The Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary
Only Christ Himself, Saint John the Baptist, and the Virgin Mary have feasts commemorating their births, because only they were holy from the start.
Nowhere in Scripture is the place and date of birth of the Virgin Mary recorded. Nor are the names of her parents found in Scripture, although tradition tells us they were Joachim and Anne.
The silence of Mary, the hiddenness of so much of her life, is intriguing. It is an invitation to prayer and spiritual reflection. Her silence, and the silence of Scripture on so many events which must have occurred but are not referenced, means that there is, and will always be, more for the Church to reveal about Her greatest truths. It is not just Scripture that is inspired but the Church as well. She pulls from Her storehouse things old and new, polishes them off, and offers them to the faithful in culturally compelling language to deepen the content of faith and the faithful’s response to it.
But even more than offering old things in new ways, even more than preserving past truths, the Church is a generator of revelation. She is the Living Word in the world of today, the vibrant Magisterium who absorbs the world’s questions and challenges in every age and gives them compelling answers. Tradition for the Church, then, is not just a jewel to be guarded. Tradition is forward-looking, dynamic, and active. And this positive tradition continues to celebrate the birth of the Virgin Mary because it was she, the last great figure of the B.C. era, whose birth itself gave birth to a new world. No Mary, no Christ. Her birth was the start of the future we all now inhabit.
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