Wednesday, September 8, 2010

A mother worthy of the one who created her

Saint John Damascene (c.675-749), monk, theologian, Doctor of the Church
Homily on the Nativity of the Virgin Mary, 1-2 (cf SC 80, p. 48)
A mother worthy of the one who created her

       Come, you nations; come, all peoples of every race and language, every age and rank. Joyfully let us celebrate the nativity of the whole world's joy! If even the pagans honor the birthday of their king..., what ought not we to do to honor that of the Mother of God, through whom all humanity has been transformed and the pain of Eve, our first mother, has been turned to joy? For Eve heard God's sentence: «You will bring forth children in pain» (Gn 3,16), but Mary: «Rejoice, most highly favored... The Lord is with you» (Lk 1,28)...

       Let all creation celebrate and sing the holy childbirth of a holy woman, for she has brought a lasting treasure into the world... Through her the creative Word of God has been united to the whole creation and we celebrate the ending of human barrenness, the ending of the sickness that kept us from possessing our good... Nature has given way to grace... As the Virgin Mother of God had to be born of barren Anna, so nature remained without fruit until grace had produced its own. It was to open the womb of its mother, she who would give birth to «The Firstborn of all creation» in whom «all things hold together» (Col 1,15,17).

       O blessed couple, Joachim and Anne! All creation owes you thanks; through you it has offered the Creator the best of all his gifts: a mother worthy of veneration, the only mother worthy of the one who created her.

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