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BIRTHDAY OF OUR LADY

Father Francis's picture
Birthday of Our Lady

Our Lady, the Mother of God and the Mother of each one of us, is the greatest and loveliest human person who ever walked this Earth. Her parents Anne and Joachim must have been very special people to give birth to such a grace-filled loving person who, alone of all humans, was conceived immaculate and whom sin never touched throughout her life. St. Alphonsus tells us that Mary had more grace given her at the moment of her existence than all the angels, the saints and everyone put together received. What a special person she is! How much God loved her and how much we should respect her.

The more grace God gives a person, of course, the more He expects from them. Mary did not disappoint God: her response to Him was courageous and wholehearted. She had just one thought and that was to please God at all times. It was as if, at the beginning of her life, she signed a cheque to God and left it blank - so that He could stipulate the price she should pay! The amount was immense because it involved standing at the foot of the Cross and seeing her Son die the cruellest of deaths. As Simeon had prophesied “a sword pierced her heart” when the soldier's lance pierced her dead Son, but she lovingly and willingly gave her will to the Father.

She was fortunate beyond our understanding to have had her Son to herself for 30 years. Then the time came for her to let Him go to begin His mission of finding 12 men who would begin His Church and continue His work. When He was 12 years old she had lost Him for three days and it broke her heart. Now she would follow His progress and support Him on His journey to the Cross, for which Jesus would have prepared His Mother to enable her to knowingly participate in His Sacrifice and make it even more perfect.

Today, when we think of Jesus who took our human nature and Mary who was a human person like ourselves, we have our true models. We can be proud to be human like them. They inspire us to lead better lives. But when we do look at our lives we realise we fall far short of the persons we should be, and so we beg them to help us to be the people our Heavenly Father intended us to be.

On this the birthday of Our Lady we thank Jesus, while hanging on the Cross, for giving us His Mother to be our Mother. May Mary help us to love her Son as generously and courageously as she did.