Today the Catholic Church celebrates the Mary’s birthday in the Feast of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary. The quote at the end of the daily readings by St. Andrew of Crete is filled with joy: Today a virgin is born and is being made ready to be the God-bearer. Let us sing praise and dance and celebrate the glories of this day. Many Catholics do not understand this feast day. I am not going to pretend that I do either, nor will I focus on that. Instead I want to talk about birthdays and life.
God gives each of us life and calls all of us to be God-Bearers. Mary had the privilege of carrying the Christ child in her womb but we too are invited to birth Christ. We come into this world for a divine purpose, I believe, and as in yesterday’s readings, have God-given talents. We can choose to live for Christ, to stand under His standard and serve Him or we can pick another option. Mary shows us that saying yes does not mean an easy path but it is a blessed one that blesses others. Mary’s birth is holy, as each of ours is. We have an opportunity to bring goodness into the world.
A funny thing happened today. I was walking towards the hospital for my chemo treatment behind some staff. As we crossed the street, something blew in front of me. I could see it was an identification badge. I stooped to pick it up, looked ahead to the group of people and called out the first name. The gentleman turned around and I returned his flying badge. Our paths intersected again at the hospital door and he thanked me again for my kindness. I went up in the elevator and his group took the stairs. I thought that would be it. As I sat in my chair for my treatment, a social worker friend swung by to see me. As we were chatting I mentioned the incident to her because he had the same last name as she did. About two minutes later, he came by, saw me sitting in the chair, and came over. He thanked me once again and told me that it had happened again that he had lost his tag shortly after I returned it to him and another stranger called out to him. As he thanked me, he said he was sorry to see me here and wished me well. His act of kindness did my heart good as I could tell he was sincere. We are all able to be God-bearers and both my social worker friend and this kind stranger made my day by taking a few minutes out of busy schedules to stop by.
We never really know the outcome of our actions. With St. Andrew, I echo let us sing praise, dance and celebrate. Mary had no idea that she would be venerated over the ages. She was given a life and chose to carry Christ. We are given a life. What will we bear?
How can you be a God-bearer even in small kindnesses?
Who has been a Christ-carrier for you?
You were given a life
and chose to be a God-bearer.
Pray that we may seek your yes
and carry Christ to all we meet.