“Do not be afraid to take Mary…into your home.”

The Feast of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary gives us the beginning of Matthew’s gospel (Mt 1:1-16, 18-23).  The entire genealogy from Abraham to Christ is provided.  Then the story of the conception and resulting events is told: Mary, betrothed to Joseph, conceives a child through the Holy Spirit; Joseph finds out, wishes to divorce her, but is visited by an angel in a dream and, convinced of Mary’s divine calling, takes her in.  The story ends with a quote from Isaiah (7:14) about the virgin being with child who is “God with us.”  On this special day, a renewed plea to all Christians to take the Blessed (Lk 1:42, 48) Virgin (Mt 1:22) Mary into their homes (cf. Jn 19:27) and hearts seems appropriate.  Scripture tells us of her virginity at the time of the miraculous conception of her Son (Lk 1:27), who is Emmanuel (“God with us”) (Mt 1:22) and Jesus (“God saves”) (Mt 1:21, 25).  As the mother of a person (Lk 1:43), the Second Person of the Trinity (and mothers can only be mothers of persons, not natures) (Lk 1:35), she unquestionably deserves special honor (cf. Lk 1:43).  She freely said “Yes!” to God (Lk 1:38) because she was so conformed to His will from birth (and before, as immaculately conceived, that is, without original sin through the merits of her Son) that she completely trusted Him no matter what the consequences for her (and they could have been deadly).  God chose His own mother from all eternity; would she not be perfect and untainted by sin, a New Eve (before the Fall) (cf. Gen 3;15)?  And then in His graciousness, God not only gives us His Son as Redeemer (Mt 1:21), Brother (Heb 2:11), and Friend (Jn 15:13-15), He also gives us His mother to be our mother (cf. Jn 19:26).  Good mothers never seek attention for themselves but rather laud the accomplishments of their offspring.  The perfect mother, the human person of whom no one could ever outdo in humility, always points to her Son, never obstructing the way but facilitating the encounter (cf. Jn 2:5).  It is shameful that the Blessed Virgin Mary has been used as an obstacle to unity by Christians — certainly saddening a mother’s heart.  We who believe must pray all the more earnestly for the intercession of Our Lady of Atonement, Mother of Christian Unity so that no one will ever be afraid, or even have the least little doubt, that Mary should have a place of honor in his or her home and heart.

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