Tuesday, 8 September 2009

The Nativity of the BVM

The basilica of St Anne in Jerusalem, according to tradition the Mother of God was born here.

Your birth, O Virgin Mother of God, heralded joy to all the world!

The prophet Elijah was praying for rain. There was a drought in the land and this led to disease and famine. The earth was dry and without water symbolising death and emptiness. It points to the spiritual state of a soul living apart from Christ, the only spring of living waters.
As Elijah was wrapped in the prayer of hope and faith and love, he sends his servant seven times to look at the horizon, maybe a symbol of the seven sacraments which bring about what is to happen. At the seventh and last time, the servant (according to some traditions the future prophet Jonah whom Elijah raised from the dead) sees a small cloud on the horizon the size of a footprint (maybe the heel that will crush the serpent’s head Gn
3). This cloud heralded the much-needed rain that gave life to the arid earth. Mystics have always seen this cloud as an image of the Blessed Virgin Mary. The joy deriving from the cloud after a severe drought indicates the joy of the promise of redemption wrought by Jesus but foretold in the birth of the Immaculate Mother of God. So it is for a very good reason that the birth of Mary heralds great joy to the world, and for the world to rejoice at the birth of Mary.
As we rejoice in her birth we rejoice even more in the spring of eternal life offered to us in the words of her son and their living them out, this earth will never be parched and dry but fruitful and pleasant. May the Virgin Mary guard this garden of delight and pure unbounded joy.

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