THE IMMACULATE CONCEPTION OF
THE BLESSED VIRGIN MARY
1st Reading: Genesis 3: 9-15.20
2nd Eph 1: 3- 6.11- 12
Gospel: Luke 1: 26- 38: Mary, the Mother of Jesus: Submission to God’s Will.
Today we are celebrating the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary.
The first reading talks about the first parents Adam and Eve on account of their disobedience as a result they were deprived of the life in the spirit of God.
The second reading brings joyful news for us all. God has loved us and chosen us right from the very beginning of the world to become His children through sharing His own life and to live holy lives so as to get ready to share God’s life and joy on earth and in heaven.
1. God’s plans of love for human:
God created the first parents Adam and Eve out of His love and not because He had to. Adam and Eve came God’s hands in his own image and likeness: perfect in body and soul and they were placed in a garden who were completely happy. But they lost their “grace-life” or “life in the Spirit” or “the wonderful gift of God” because of their disobedience to the command of God as St. Paul explains the word “grace” means “gift”, “baksheesh” in the second reading.
2. Adam and Eve wrecked God’ plans of love for them:
God does not force his gifts to anyone. He created Adam and Eve free. The greatest gift of freedom was given to them but they broke God’s command and lost their treasure of Grace-Life, the life in the Spirit to share it in heaven. Being the children of God they turned into slaves of the devil and experienced the miseries and death in life.
3. God’s plans of love for humankind were not to be defeated:
St. Paul tells us that God laid down his plans of love for humankind “from the beginning”, “before the world was made” (Eph 1: 4). This tells us how deep his love for human despite of Adam and Eve’s disobedience, God succeeded his plan through his Son Jesus Christ born of virgin Mary (Gal 4: 4) to make available to everyone the gift of “Grace-Life”, “The life in the Spirit” which Adam and Eve had lost by their disobedience. We have “Grace” “in Christ”, “In the Beloved”, “through Jesus Christ”. (Eph 1: 4.5.6).
4. The Mother of Jesus:
The Son of God, the Messiah was born of a woman (Gal 4: 4) was Mary from Nazareth. Mary would give to Jesus human life and Jesus would give to Mary Life Divine.
5. God communicated the Life in the Spirit to Mary from the very beginning of her existence: Great help for non-catholic brethren’s Mary’s existence
Adam and Eve lost Grace-Life, the life in the Spirit, not only for themselves, but also for all their children. Deprived of this gift, every human person is born inclined to sin, and sooner or later everyone falls a victim to it. But a single person Mary, the Mother of Jesus was preserved from the original sin from the very beginning (Gen 3: 15-“I will make you enemies of each other...your offspring and her offspring. It will crush your head...” a comparison study of Esther 5: 13; John the Baptist also received the life in the Spirit in visitation of Mary, in the womb of Elizabeth; Lk 1: 29-the greeting of the angel Gabriel at the annunciation-“Rejoice, you so highly favoured; the Lord is with you.”) was special privilege or favour granted to her is the purpose of day’s feast.
6. The holiness of Jesus demands that his Mother should receive the Life in the Spirit right from the moment she was conceived:
God filled her with Grace-Life from the very beginning and at no moment the devil touch her soul. She did the Will of God with humility and obedience to the command of God always.
7. From earliest time, Christians have firmly believed that Mary the Mother of Jesus possessed the Life in the Spirit form the first moment of her existence:
The Holy Spirit was given to the apostles on Pentecost day. As promised by the Lord Jesus, he has been with the Church down the centuries in the person of those whom Jesus appointed to guide his Church, the apostles and their successors. So the Spirit of the Lord not only guides the leaders of the church but every individuals and the community as well.
8. In 1854, the Church announced officially what Christians had believed down the centuries:
The feast we celebrate today which has been celebrated throughout the Church long before. It is surprised to hear that England was the one of the first countries to celebrate it, together with Ireland and other local Churches.
On December 8, 1854, Pope Pius IX, surrounded by many bishops from all over the world and thousands Christians at Rome declared this feast “That by a special favour from God, and in view of the merits of Jesus Christ, the Blessed Virgin Mary was preserved from all stain of original sin, from the very moment she was conceived.”
9. At Lourdes, Mary Confirmed the Faith of her Children:
Four years after the Holy Father’s solemn proclamation, she appeared several times to a girl called Bernadette, at a place called Lourdes, France. Hundreds of miraculous cures can’t be explained by the laws of nature proved by the doctors. Definitely, Mary has hand in that discovery.
In one of the apparitions Bernadette asked the Lady who appeared to her to tell her who she was. The Lady replied: “I am the one conceived without sin.”
Mary the Mother of Jesus has been also appeared in many other places all over the world that she intercedes for us to her Son Jesus Christ always like acting at the wedding feast at Cana and lots of miracles taking place in the lives of the believers today.
Thought: Mary was encouraged to believe: “For nothing is impossible with God.” God expects us to believe in His Power. Surrender to God is an absolute essential for our salvation.