Daily Gospel Reflection - Feast of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary
Bishop Robert Barron
September 8, 2022
Feast of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary
Gospel: Mt 1:18-23
This is how the birth of Jesus Christ came about. When his mother Mary was betrothed to Joseph, but before they lived together, she was found with child through the Holy Spirit. Joseph her husband, since he was a righteous man, yet unwilling to expose her to shame, decided to divorce her quietly. Such was his intention when, behold, the angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, “Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary your wife into your home. For it is through the Holy Spirit that this child has been conceived in her. She will bear a son and you are to name him Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.” All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet: Behold, the virgin shall be with child and bear a son, and they shall name him Emmanuel, which means “God is with us.”
*United States Conference of Catholic
Bishop Robert Barron
Friends, today we celebrate the Feast of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary. And our Gospel declares that she will be the Mother of Jesus, who would be “God with us.”
Mary is a rich and multivalent symbolic figure in all of the Gospels. In Luke’s infancy narrative, she emerges as the spokesperson for ancient Israel, speaking, in her Magnificat, in the words and cadences of Hannah.
In Matthew’s Christmas account, she is compelled to go into exile in Egypt and is then called back to her home, recapitulating thereby the journey of Israel from slavery to freedom. She is thus the symbolic embodiment of faithful and patient Israel, longing for deliverance.
In John’s Gospel, she is, above all, mother—the physical mother of Jesus and, through him, the mother of all who would come to new life in him. As mother of the Lord, she is, once again, Israel, that entire series of events and system of ideas from which Jesus emerged and in terms of which he alone becomes intelligible. Hans Urs von Balthasar commented in the same vein that Mary effectively awakened the messianic consciousness of Jesus through her recounting of the story of Israel to her son.