Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception
Genesis 3:9-15, 20, Psalm 98:1-4, Ephesians 1:3-6, 11-12, & Luke 1:26-38
I recall feeling a bit sad when I heard of those uncomfortable with today's Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception. Some didn't understand it by confusing it with the conception or the birth of Jesus. Others seem not to like its focus on Mary or that she shouldn't be thought to be "special." Still, others didn't know what it meant for us and didn't know how to celebrate it.
I believe it helps to remember that the feast celebrates God's care in becoming Incarnate. The Three-Persons in one Godhead carefully planned the Incarnation. In choosing to save creation from the power of sin and death, the Holy Trinity sent the second Person of the Trinity to be born, live, and die among us, surrendering to the Father. For this to happen, in a human way, God needed the cooperation of a woman who would conceive and give birth to our Savior. She was to a woman who was so "full of grace" that she could form Him in freedom and full availability to God's will. Mary was full of grace from the moment of her conception in St. Anne's womb, and we would later understand that Mary was given the gift of redemption, which her Son would bring to us all.
Mary, our Blessed Mother, is so easy to turn to, be with, talk, and "listen" to because she is wholly centered on her Son. Mary can assist each of us to grow, mature, and understand our mission. She can be our mother and guide in helping us lead a life that is more capable of surrendering ourselves in following our Lord Jesus.
Under the title of Immaculate Conception, Mary is the patron of the United States and many other countries. In our current world, full of confusion, violence, and distrust, it is imperative to turn to Mary and beg her help for our country and the world.
May we be able to focus on our mission to care for the common good. May we be better at not forgetting the people on the margins. May we protect the dignity of every human life as precious children of God. As we unify around the previous comments, may we seek peace together for our world and its children in the future.
Question of the Day: How will you call on Mary, our Mother, to ask her Son, our Lord Jesus, to intercede on your behalf?
Prayer: "Hail, Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with you; blessed are you among women."