Birthdays are a funny reality in that when we are young we cannot wait for the next one so that we can grow up and thus be able to take greater control of our lives, however, when we are a bit older we rue the fact that each birthday means that we are aging and our abilities and capacities to do things begins to suffer. I think that it is interesting that we choose to celebrate the birthday of Mary, the Mother of Jesus, as we have no idea when it actually occurred! I think that this suggests to us something of the importance we see in the role of Mary in the work of salvation. In honoring her on her birthday, in celebrating the day when she was given the gift of life by God, we remember that God chose her for a certain purpose and thankfully she was up to the task, she was willing to be obedient to God’s will.

As each of us celebrates our birthdays each year how do we reflect upon this event? Are we truly thankful to God for the gift of life that He has given us or do we tend to take it for granted? The gift of life is a gift that opens for us a wide vista of opportunities of which a relative few are completely pleasing to God. Mary, the model disciple, sets an example for us of obedience to God’s will that is virtually perfect. It is an extremely difficult act to follow but nevertheless one we ought to aspire to at every possible opportunity.

Mary stands before us as a woman of many roles and characteristics. The primary one for me is her discipleship and thus I like to think that on her birthday I can offer her the gift of a renewed commitment to following her son, Jesus as His disciple. I am sure that Mary would appreciate this gift as any mother would the gift of an obedient child. Let us consider this possibility as our gift to Mary this year.

One final point to consider could be our relationship with Mary itself. How do I see Mary and her role in my life? She is a model of discipleship but she is also a powerful intercessor. What son is able to refuse the repeated request of his mother? I do not think there are many who would deny their mother any reasonable request! Let us then ask Mary to intercede for us particularly when it comes to the important decisions of our lives. I am sure that Jesus will listen to her and heed her prayers.

What place does Mary have in my life/spiritual devotions and exercises?

Lord Jesus, help me to increase in my love for your mother. Open me up to the wonders and blessings of having such a powerful intercessor in heaven and also to the inspiration that her obedient response to the Father’s will has on my life.