Today is Our Lady’s Birthday : the start of her life which was, of course, ended ultimately not in her death, but in her Assumption . . . and which was, for her uniquely, not only a passage from one to the other by the experiences solely of her life, and the development of grace within her, but also by her willingness to become part of our history too, when she accepted God’s gift to mankind in His Son; when she became Mother of Our Lord, and thus also our most perfect intercessor with Him for ever.
fr Timothy Radcliffe OP, thinking about the Ave Maria, points out that it suggests the individual journey that each of us must make, from birth to death, and observes that it is marked by the biological rhythm of each human life, because it mentions the only three moments of our lives that we can know with absolute certainty : that we are born, that we live now, and that we shall die.
So, by reflecting on Our Lady’s birth today, we see a reflection of our birth; a birth which, as fr Timothy rightly points out, can lead only to one thing . . . our death : but we can, perhaps, also see – albeit more faintly – something else; which is found reflected in the end of her life.
Our Lady, through her fidelity to God’s wishes, and her openness to His love, found an end of life, true : but not only that, but also – through it – an entranceway to Heaven, where she sits, for all eternity, at His right hand.
Cannot we, by meditating on Our Lady’s life, starting with her birth today, realize that by a fervent and lively compliance – like hers – with God’s wishes, a reflection – like hers – in this world of His love, we may eventually hope that our deaths, too, will be an entranceway to Heaven . . . a Heaven where we shall see Him face-to-face for all eternity – and where we shall meet Our Lady too.