Homily for the Feast of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary:
By: Rev Fr Oselumhense Anetor (Uromi Diocese).
Today’s feast, which has been celebrated since the Sixth Century, helped determine December 8 as the Feast of the Immaculate Conception. We do not find a record of Mary’s birth in scriptures; only in the Apocryphal – ‘Protoevangelium of James’. This is where we also learn that Anna and Joachim were the parents of Mary. Though this work has no historical value, and does not make it to the Canon of scriptures, it does tell us something about the development of Christian piety at that time. St. Augustine describes the birth of the Blessed Virgin Mary as an event of cosmic and historic significance, and an appropriate prelude to the birth of Jesus Christ.
In the first reading, from the prophecy of Micah, the promise of a child born of the Virgin, who will redeem Israel is anticipated. Then, Matthew’s gospel begins with a genealogy; a mnemonic (easily memorisable text) of this child, which is divided into three parts of fourteen people each. The first part is traced to David, who brought Israel together as one nation. The second part is traced to the Babylonian deportation and Exile. The third part is traced to Jesus, the one who sets us free. Finally, Matthew includes sinful women, and non-Jews, in his list, to remind us that Jesus’s lineage was made up of ordinary imperfect people. From these stages we learn that man was destined for greatness, and though he lost that opportunity, God gave him his Son born of Mary, to lead him back to God. See? We cannot but celebrate the birth of one whom God so highly favoured.
Happy Celebration of the Birthday of the BLESSED VIRGIN MARY.
Good morning dear. God bless your day ahead.