September 8, 2020

The Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary

You, Bethlehem-Ephrathah, too small to be among the clans of Judah, from you shall come forth for me one who is to be ruler in Israel; whose origin is from of old, from ancient times. Therefore, the Lord will give them up, until the time when she who is to give birth has borne. (Micah 5:1-2)

We see it over and over again in God’s dealings with us: God works most powerfully through those who are small, insignificant, to accomplish great wonders.

Moses spoke with a stutter; David was the youngest of Jesse’s sons, summoned from tending sheep to fight a dreaded adversary of his people; Jeremiah’s reticence made him reluctant to announce the prophetic message he was sent to speak; Judith and Esther risked their lives at different times for love of their countrymen. Bethlehem-Ephrathah was dismissed, but from it came forth the king who would unite the tribes as one and the long-desired Son of David.

The Church remembers today the birth of Mary. Scripture says nothing of Mary before the annunciation when Gabriel revealed God’s plan to her and asked that she bear the Messiah. From the first moment of her life, Mary was touched by grace and prepared for her special role in salvation history. Her hymn of praise, the Magnificat, reveals how she sees herself ‒ as God’s lowly servant and handmaid.

Mary’s smallness counters any tendency toward self-sufficiency and makes her useful to God. Saint Peter Julian Eymard wrote: “We greet the beautiful day of Mary, the joy of heaven, the consolation of the earth. … Here is … the true mother of all the living, the predestined mother of the Messiah, Jesus Christ.”

Pray the Magnificat today.

Let us pray:

Lord Jesus, you give us your holy body and blood under lowly signs of bread and wine. Give us eyes to behold all God’s wonders! Amen.


Daily Eucharistic Reflection – Center for Eucharistic Evangelizing (eucharisticevangelizing.com)
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About Anthony Schueller, SSS

Father Anthony Schueller was the Provincial Superior of the Province of Saint Ann of the Congregation of the Blessed Sacrament and the editor of Emmanuel.