The Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary - Feast
Mary, firstfruits of the new creation
In the beginning man had been formed out of pure and stainless earth (Gn 2,7) but his nature had been deprived of its innate dignity when it was stripped of grace by the fall of disobedience and cast out of the land of life. In place of a paradise of delight it had nothing but a corruptible life to hand on as its hereditary patrimony, a life from which death would follow together with its consequence: the corruption of the race. We had all of us preferred the world here below to that on high. No hope of salvation remained; the state of our nature cried to heaven for help. There was no law that could heal our infirmity… In the end, according to his good pleasure, the divine shaper of the universe decided to bring a new world, another world into being – a world of harmony and youth – from which the overwhelming contagion of sin and of its companion, death, would be cast out. A wholly new life, free and unencumbered, would be held out to us who would find in baptism a new and wholly divine birth…
But how to bring this plan to fruition ? Was it not fitting that a most pure and stainless virgin should first of all place herself at the service of this mysterious plan and should become pregnant with the infinite being in a manner transcending the natural law?... Therefore, just as in paradise he had drawn from the virgin, stainless earth a little clay with which to fashion the first Adam, so he made use of another kind of earth, so to speak, when he brought about his own incarnation, namely that pure and immaculate Virgin, chosen from among all creatures. In her he remade us anew using our own substance and he, Adam’s Creator, became a new Adam that the old might be saved by the new and eternal.