Today we celebrate the birthday of Mary, the Mother of God and our Mother, who was given to us by Jesus from the cross as He was giving His life to the Father as a ransom for our sins. From the first moment of her conception, Mary was without sin, chosen by God to be the one from whom His Son would take on human nature, as God shared His love with us fully in the person of Jesus, our Savior.
Mary, at around the age of 14, is visited by an angel and told that she "had won God's favor" (Lk 1:31). The angel tells Mary to not be afraid and to "listen!" "You are to conceive and bear a son, and you must name him Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his ancestor David; he will rule over the house of Jacob for ever and his reign will have no end." Mary asks how this will happen and when the angel explains God's plan, Mary says "yes," risking her very life by becoming pregnant outside of her marriage to Joseph. Joseph, in turn, plans to secretly divorce her to spare her any shame when, he, too, is visited by an angel in a dream. This angels says to Joseph: "Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because she has conceived what is in her by the Holy Spirit. She will give give birth to a son and you must name him Jesus, because he is the one who is to save his people from their sins" (Mt. 1:20-21). And Joseph, too, says "yes" to the Lord, risking his reputation in the process.
Both Mary and Joseph are God-fearing persons. They reverence the Lord and have, no doubt, built a strong personal relationship with the Lord. They both have learnt to communicate intimately with the Lord, to listen to His voice and follow God's instructions, no matter what the cost. What about you and me?