Thursday September 8, 2005 Homily by Fr. Robert Altier†† Birth of the Blessed Virgin Mary
Reading (Micah 5:1-4a)†† Gospel (St. Matthew 1:1-16, 18-23)
As we celebrate today our Blessed Ladyís birth, there are a few things we need to keep in mind. Recall, first, that there are only three birthdays the Church celebrates, that of Our Lord, Saint John the Baptist, and today, of course, our Blessed Lady. These are the three persons who were born without Original Sin: Jesus, being God, never touched by sin in the least; Saint John the Baptist, having sin removed at the moment of the Visitation when he leapt with joy in his motherís womb (so conceived with sin, but having sin removed in the womb); and Our Blessed Lady, being immaculately conceived so that never even for a split second was there any sin on our Blessed Ladyís soul. Being born into the world in a hidden, quiet manner unlike that of Saint John the Baptist where the people were talking about what this child was to be, she was born hidden. People did not know, but here the highest, most perfect creature that God had made was brought into the world and with her salvation began.
We can see in the Gospel in the genealogy the way God had been working throughout salvation history through the Hebrew people, all the way through the genealogy of our Blessed Lord. But in a very specific and particular way it was with Our Ladyís birth that the work of salvation had begun in a very practical way. Our Lady, then, is known as the dawn. That is, the way that the sky becomes bright even before the sun rises, Jesus being the Sun, Our Lady then being the dawn that announces the fact that the Sun is going to be coming very soon. We hear, for instance, in the first reading, the prophecy from the prophet Micah about Bethlehem Ephrathah being too small to be among the clans of Judah and yet it is from that particular little town that One is going to be raised up Who is going to be the Savior of the world. Just like Our Lady, the one who is the smallest, the one who is the most humble, the one who is completely hidden, it is from her that the Son of God was born into this world, that the savior came into this world through the one whom God had chosen specifically for this task.
It is from her, then, that we also need to learn what we have to do, to strive for humility, to strive to be hidden. But it is also this pattern that we see how Our Lady is born obviously before Our Lord in order for Our Lord to be born through her. This is the reason Saint Louis de Montfort would say that before the Second Coming of Christ, the coming of Our Ladyís kingdom has to be established; that just as Our Lady came first, so now the fullness of the knowledge of Our Lady and the establishment of the kingdom of Our Blessed Lady is going to be established before the Second Coming, because in the first coming of Christ and in the first coming of Our Lady, Our Blessed Mother was completely hidden, but in the Second Coming, our Blessed Lady is going to be completely known, completely honored the way that she deserves to be honored.
That is the joy that is ours, to be able to be part of ushering in this time. I have mentioned to you many times that this is the time Our Lord has given over to His mother. This is the Blessed Motherís time. As yet, the fullness of her kingdom is not established, but that is what we are working toward, that is what Satan is so desperately trying to destroy and so desperately trying to make sure does not occur because he knows fully well that once the kingdom of Our Lady is established he has no power. None. This humble, beautiful woman has crushed his vile and despicable head, and through the humble children who will recognize the glory and honor of their mother, his head is once again going to be crushed through faith, through charity, through humility, the very things that Our Lady was known for. And those who will honor her appropriately will be known in the same way. That is the glory which we all have the possibility to share in if we will make that choice.
We look at these various points and we see how it is all coming together. The One Who is from ancient times, as we see the genealogy (but even there, of course, Our Lord goes before that), but how Our Lady fits perfectly into that. Now, throughout history, once again, we come to this point where there is the birth of Our Ladyís kingdom, and it is that for which we are in travail today. That is what we are awaiting. So we can pray and we can seek to usher in the glory of our Blessed Ladyís kingdom because it is through that that the glory of Our Lordís kingdom, the Second Coming, is going to be brought forth. Our Lady has to be here first, the dawn that is going to bring the Sun, the dawn that announces the rising of the Sun. If we want to be prepared for the coming of the Son of God whenever it is that He should come, we first have to be watching for the dawn, to be awake, to be alert, and to be prepared. That is exactly what our Mother will do for us. But, in the meantime, we look to her and we ask her to form us as she formed Him so that we will be in the perfect image of Christ, so that we, following the example of Jesus, will be perfectly devoted to our Blessed Mother, that we will honor her and love her as she deserves to be loved and honored. In that way, in our hearts the kingdom of Our Lady will already be established as the world prepares to have her kingdom firmly established. And we will be prepared, as one day the world will be, for the blessed and glorious coming of Our Lord prefigured and preceded by the glorious coming of His mother.
*† This text was transcribed from the audio recording of a homily by Father Robert Altier with minimal editing.†††††††