Feast of the Nativity of the Mother of God
“Your birth, O Virgin Mother of God, heralded joy to the universe, for from You rose the Son of Justice, Christ Our God. He took away the curse, He imparted the blessing, and by abolishing death He gave us everlasting life.” Tropar
On the Gregorian calendar, we celebrate the Feast of the Nativity of the Mother of God on September 8th. Sacred Scripture does not give any account of Mary’s birth. Information of Her birth comes from non-Scriptural sources, namely the Proto-Gospel of James. We learn that the Blessed Virgin Mary was born in the small city of Galilee called Nazareth. The Jews of that time did not hold Galilee in good rapport. Remember in John 1:46, Nathanael asks Philip: “Can anything good come from Nazareth?”
Mary’s life was one of total humility and dedicated service to Almighty God. Her parents, Joachim and Anna, were pious believers in Yahweh, the one true God. They were righteous in the eyes of God. However, they had remained childless. For the Jews of the Old Testament, childbearing was a blessing and a gift from God. Mary’s parents were already elderly, but they had not given up hope of one day bearing a child. They believed that all things are possible with God. Their prayers were answered and there was great rejoicing.
The Birth or Nativity of Mary marks the beginning of the fulfillment of God’s promise to one day send a Messiah Who would free His people from sin and restore all creation to the harmony there once was before the fall of Adam and Eve. This Marian Feast is of great importance in understanding salvation history. Already was born the One Who would one day give birth to the Messiah, the Son of Justice, Jesus Christ Our Lord.
Our Church places this Marian Feast at the beginning of the church year. September 1st marked the beginning of the new church or liturgical year. It is but appropriate that the end of the church year would be marked by another Marian Feast, that of the Dormition or Falling Asleep of the Mother of God on August 15th. May we come to recognize the significant and central role Mary had in fulfilling God’s promise to save mankind, the world, from sin. May we be humble servants of the Lord God as was Mary. May we seek to fulfill the Holy Will of God and live a life filled with the Holy Spirit as did Mary, the Mother of God and our spiritual Mother.
Rev. D. George Worschak