8 Sept 2016
Feast of the Nativity of Mary
Every year on September 8th, Catholics around the world celebrate the birth of Saint Mary. But, you know, when she was born, it was a pretty normal thing; she was one child of thousands born at that time. It wasn’t like when Jesus was born; when the angels all came to the shepherds to proclaim the good news; when the Star of Bethlehem was shining bright in the night sky, and the angels sang, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to people of goodwill.”
When Mary was born, it wasn’t like that at all. Her birth was pretty normal; it wasn’t unusual. So why do we celebrate her birth today, over two thousand years later? Well, I think it’s because Saint Mary’s birthday reminds us that God has a plan, and everybody has a part in that plan. Remember how the Prophet Micah talked about the mother of the new ruler of the people; how that mother would someday be born.
Way before Saint Mary was born, God already knew that he was going to create her. And God had a definite part for her in his plans; she was going to be the Mother of God. And this is really important to remember. God has a plan, and everybody has a part in it. Mary has her part to play, but what about everybody here? Way before we were born, God already knew he was going to create each one of us—for a reason.
Each person here—from the smallest preschooler, to the wisest 8th Grader; from our parents to our grandparents and beyond—each and every one of us was brought into this world by God . . . for a reason. You know, when we celebrate our birthdays every year, do you know what we’re celebrating? We’re celebrating fact that God thought it was a good idea to make each of you. Each and every person is loved by God—it doesn’t matter who you are or what others say about you. God made you because he needs you to be here.
Maybe in God’s plan, he needs people who are cheerful and can make others happy. Maybe in God’s plan, he needs people who like to think about things; people who are a little quieter. Maybe in God’s plan, he needs people who like to play sports; people who set a good example of what it means to be dedicated and enthusiastic. In God’s plan, everybody has a part to play. Maybe your part is to be a good friend to your friends. Who knows.
Today we celebrate Saint Mary’s birthday. God had a purpose in creating her. And God has a purpose in creating each one of us. Our challenge—and our joy!—is to be who and what God made us to be. He needs us to be ourselves—for the good of others, for our own good, and for the salvation of the whole world.