Feast of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary
Today is the Feast of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary. On this day, we honor and celebrate Mary’s central role in the redemption of the world, as Mother of God.
Even though Mary’s birth is not in today’s Gospel reading, we honor it by reading the genealogy of Jesus, which begins with Abraham and moves through 42 generations of the line of David, of which the Messiah was born.
As we read through these names, many are familiar: Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, David. However, many names are unfamiliar and even unpronounceable: Rehoboam, Abijah, Asaph, Jotham. It is likely we do not know who many of Jesus’ ancestors were, but many were far from perfect and not all of them were holy. In fact, many of them were sinners who made some pretty big mistakes.
While we may not know who each and every person in Jesus’ family tree was, we can be comforted by the fact that Jesus came from a pretty eclectic bunch. And we can be confident that each person named in the genealogy of Jesus was necessary and used by God to bring the Messiah into the world. For in the genealogy of Jesus, God shows us that He can take the lives of broken people and allow good to come forth. In other words, God writes straight with crooked lines.
God has an incredible way of bringing about ultimate goodness through less-than-ideal circumstances, and this Gospel is proof! And this proof is cause for great hope for all of us! Because if God can bring Jesus into the world out of the less-than-perfect people of the Old Testament, He can bring some goodness out of our less-than-perfect lives, too.
God has always had great plans for His people. But even when His children do not follow Him perfectly, God does not give up on His plans. He did not give up on His promised plan for the Messiah, He didn’t give up on the line of David, and He doesn’t give up on you and me either.
Each of God’s children is important and necessary for bringing about His plans. Are we going to follow in line with God’s plans perfectly? Probably not. But that doesn’t mean God gives up on us. He is patient. He can work with our mistakes. He can write straight with crooked lines.
When you are feeling discouraged, how do you find hope again? How can you be a sign of hope to someone who needs to remember her significance in God’s plan?
Heavenly Father, thank You for showing us through this Gospel reading how much You love us! Thank You for working with the brokenness and imperfections of Your people to bring Jesus into the world! Help us to remember that You can work with our brokenness and imperfections, too, to bring about Your marvelous works. Blessed Mother Mary, on your birthday, please pray for us, that we may always do our best to cooperate with the will of God. In Jesus’ holy name, amen!
We thank our friends at The Word Among Us for providing our gospel reflection team with copies of Abide In My Word 2015: Mass Readings at Your Fingertips. To pray the daily gospels with this wonderful resource, visit The Word Among Us.
Copyright 2015 Sarah Damm