Tuesday, September 8, 2015

The Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary

Dear Fathers, Friends in Christ, 

The virgin shall be with child and bear a son, and they shall name him Emmanuel. (Matthew 1:23)

Today is Mary’s birthday, so let’s all celebrate. In fact, why not gather your family, bake a cake, and have a party! 

Why all the celebration, anyway? Well, when a close friend or a member of your family has a birthday, you get excited for that person, don’t you? You want to celebrate with him or her. You want to make the day special because you love this person and because he or she is an important part of your life.

Should it be any different for Mary, your mother? She’s part of your family as well. From the beginning of time, when the Father planned to send his Son to us, he also planned that Mary would be his mother. Now, through Christ, we have been made children of God—brothers and sisters to Jesus. And that makes Mary our mother. So in a sense, today’s Gospel reading, the genealogy of Jesus, is a listing of your own spiritual family tree. Starting with Abraham, your forefather in faith, it traces your ancestors all the way up to Joseph and Mary. Their story is your story. Their hopes and dreams are your hopes and dreams. In other words, you belong!

As a member of God’s family, you have an important role to play in God’s plan, just as Mary did. As a parent, sister, brother, daughter, son, friend, co-worker, or neighbour, he wants you to bear Christ to the people around you, just as Mary did. That can sound like a tall order, and in one sense, it is. But never let this calling overwhelm you. Remember that you have the best mother in the world to help you. Remember too that you are not alone. You have a huge, wonderful family to support you. 

So go ahead, and have some cake today. Celebrate with your brothers and sisters what a great mother you have! 

“Father, thank you for giving me Mary as my mother. Help me to rejoice and embrace the role that I have in building your kingdom.” 

Father Ed Bakker 
Anglican Catholic Church / Original Province 
Mission of Saint Aidan of Lindisfarne 
Bendigo, Australia 

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