September 8, 2012 - Feast of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary

Micah 5:1-4 or Romans 8:28-30
Psalm 13:6
Matthew 1:1-16, 18-23

I count 59 people in that genealogy; maybe that is off one way or the other, but it is quite a few people. They are mostly just names to us, but behind every name there is a person. If you have read the Old Testament a few times you know a little about many of them and a lot about a few of them, but even these, like Abraham or David, lived long lives of which we only know a few stories. They all are gathered here in the reading today because they form the ancestors of Jesus Christ, our Lord and God, according to his human nature.

His most immediate ancestor, the woman from whom he took flesh and blood to form his body, is Mary, the Mother of God. Today we celebrate her birthday, which is a good day to remember that she too lived an entire life of which we only know a few events and a few facts. She probably had a favorite food and a favorite color and a few art projects that Jesus made for her when he was little. She lived for many years after Pentecost. As she became an old woman, did she continue to participate in daily life or simply contemplate the mysteries she had been part of? Today she is the Queen of Heaven, higher than the cherubim, more glorious than the seraphim, but on this day a little over 2000 years ago, she was a baby, the daughter of poor parents. As far as the Emperors of Rome and China and India were concerned, she was nobody at all.

There are a lot of nobodies in this world. Indeed, the nobodies far outnumber the somebodies. But really, nobody is a nobody. Each person has their own story and desires, hopes and dreams. More importantly, each person is loved by God and has the potential to be loved by us. Every human life, from the perspective of eternity, is either a tragedy or a triumph. Every human being is important in the only sense that really matters: every human being is important to God.

“Brothers and sisters: We know that all things work for good for those who love God, who are called according to his purpose.” God knew us before he created us, and we are destined to become great, maybe not as this world judges us, but God will make us perfect and then he will glorify us, and that is the only greatness worth having.