23rd Sunday in
Ordinary Time – C
Labor Day Weekend
My next reflection on the 50 Saints with an Obligatory Memorial or Feast and a full set of orations [Collect, Prayer over the Offerings, Prayer after Communion]
is on The Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary,
observed on September 8,
exactly nine months after she was immaculately conceived in the womb of her mother, Saint Anne, which we commemorate on December 8. While the Bible is silent as to her parents, her birth and younger years, sacred tradition portrays the one to whom the Angel said: “Hail, favored one! The Lord is with you.” [C.f. Luke 1:28]
as a prayerful, humble child, born to faithful Jewish parents, later in life, who were totally unaware of the special grace God had given to their daughter, who was conceived without the stain of Original Sin.
Collect – The Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary
Impart to your servants, we pray, O Lord,
the gift of heavenly grace, that the
feast of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin
may bring deeper peace to those for whom the birth of her Son was the dawning of salvation.
Through our Lord … for ever and ever. Amen.
THE ‘NEW DAY’ HAD A ‘NEW DAWN!’
Just as one woman had a key role in bringing sin and death into the world, another woman played a key role in bringing the One who would conquer sin and death into the world. For as Saint Paul wrote: “God sent his Son, born of a woman.”
This fulfilled a promise made right after Adam and Eve fell from grace; speaking to the serpent, God said: “I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers; They will strike at your head, while you strike at their heel.” [Genesis 3:15]
This battle against evil now continues through the offspring of every child of God. In God’s most mysterious plan, He graces each Christian all he or she needs to play his or her role in being the ‘first light of dawn’ that paves the way for the Light of the World, Jesus Christ, to enter in. Parents, grandparents, sponsors must help our children use these God-given graces.
Prayer over the Offerings – The Nativity of the BVM
May the humanity of your Only Begotten Son
come, O Lord, to our aid, and may he,
who at his birth from the Blessed Virgin
did not diminish but consecrated her integrity,
by taking from us now our wicked deeds,
make our oblation acceptable to you.
Through Christ our Lord. Amen.
THE BIRTH OF THE VIRGIN MOTHER. Some say Church teaching on our Blessed Mother’s perpetual
shows the Church’s disdain for human sexuality – but that is so untrue! For she firmly believes – and encourages married couples to do as God said: “Be fertile and multiply!” [Genesis 1:28] – and God was not talking about the new math! However, the Church – and God – also honors those who – like Jesus – remain celibate or unmarried as a sign that we are created for far more than the joys of this world.
In biblical days, being childless or barren was considered a curse from God; without the social services we enjoy, the unmarried, widowed or orphaned were often without any support. Yet it was God who promised: to “give the childless wife a home” and make her “the joyful mother of children.” [Psalm 113:9] This Psalm is beautifully fulfilled in our Blessed Mother, whom we call the Mother of the Church, the Mother of every Christian who, by Baptism, becomes a brother or sister of her Son, Jesus!
Prayer after Communion – The Nativity of the BVM
As we celebrate with joy the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary, we bring you our offerings, O Lord, and we humbly pray to be
given strength by the humanity of your Son,
who from her was pleased to take flesh.
Through Christ our Lord. Amen.
SON OF GOD, SON OF MARY.
Some say we Catholics make ‘too much’ of Mary, but all we profess about her is ultimately about her Son. For as the Son of Mary, He is truly one of us: a human person, with all our limitations. However, having no human father, He is truly Son of God
… who alone destroys sin and death! Happy Birthday, Blessed Mother … pray for us!
In His holy Name,
Rev. Thomas J. Serafin, KHS