St. Augustine connects Mary’s birth with Jesus’ saving work. He tells the earth to rejoice and shine forth in the light of her birth. “She is the flower of the field from whom bloomed the precious lily of the valley. Through her birth the nature inherited from our first parents is changed.” The opening prayer at Mass for this feast speaks of the birth of Mary’s son as the dawn of our salvation and asks for an increase of peace.
We can see every human birth as a call for new hope in the world. The love of two human beings has joined with God in His creative work. The loving parents have shown hope in a world filled with travail. The new child has the potential to be a channel of God’s love and peace to the world.
*For this reason I am asking the parents of every first-born child to be baptized, to meet with me or one of the deacons to remind the parents what the Sacrament of Baptism does; It washes away original sin, makes the child a member of the Church, and make the child a catechumen, a learner of the faith. Each new life is unique and precious to our God. Our children must be made aware of God’s great love for them.