The Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary
Micah 5:1-4 + Matthew 1:1-16,18-23
September 8, 2017
“She will bear a son and you are to name Him Jesus….”
The story is told about a priest who had the opportunity to visit Mother Teresa of Calcutta often. This priest was 6’1” in height, and one time, on returning again to Calcutta and seeing Mother Teresa, who was about 4’8”, he said to her, “You know, Mother, I think you grow smaller every time I see you.” Mother Teresa said in response, “Yes, one has to grow very small indeed to fit into the Sacred Heart of Jesus.”
This is why we are in this world: to grow into the sacred heart of Jesus. Today we celebrate the birthday of Mary. We have heard in the Gospel about the family tree of Jesus. There were some great figures in Jesus’ family tree, like King David. But most of the people in Jesus’ family were very ordinary. Maybe the most ordinary was Mary.
That might seem strange to say, because we might want to say that Mary was the most extraordinary. Of course, Mary was the most holy of Jesus’ ancestors: she was the only person to come before Jesus who had never sinned. But still, at the same time, Mary was really the most ordinary person to come before Jesus.
If you were to walk down a busy street in a large city, and Mary walked by you, you probably would never recognize her. That’s because Mary lived out the Gospel so fully. She lived out the Gospel even before Jesus became a human being. It’s because Mary lived out the Gospel so completely that Jesus became a human being. But living out the Gospel is really very simple, very quiet, and very ordinary. It doesn’t mean being famous, or looking for attention from others, or wanting to be better than everyone else around you.
Living the Gospel means: listening for God’s voice every day, letting his Will for my life sink into my heart, and carrying that out with love. This is a very simple thing, but this is how we grow small, and enter into the Sacred Heart of Jesus.