There are many different types of “year” in our country. The tax year starts in April, the calendar year in January, the liturgical year in December and now, in September, we have the beginning of the academic year. It’s a good time to start studying. We have had lovely holidays and seen new things. We have had time to relax and appreciate the world God has given us. Now we need to understand how the world works, and how we can look after it and make it a better place for all people to live in. This is what study is about: the more we know the more good we can do.
September has a major feast at each end. On September 8th comes the Birthday of Our Lady. It’s not difficult to imagine Joachim and Anna gazing in joy and wonder at their new born baby. Why not spend a little time remembering the last time you saw a new baby – your baby, your brother or sister or even someone not related. How did that make you feel? Why do people always want to look at a new baby if they get the chance?
Mary’s parents could not possibly know what might be asked of their baby daughter. They brought her up pious, obedient and prayerful because they knew that was the right thing to do. Mary, responding to their loving care, was open to the will of God. We bring our children up healthy and well educated, let us not forget to help them to pray and be open to the will of God. We do not know what may be asked of them.
At the end of September, on the 29th, we have the feast of St Michael the Archangel. Mary, assumed into heaven, is queen of the angels as well as the saints. We pray that St Michael, by the power of God will continue to ‘cast into Hell Satan and all wicked spirits who wander the world for the ruin of souls’. Just as Mary listened to the Angel Gabriel so we must heed the teaching of Michael and play our part in recognising and resisting bad influences.