Gospel Reflections

Feast of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary

Matthew 1:1-16, 18-23

Feast Day Reflection by Sister Mary Boretti

Published: September 08, 2017


A short time ago our family was blessed with the birth of precious twin boys and just recently another grandniece announced that she is expecting her third child in December.  Hearing of the birth of a baby is a cause for such great joy, isn’t it?

Today we celebrate the Birth of Mary, the mother of Jesus.  We can well imagine the joy of her parents whom tradition has named Anna and Joachim.  When I first meet my newly arrived grandnieces and nephews, I always find myself pondering questions like: “Who does he resemble in the family?” or  “Who will she become?” or  “What will the world be like when they are grown?”  Anna and Joachim probably pondered many of their own questions at Mary’s birth.  They could never have imagined what God had in mind for her.  We, now 2000 years later, continue to ask our own questions as we contemplate Mary’s life.  As Sisters of Notre Dame, Mary holds a significant place in our spirituality. By engaging with Mary our relationship with her deepens.  Through our own prayer and reflection we continue to ponder who she is for us, for our church, for our world.   We might recall specific times  when we have brought our own questions directly to her.  Perhaps our engagement with her has helped us discover more of what God had in mind for us.

Mary is the prototype of all Christians, especially for us Sisters and Associates of Notre Dame de Namur. As God asked to take on flesh and become incarnate within Mary, God asks the same of each one of us.  God offers Godself to us even before we invite God into our life.  It is God’s initiative.  How open and receptive are we?  The awesome, incredible mystery is that when we are receptive and say ‘yes’ to God’s invitation to allow the Christ to be enfleshed in us we become who we truly are… which is a cause for great inner Joy!

God announced his presence in Mary’s life.  We too, through prayer especially, become more awakened to that divine presence in our lives and at the same time, to the never-ending request and desire of God for us “to make real and credible” the Word of God.  As Mary gave her own flesh and blood to Jesus we are called to put flesh on the Gospel in our times especially to the most challenging and “unrealistic” words of Jesus: “Love your enemies; do good to those who persecute you” and “Love your neighbor as yourself” for in reality we are One and the same.  Only then will the transforming healing and tender presence of a loving God be brought to birth in our world.

Mary, Cause of our Joy, pray for us.

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