You know what today is, right? It’s your mother’s birthday. And though you may think it’s no big deal – that mom wouldn’t want us to make a fuss over her – I know she would really like to hear from you. No doubt, our family is exceedingly better for having her in it. She’s given us all so much – her love and protection, her help and direction, her constant prayers…why, even life itself. So don’t forget to give her a call!
Perhaps you have heard these or similar words at one time or another – a gentle admonition from your father to call your mom, to let her know how much you love and appreciate her. Fathers seem to instinctively know how important it is for mothers to stay connected to their children. There is a bond between a mother and her children that is like no other. We may grow up and move away, but our moms still want to be a part of our lives, no matter what our age…
If God the Father were to write us a letter, I think He would tell us much the same thing, for today is the birthday of Mary, our Mother. Why do we even celebrate birthdays? It’s because we want to remember someone who is special to us, who’s made a difference in our lives by their very presence. It’s only fitting then that, nine months after her Immaculate Conception, we honour the birth of the Blessed Virgin Mary, our Heavenly Mother and “cause of our joy.”1 Of all women, she has touched our lives more than any other by bringing Christ, our Lord and Hope, into the world.
Only Mary, a woman of perfect humility and surrender, could counter the pride and disobedience of our first parents. Her unconditional “yes” to God’s plan reversed the “no” of Adam and Eve, who chose to follow their own way instead of God’s. Or, as one early Church Father expressed it, “The day of the Nativity of the Mother of God is a day of universal joy, because through the Mother of God, the entire human race was renewed and the sorrow of the first mother, Eve, was transformed into joy.”2 The world is indeed a better place for having her in it!
Not only the world, but each of our lives are enriched by accepting Mary as our spiritual mother. When Christ proclaimed her as the mother of His beloved apostle John at the foot of the Cross,3 He likewise affirmed Mary as our mother. Like all good mothers, she leads by example, inspiring us to live lives of greater virtue and to trust in God’s loving plan for each of us. So, what gift can we give to Mary for all she’s given us? To let her love us and lead us to her Son, Jesus. She wants nothing more than to serve her family – the Church – by helping, guiding, protecting, and interceding for us all. Give your mother a call – she’d love to hear from you and will surely answer!
– Kelley Holy
1 One of the titles with which we refer to Mary in the Litany of the Blessed Virgin Mary
2 St. John Damascene, Father and Doctor of the Church
3 Cf. John 19:27