By Fr. ROY CIMAGALA,
September 8, 2014
WE have just celebrated on
September 8 the birthday of the Blessed Virgin Mary. She is the mother
of Christ, who is both God and man. Therefore she rightfully could be
called also as the Mother of God.
She is also our mother,
because Christ, before his death, gave her to us through St. John to
be our mother. ďBehold your Mother,Ē he said. It would be good if we
get more aware of this truth and act accordingly, developing a deep
Marian devotion that would always of full of practical effects.
That is why I like that
Latin Marian aspiration: ďBeata Maria Virgine, mater Dei et mater
nostra.Ē (O Blessed Virgin Mary, mother of God and our mother).
Itís an exquisite, heartwarming reminder of the truth of our faith
that we all belong to the family of God, despite our huge and
Her birthday, of course, is
a great occasion for joy. Itís a big family celebration where all the
children from all corners of the world gather together, spiritually
and morally more than physically, to be with their mother, greeting
her and showing her our filial affection.
We may not get along well
among ourselves, divided as we are in our cultural and social
conditions, not to mention our political and economic views. But on
this anniversary of the nativity of our common heavenly mother, we
rise above these differences and unite ourselves with the sole purpose
of making our mother happy.
Obviously what would make
her most happy and what would comprise as the best gift we can give
her on her birthday is when we make another renewal of our promise to
love God above all things and to love others for love of God. This
would make her most happy, since this will be the fulfillment of her
fondest desire for us.
Her birthday, of course, is
a good occasion to pause and reflect again more deeply on the
importance and relevance of our Mother Mary in our lives. She is the
most privileged person, all full of grace from her conception to her
death, assumed to heaven body and soul and crowned as queen of the
She is truly a mother who never stops in taking care of us, of
interceding for us before our Father God, especially when we have
something serious to settle with him.
She is our unconditional
advocate and defender, ever willing to put a good word on our behalf
before the divine seat of justice. She will always try to soften Godís
justice and to gain for us his mercy. She is the very channel of grace
from God to us.
We can also take the
occasion of her birthday to reflect on the significance of birthdays
in general. A birthday is always a happy event, since it is a
celebration of life, a great gift from God, completely gratuitous. It
is the vehicle that bears and carries all the graces and blessings
With oneís birth, itís like
God is all willing to go through an adventure with us that would be an
exciting, suspenseful interplay of Godís love and our freedom to love
him return or not. He is giving us everything, even raising us to be
children of his, made into his image and likeness.
We are all free to uphold
that dignity or mess it up beyond recognition. Still God, with is ever
powerful, wise and merciful providence, would do everything, including
the very mysterious ones, unknown to us, to draw us to him even while
respecting our freedom. Evil would not have the last word. Itís Godís
love and mercy.
These truths of our faith
should be in our mind whenever we celebrate the birthday of someone.
That spontaneous joy we experience when someone is born is due more to
these truths than the mere physical appearance of the baby.
These truths may not be
explicitly articulated, but they are there deeply embedded in our
consciences. Thatís why itís good that from time to time we sit back
and reflect on the significance of birthdays, and update our
consciousness to these fundamental truths.
Better still, we can make
use of the initial human reasons for joy to arrive at the more
fundamental theological reasons behind oneís birthday. God never
suppresses our humanity. He is always respectful of it and continues
to enrich it with his graces.
It is more for us to discern
the abiding workings of divine providence in our life and cooperate
with it as best as we can. Mother Mary can help us greatly in this.