The Gospel Today
Feast of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary
This is how the birth of Jesus Christ came about.
When his mother Mary was betrothed to Joseph,
but before they lived together,
she was found with child through the Holy Spirit.
Joseph her husband, since he was a righteous man,
yet unwilling to expose her to shame,
decided to divorce her quietly.
Such was his intention when, behold,
the angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said,
“Joseph, son of David,
do not be afraid to take Mary your wife into your home.
For it is through the Holy Spirit
that this child has been conceived in her.
She will bear a son and you are to name him Jesus,
because he will save his people from their sins.”
All this took place to fulfill
what the Lord had said through the prophet:
Behold, the virgin shall be with child and bear a son,
and they shall name him Emmanuel,
which means “God is with us.”
Reflection (Sem. Dondon O. Dimaano Jr.)
One of my brothers here in the community celebrated his birthday recently. I asked him: ”Have you called your mother?” (her mother from Mindanao recently visited him). He replied that he has not but I encouraged him to do so telling him: “You see, whenever we celebrate our birthdays, I believe that our mothers also celebrate their birthdays. It is indeed also a “birth” day for them!
We remember today the nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary but we can see that the Gospel tells of the birth of Jesus. This shows the very close relationship between the two. As Mary points us to Jesus, our Lord I believe would also point us to Mary, His mother for He knows that Mary will always lead us to God. A perfect example of humility, she never considered any of her glories her own and acknowledged that she was just a handmaid of the Lord (cf Lk 1:38) and that her whole being magnifies only the Lord (cf Lk 1:46), and not herself. The story could have been a ‘disgrasya’ (disgrace) knowing the situation of the couple. There were so many extraordinary events that happened in the Gospel narrative surrounding Jesus’ birth: the virgin conception of a child, the appearance of an angel in Joseph’s dream, and a child being conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit. But it took the extraordinary obedience, humility, and cooperation of Joseph and Mary for God’s plans to be fulfilled. And Jesus’ birth became the most important event that ever happened in human history for it brought us salvation and gave meaning to our existence. Because of Mary’s fiat, everything became a ‘grasya’ (grace).
Following the example of Our Lady, I must always be ready to trust and obey God’s will so every day, a transformation of the heart will happen within me – a birth to holiness through God’s grace. Amen.