8 Sep 2017
Feast of the Nativity of the BVM
“Do not be afraid to take Mary into your home,” the angel said to Joseph. And there are two other events that come to mind when we hear this. First, at the crucifixion when Jesus said to John, “Behold your Mother,” and the disciple “took her into his home.” And then, second, at the birth of Mary to Joachim and Anne, when she was welcomed into their home as the fruit of prayer and faith.
On this feast day of the Birth of the Blessed Virgin Mary, we see that her whole life is characterized by her dependence on the hospitality of others. She’s like the proverbial baby in a basket left on the doorstep. She never forces her way in, but can only be welcomed into the home.
What we know of Mary’s birth comes mostly from the “Infancy Gospel” of James (or the “Protoevangelium” of James). And in it, Mary’s mother, Anne, is described as having made her daughter’s bedroom into a “sanctuary,” a holy place befitting the holiness and specialness of her child. Mary was a cause for joy, gratitude and holiness in her parents’ hearts. And therein seems to be the gospel, the “good news,” of today’s feast.
God gives us the Blessed Virgin as a help to our own holiness and happiness. And so, as the angel said, “Do not be afraid to take Mary into your home,” into your hearts.