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Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary

Updated: Feb 13, 2023

“Today the Virgin is born, tended and formed and prepared for her role as Mother of God, who is the universal King of the ages. Therefore, let all creation sing and dance and unite to make worthy contribution to the celebration of this day. Let everything, mundane things and those above, join in festive celebration. Today this created world is raised to the dignity of a holy place for Him who made all things. The creature is newly prepared to be a divine dwelling place for the Creator.” (St Andrew of Crete (650-740), Bishop)

Happy Birthday, Mary! Goodness, I love celebrating birthdays. My friends and family know they have to open their gifts in front of me because I love seeing their genuine delight as they open their small surprises - tiny treasures reminding them that they are seen, heard and loved. I get a few eye rolls now that we are in our mid-late thirties, but isn’t it so special to celebrate another and to be celebrated by loved ones?

When thinking about Our Lady’s birthday, I can’t help but think of her parents, saints Anne and Joachim, and their desire for a child. After remaining childless into their old age, they brought Mary into the world, knowing she was made to be the dwelling place of the Lord. Saints Anne and Joachim ached for a baby, longed for a child and then when gifted life, they quickly learned they must give her back to God, allowing Him to do His work. Their many years of waiting, their suffering and their struggles were not wasted, for the fruit they bore together was a gift for the whole world, not only by becoming Mary’s parents, but through their devotion to the Lord and commitment to serving their community. Their years of suffering and continually saying “yes, Lord” in so many small ways paved the way for Mary’s big “yes” to being the handmaid of the Lord.

When I consider our infertility journey and specifically our road to adopting our children, I am reminded of all of the small “yesses” along the way that led to us being parents. Yes to each other, yes to another test, yes to this protocol or that, yes to more vitamins, yes to more forms, yes to financial constraints, yes to waiting, yes to listening, yes to life. For us, it wasn’t a BIG yes initially, it was a tiny, timid, hope-filled, uncertain, take-a-breath-and-gulp yes. And that tiny yes led us to another, and another, and another. Just like Mary’s parents, our small yesses led to a fiat that transformed the whole world… well our world at least. Mary’s fiat was a gift to the world and our yesses, however small they may seem, are a gift back to her.

When Mary was born, St. Andrew of Crete declared, “Let everything, mundane things and those above, join in festive celebration.” So let everything join in the celebration - all the aches, fears, worries, hopes, dreams and gratitude. Bring it all. Bring all your big messes and small yesses. Bring it all to the party. It is all a gift.

To celebrate today, consider something you can say yes to, no matter how small. What gift can you offer Mary today? And if you can’t think of anything else, eat cake. Always say yes to cake. Happy birthday, Mama!

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