Happy Birthday! Today, the Church celebrates the birthday of a humble, lowly servant; a woman who played a pivotal role in Salvation History. This woman is none other than the Blessed Virgin Mary herself – Mother of Jesus and our mother as well. On this glorious day, it is indeed fitting that we, along with the entire Celestial Court, celebrate the birth of our Mother Mary. For it is through her acceptance of the Lord of Heaven coming down to take His flesh in her very womb that we, and all of humanity, are offered a fresh start and a New Covenant.
Mary is the Mother of Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ, who comes to us daily in the most Holy Eucharist, is the New Covenant. Thus, Mary is the Mother of the New Covenant.
Recall how, in the Old Testament, we see God make a Covenant with Adam. This Covenant was broken by our first parents when they sinned, and ate of the forbidden fruit. They barred the gates of Heaven to themselves and their posterity. Yet, God did not abandon them; rather, He promised to send a Redeemer. God then re-established the Covenant with Noah and then Abraham and then Moses and then David. However, just as quickly as God renewed and re-established the Old Covenant with Israel – His Chosen People – so would Israel break the Covenant. Finally, in the fullness of time, God sent the Redeemer, His Son, Jesus Christ. He would fulfill the Old Covenant and establish the New Covenant in Himself. Through His sacrifice on the Cross, the ancient curse of sin was broken and the Gates of Heaven were once again opened.
For all this to take place though, Jesus Christ was to come down from Heaven and take on human flesh. He did so in the womb of the Blessed Virgin Mary, and it is this extraordinary woman who’s birthday we celebrate today.
I think, the best explanation for all this solemnity surrounding the birth of the Blessed Mother is given in today’s Morning Prayer, from the Divine Office. The Antiphon for the Canticle of Zachariah states:
“Your birth, O Virgin Mother of God, proclaims joy to the whole world, for from you arose the glorious Sun of Justice, Christ our God; He freed us from the age-old curse and filled us with holiness; he destroyed death and gave us Eternal Life.”
This is why we “make such a big deal” about Mary, and today in particular, her sinless birth. She is really important!!!!! Without her, the way by which our salvation came to us would have been very different.
So let us, on this glorious day, thank Our Lord for His goodness and His Mother – our mother, the “Highest Honor of our Race and it’s only boast.” Let us celebrate with her, of whom the very Second Person of the Blessed Trinity took on His human flesh in the womb.
Please join me in a chorus of “Happy Birthday” and a short prayer.
“Happy Birthday to you,
Happy Birthday to you,
Happy Birthday Dear Blessed Mother
Happy Birthday to you!”
A Short Prayer
“O Lord, thank you for all of the graces you have bestowed on Your Blessed Mother and in turn all of the graces that have come to us through her. Today, we especially thank You for her sinless birth. We ask You, by virtue of Your love and mercy, to help us to emulate her sanctity, humility and obedience so as to become more faithfully Your Children. We ask this through Christ Our Lord. Amen”