Celebrate today. Let it teach us. It can teach patience in the
face of present woe. The Lord’s loving plan for our salvation unfolds across
generation after generation after generation. Understanding that is part
of the intent of today’s Gospel list of Jesus’ ancestors. Imagine the long
list of names of your own ancestors. Imagine the long life story that is
attached to each name – all the pain, all the joy, all the long days and
nights of each life that led to you.
Families gather to celebrate birthdays.
There is no historical evidence that the Blessed Virgin Mary was born on
September 8. But today’s celebration of her birth lifts our sights. The celebration
tells us that there is reason to hope even when the rest of the world tells
us something different. If only to help us hang on when we are weary and
on the verge of despair, we need this feast day. The date doesn’t really
It is easy to lose hope when our eyes are fixed only on the burdens of today.
Everyone at one time or another – for any number of reasons – feels hopeless
It might be some family difficulty: A tragic untimely illness or death, financial
problems, a loved one suffering from addiction, or simply some disagreement
that has sown enmity in the clan. Or there might be trouble at work: Failure
of a plan or project, toxic politics, an awful liar of a boss.
Simply contemplating the day’s headlines can drain us of hope.
Today’s feast, the birthday of the Blessed Virgin Mary, is the perfect antidote.
It is a reminder that no matter how awful things might seem today, we need
not be driven by our fears. Today’s readings reach back to the beginning
of time. We are told that the Lord’s loving intent from the beginning is
our salvation. He will bring his eternal love to us through a seemingly unimportant
young woman living in a dusty little corner of the world.
Astounding. Truly astounding. At the very least, we should have a party.