September 8 – Nativity of Mary

I once heard a man express why he believed that of all the causes for celebration, birthdays were among the stupidest. I don’t remember his arguments word for word, but they went along these lines…

“Why celebrate a birthday? I mean it’s not as if you’ve done anything to reach that ‘special day,’ besides living for another 365 days and riding the earth another lap around the sun. Your mom was the one who actually did something on the day you were born. All you did was show up. How does merely showing up for another year merit a party?”

He had an interesting argument, but he was entirely missing the point when it comes to why we celebrate birthdays.  It’s not that the person has done any one, big, special thing that makes us celebrate that day.  It is for the countless little things, for all the things which make them who they are for us, this is why we rejoice over them just being around for another year of life. The reason we celebrate birthdays is to celebrate the very fact of a person’s existence, to celebrate who they are, in their own unique and unrepeatable goodness, to celebrate the gift of their presence in our lives.

Today, we celebrate Mary’s birthday. We celebrate the fact that God created her and has given her to us. We celebrate who she is, in her own unique and unrepeatable goodness. We celebrate the gift of her presence in our lives. Today we rejoice over Mary, our mother, our sister, and our close friend, and we wish her a very happy birthday, just for being who she is.

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