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Dear Friends, in the face of suffering we ask ‘What can we do?’ But Mary shows us the way.

With the Church remembering the birth of Mary on the 8th of September, and her sorrows on the 15th of September this year, we meditate on her life even as we are mindful of the tragic loss of life in the News daily.

In Gibraltar we are all very aware of our genealogy, and many families here can trace their roots back to 16th Century Genoa, and so we take this opportunity to pray in solidarity with our Genoese cousins touched by the recent tragedy, as we meditate on the life of Mary.
In Matthew’s Gospel the genealogy of Jesus is outlined. It started from Abraham up to Jesus being born of Mary with Joseph standing as the connecting person to the promise that Jesus, the Messiah, will come from the lineage of David. Some missals give an option to skip this seemingly innocent and boring part of the narrative which comprised lots of names, manyof which were hard to pronounce. But, specially to a Jew, it was very interesting because of their familiarity with the characters. From it, one can conclude that Jesus did not come from a perfect generation. His generation possessed both excellent and dysfunctional members. Sinners and saints were present. There were glorious and not so glorious ones. God chose people who were free and not controlled to be immaculate. This also testified to the fact that God can write straight with crooked lines.
The birth of Mary was also part of the plan of God. Her birth cannot be separated from the feast of the Immaculate Conception. We believe that Mary was chosen by God to be the mother of His Son. Thus, since Jesus was God, Mary had to be immaculate. The sinless Jesus should be born from a sinless or saved mother. Thus, today marks the day when God’s plan is gradually being fulfilled. With the birth of Mary, the birth of the Messiah comes.
We can also learn from Mary and the family of Jesus. As we have stated above, it was not a perfect family even if Jesus was perfect. Even Mary, while believed to have been conceived free from original sin, was not seen in that way. She claimed not to have known any man. That was the reason she gave when asking the angel how this could happen. Because of this, Mary did not project a good reputation at the time of her calling.
Going through the genealogy of Jesus, one can easily name those who, many of us, would have preferred to be out of the list. We have David the murderer and adulterer, Rahab the prostitute. Jacob who deceived his father to steal the birthright from his elder brother Esau. Tamar who committed incest with her father-in-law Judah. Yet, nothing can stop God from His plans even with these people.
Mary was full of grace from her birth. We laud her obedience to the Father in spite of the danger to her life by deciding to bear Jesus. But it did not end there. She was a perfect disciple to Jesus. Even if she was His mother, She showed to Him and to us that she will not bank on that motherhood alone. While being a good mother, she, too, was being a good disciple. She was worthy of her birth!
God Bless you,
Fr. Stuart