Matthew 1:1-16, 18-23
Today we celebrate the birthday of the Blessed Virgin Mary. She is our mother. This birthday needs to be celebrated in a great way.
The birthday of the Blessed Virgin Mary reminds us of God’s mercy and love to us. In the plan to save the world, God sends His Son to come and suffer for us. The womb that made this possible is the womb of the Blessed Virgin Mary.
There is no biblical record of the circumstances surrounding the birthday of the Blessed Virgin Mary but some documents and writings of the early Christians make some references to how she was born.
One of these is the Proto Evangelium gospel of St. James which was probably put into its final written form in the early second century.
The book describes that the parents of the Blessed Virgin Mary; Joachim and Anne were childless for so many years. Because of how deeply devoted they are, they kept praying and waiting on the Lord.
Thus, God truly answered them with the gift of the Blessed Virgin Mary after a visit from an angel, who assured them that the child to be born will be blessed.
Hence, after her birth, the Blessed Virgin Mary dedicates herself to God and the temple service. Thus, it was there at the temple that the Angel Gabriel appeared to her with the good news of the birth of the Messiah.
So, as we celebrate the birthday of the Blessed Virgin Mary, let us know that her birth was according to God’s plan.
God prepared her womb to carry God the Son. The body of the Blessed Virgin Mary was prepared to give flesh to God the Son. So, for this to happen, this flesh is prepared to be without sin. For Jesus cannot save the world with flesh ruled by sin. So, the birthday of the Blessed Virgin Mary is so special.
The Prophecy About Her Birth.
After the fall of man in the book of Genesis, God told the serpent “I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your seed and her Seed; He shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise his heel.” This foreshadows the birth of Someone, the “He”, who is going to crush the head of the serpent.
Many scholars interpret this to be a prophecy of the birth of the Messiah who is the seed of the woman that will crush the head of the serpent. Thus, if the seed is Jesus Christ, by implication, the woman is Mary.
It then means God gave a prophecy about the birth of this woman. She is the one to give birth to the Messiah who is going to crush the head of the serpent. It means that the Blessed Virgin was specially prepared by God to bear his Son.
Therefore, her birth was not accidental but according to God’s plan.
There are also many biblical references to the virgin who is going to conceive and bear a son. Examples are in the first reading of today according to Micah 5:1-4 and Isaiah 7;14.
Thirdly, when you read the genealogy according to Mathew we may conclude that the reading is dry.
The reading, first of all, is an indication that Jesus is truly the Messiah, the son of David as prophesied (2 Samuel 7:12–16; Isaiah 11:1; Jeremiah 23:5–6).
By this genealogy, Mathew is invariably revealing the identity of Jesus as the Messiah. If Jesus is the messiah and his birth was foretold, then God also prepared the womb that is going to bear His son.
Matthew is revealing that Jesus is the Messiah they are waiting for. The genealogy shows He has an identity that flows from the line of David.
So, if Jesus is the fulfilment of the coming of the Messiah, the woman who gives birth to Him is part of the messianic plan. Therefore, the birthday of the Blessed Virgin Mary is also part of God’s messianic plan.
Fourthly, when you read the genealogy it is surprising that Matthew mentioned five women among the ancestors of Jesus: Tamar, Rahab, Ruth, the wife of Uriah, and Mary. Four of them are foreigners and have something irregular with their stories.
In the Jewish culture, the Jews trace descendants only through their male counterparts and not women. Today, Matthew includes women on the list.
The women on the list have an abnormal history. And while concluding his gospel Matthew also refers that Mary was betrothed to Joseph, but before they came to live together she was found to be with child. Being an upright man, He wanted to quietly divorce her until the angel told Joseph that the child in Mary’s womb is through the power of the Holy Spirit.
Through this assertion, Matthew solemnly asserts how those women played significant roles in the Davidic lineage. Then when it comes to the Blessed Virgin Mary, Matthew asserts the true origin of the Messiah.
What it means is that although the Messiah is from the Davidic Lineage and born of woman as well His birth is through the power of the Holy Spirit.
The genealogy gives credence to Jesus’ divinity and humanity. Therefore, this means that the Mother of Jesus is a vessel God uses to bring this plan to fulfilment. So, the birthday of the Blessed Virgin Mary is not ordinary.
God has A Way of Doing Things.
The message of today is that God has a reason for everything He does. The way we think is very far from the way God thinks.
God uses the things we think there is nothing in them to surprise us. The first reading calls Bethlehem Ephratah the least of the tribes but yet through it a ruler will rise.
Also in the case of Anne and Joachim, we do not have to underrate what God can do. Do not underrate what He can do in the future with your present condition. There may be something great He has in store for you.
God has His reasons when things happen around us. We have to trust Him deeply.
Secondly, If God can make use of foreigners, with abnormalities to bring forth the Messiah, God can use anyone to do mighty wonders.
So, do not underrate the future of any person. Joseph thinks that Mary’s pregnancy is an abomination. Joseph does not know that it is the will of God.
Sometimes many conditions we think are bad in themselves are not truly bad. There may be something God is preparing in the future for you through the conditions you are in presently.
So, do not underrate what God can do with where you are and what you have. Many situations we conclude are evil may not be true. Always keep your faith strong.
The birthday of the Blessed Virgin Mary is worthy of celebration.
Let us celebrate our mother Mary today in a grand style. Happy birthday to Our Blessed Mother Mary!!
May God have mercy on us and give us the grace to live according to His plan. May we see His goodness in everything we do. Amen.