Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception
Book of Genesis 3:9-15, 20; Psalm 98:1, 2-3ab, 3cd-4; Letter of Saint Paul to the Ephesians 1:3-6, 11-12; Luke 1:26-38
I want to begin this reflection as I often do by asking a few short questions. Have you ever considered whose agenda you are following? Is it your own agenda or God’s agenda? Whose will are you accomplishing? Your own will or the will of God? Finally, whose kingdom are you building? Your own personal kingdom or God’s kingdom?
In today’s Gospel narrative of Saint Luke, we can see that Mary was not following her own agenda, doing her own will, or building her own kingdom when she said "Yes" to the angel Gabriel to become the mother of Jesus. She responded, “Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord. May it be done to me according to your word.”
Think of the possible consequences Mary’s out of wedlock pregnancy could have had for her. I’m quite certain that she knew that she could have been stoned to death according to the law of the time in which she lived. For that reason, Mary knew that she might not even be able to bring her pregnancy to its full term from the human point of view, but she had faith to believe that what is impossible for us is possible for God. Armed with that faith she did say, “Yes!” She surrendered into the hands of God, and it really was surrendering because she did not know what the outcome or the consequence could be.
Mary had faith to believe that God would provide a way out and even a remedy for any unforeseen consequences that might occur no matter what difficulties would follow. Mary, with her faith and the power of God, the Holy Spirit brought Jesus, our Savior, into the world.
Friends, we are all faced with difficult decisions in our lives, just like Mary. Will we surrender to God and allow Him to do what from our human perspective seems impossible? Will we surrender to God and allow His agenda, His will, and His kingdom to become a reality for us?
Every time we say “amen” or “so be it” to God, we conceive Jesus in faith as Mary did. Then when we act on Jesus’ Holy Word, the Words of His Gospel, we bring Him into the world just as our beloved Mary did. Mary was full of grace from the first moment of her existence when she was immaculately conceived. Jesus comes to us through Mary, and Mary, full of grace, can help us on our way to Jesus. Pray to her every day, especially the Holy Rosary. May we all take Mary’s gentle hand and allow her to lead us to her Son, Jesus, our Risen Lord.
Question of the Day: Will you give your “yes” to God and surrender your will to Him?
Prayer: Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with you; blessed are you among women. Amen.