8 September [Birth of the BVM]
An account of the genealogy of Jesus the Messiah, the son of David, the son of Abraham. Abraham was the father of Isaac, and Isaac the father of Jacob, and Jacob the father of Judah and his brothers…
There is nothing in the gospels about the birth of Mary. But it is interesting that the text used for this feast is an account of the birth of Jesus.
In a sense, when a child is born a mother is born. When a child is born, its mother begins to be a mother. Even if she was already mother to other children this new child makes her a new mother; a new chapter in her mothering begins. In the birth of the Son of God, Mary begins to be the Mother of God.
Christian tradition calls Mary “Mother of God”. Icons of the ‘Theotokos’ (Greek for ‘God-bearer’) are common now in the West. Historically the term had great importance because the Nestorians, who effectively said that Christ was two persons – a divine and a human – were opposed to its use, claiming that it neglected the humanity of Christ. The Council of Ephesus (431 A.D.) asserted against the Nestorians that Mary was truly the ‘Theotokos’, the God-bearer, or Mother of God: this was a clear way of stating the unity of Christ. The Council of Chalcedon (451 A.D.) continued the use of this term, and it has become orthodox Christian teaching. Note that it is more a statement about Christ than about Mary – or rather, equally so. When a Child is born, a Mother is born.
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