Tuesday, 8 September 2015

Thoughts from the Chaplain - Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary

Our Gospel for this feast is the genealogy of Jesus according to John and we can see that God had been working throughout salvation history through the Hebrew people, all the way through the genealogy of our Blessed Lord. But in a very specific and particular way it was with Our Lady’s birth that the work of salvation had begun in a very practical way. Our Lady, then, could be seen as the dawn; that is, the way that the sky becomes bright even before the sun rises. Jesus being the Sun, Our Lady the dawn that announces the fact that the Sun is coming. We hear in the first reading the prophecy from the prophet Micah about Bethlehem Ephrathah being too small to be among the clans of Judah and yet it is from that particular little town that One is going to be raised up who is going to be the Saviour of the world. Mary, married to Joseph the smallest, the most humble, a young woman from a small town who has been chosen to be the bearer of the Son of God; theotokos  It is through her that  the saviour came into this world; the one whom God had chosen specifically for this task.

By looking to Mary we can learn what we have to do: to strive for humility; to serve the will of God; to bear, each in our own way, the Son of God. If we, as Christian people, are to strive for the bringing about of God’s Kingdom on earth.  If we are to live according to his wisdom then we also need to take on board those values of service, humility and poverty which Mary’s life present before us. We cannot have one without the other because they are so intertwined, tied together as to present one image of what God wants of us. We are to follow the teachings of the Son; to always have the poor, the marginalised, the sick, elderly and widows in our hearts and in our actions.  Similarly we need to be willing to see in Mary the first and perfect disciple. As Saint Athanasius writes: “The Holy Scriptures, which instruct us, and the life of Mary, Mother of God, suffice as an ideal of perfection and the form of the heavenly life”.   Mary is our model which we seek to imitate in order that we may be welcomed as good and faithful servants. established. And we will be prepared, as one day the world will be, for the blessed and glorious coming of Our Lord prefigured and preceded by the glorious coming of His mother.

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