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Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary

“Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word.” Luke 1:38

It was Mary’s “Yes” to the Archangel Gabriel that enabled God to humble Himself, take on flesh, and launch His plan for the salvation of humanity through the birth of His Son, Jesus Christ. Mary was blessed to be the Mother of God. She was the first disciple of Jesus, carrying the Savior of the world in her womb. She indeed “found favor with God” (Lk 1:30).

Just as God asked Mary’s permission, Jesus is asking permission to dwell within you. He wants you to know His love for you. He took on human flesh so He could search for you like the shepherd searching after the one lost sheep (see Lk 15:1-7). Father Raniero Cantalamessa, Preacher to the Papal Household, said that all of Scripture can be reduced to just three words, “God is love.” Jesus is God’s love manifested in the flesh and He wants a personal and intimate relationship with you.

You may be thinking, “God doesn’t want to love me because of the wrong I have done in my life.” God’s love for you is unconditional. St. Paul in his letter to the Romans says that nothing “will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Rom 8:38). Nothing! No sin, no disobedience, no hatred or violence or any misdeed on your part can separate you from the love of God. God loves you too much to abandon you in your sin.

It is God’s nature to love you. It is unconditional. It is not merited. It is gratuitous. It is generous. Surrender to God’s love. Say “Yes” to Jesus’ invitation to enter your heart. Ask Him to send the Holy Spirit to enflame in you a desire to be Jesus’ lover. Give your heart to Him and your life will never be the same.

After you have given your “Yes,” then share the love of Jesus with your spouse, your children, your neighbors, and the world. God needs you to be a witness to His love in the world. Be God’s light in the darkness. The world needs to see your faith. It needs to see your joy. Be like Mary and give your unequivocal “Yes” to the greatest lover who ever lived, Jesus.

May God send down His Spirit and enkindle in you the fire of His love.