+ Today's celebration of the birth of the Blessed Virgin Mary is as humble and unassuming as she was. It was only after the church Council of Ephesus in 431 – when Mary was designated as true "Mother of God" that devotion to her spread far and wide in the Western Church. And among the remembrances of the life of Mary, no doubt, was the fact of her birth – though it was always quietly remembered and celebrated. It is not certain where she was born; some say Nazareth, others Jerusalem. But no matter where it was it was a special birth. She, who would give birth to the savior of the world, entered the world to prepare the first tabernacle of flesh for the living God – her womb - for the Son of God. And his greatness would reach to the ends of the earth – and he would be peace for those who wanted to participate in peace!
It was holy Joseph who would take Mary later as his wife – having found her with child of the Holy Spirit. To Joseph the angel announced that her son would be named Jesus for he would save his people from their sins: and he shall also be called Emmanuel, a name which means "God is with us."
The hallmark of Mary's life was obedience to the will of God; as was the hallmark of Joseph's. This too must be the hallmark of any who call themselves Christian – being baptized into the very life of Christ Jesus for the forgiveness of their sins.
The final stages of preparation for the arrival of such a Messiah and Redeemer began the day that Mary, daughter of Joachim and Anne, was born.
With delight we rejoice in the Lord who has been good to us – through a humble maiden of Nazareth!