REFLECTION: Birthdays PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, 10 September 2014 11:51

BY FR. ROY CIMAGALA

 

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. “Behold your Mother,” 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: “Beata Maria Virgine, mater Dei et mater nostra.” (O Blessed Virgin Mary, mother of God and our mother). It’s an exquisite, heartwarming reminder of the truth of our faith that we all belong to the family of God, despite our huge and multiplying differences.

Her birthday, of course, is a great occasion for joy. It’s 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 universe!

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 God’s 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 from God

With one’s birth, it’s like God is all willing to go through an adventure with us that would be an exciting, suspenseful interplay of God’s 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. It’s God’s 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. That’s why it’s 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 one’s 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.