Today we celebrate the birthday of Our Lady, the Mother of Jesus.
Birthdays celebrate the gift of a person, the gift of who they are.
The Church calls Mary Mother of the Church, our Mother.
In the Gospels, Mary has a significant place.
She accepts to be the Mother of Jesus. In this way she accepts to be part of God’s plan for humanity.
She faithfully looks after Jesus as he is growing up.
She obviously helped others going out of her way, such as visiting Elizabeth when she heard that she was pregnant with John the Baptist.
She pondered God’s word in her heart.
She is present at Jesus’ first public ministry at Cana, in fact helps to instigate it. She is with Jesus at the cross and is with him when he dies. Thereby she is there at His last act of public ministry.
She is given to us as Mother by Jesus when He is on the cross.
Mary is present at Pentecost when the Holy Spirit comes on the early Church.
Devotion to Our Lady has been present in the Church from earliest times.
All the ancient Churches, Catholic, Orthodox, Eastern Orthodox Churches, Coptic Church, Armenian Church, and some parts of the later Churches, some Anglican and some other groups have a special place for Mary.
There have been many apparitions of Mary that have been recognised by the Church as being credible, as being authentic. The message of the visions, most often, have a common theme. The central theme is ‘conversion and a return to Jesus, to God’.
Mary always points to Jesus. She told the servants at the miracle of Cana, when Jesus turned the water into wine, to do whatever Jesus told them to do. This message has continued throughout the ages.
As a member, a very special member of the Communion of Saints, she is a friend, loving and encouraging us to keep moving forward in faith.
She encourages each one of us to be faithful to God like she always was, to avoid sin, and to choose life and love.
Happy birthday to our ‘Heavenly Mother’