Do not be afraid to take Mary … into your home. (Matthew 1:20)
You know it must be love when someone can’t stop talking about the object of his affection. There’s almost a giddiness about him, not to mention a twinkle in his eye and a skip in his step. It’s heartwarming to see a father adoring his young daughter, a child embracing his mother, or a groom gushing about his bride.
Mary is all three of these things to God: beloved daughter of the Father, mother of the Son, and spouse of the Holy Spirit. She is the crown of God’s creation, the apple of his eye, and the delight of his heart. What’s more, Mary is the epitome of all we long to be deep down—that is, pleasing to God.
God has so much love for Mary that he’s been talking about her since the dawn of humanity. No sooner had our first parents fallen into sin than the Father spoke of a woman like Eve, whose offspring would crush the serpent’s head. Women like Sarah, Ruth, Judith, and Esther all foreshadowed her. Saints like Bernadette, Catherine, Thérèse, and Bridget all reflect her glory. Even the Church itself is called the mother of all believers and the bride of Christ out of reverence for Mary!
So how can we possibly honor someone who has already received so many honors and favors from God? How should we celebrate her birthday? By offering her gifts that are spiritual in nature. We may give our earthly mothers flowers on their birthdays, so maybe we can give Mary a spiritual bouquet by joining her in intercession as we pray the rosary. We may take our earthly spouse out for dinner, but we can honor the spouse of the Spirit by donating to a local food bank or serving at a soup kitchen. We may spend extra time with our children on their birthdays, so maybe we can spend time with Mary today, pondering her life and her example of faith and trust.
So let’s join in the heavenly celebration today. Let’s offer Mary some spiritual gifts: our love, our prayer, and our service to her people.
“Happy Birthday, Mary! I love you, and I want to be like you in all your purity and faith.”