Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary
December 8, 2022
Today, in God’s Lavish Mercy, we celebrate the feast of the Immaculate Conception, the belief that Mary was conceived without the mark of Original Sin.
Beyond the intricate theology underlying the feast, what we treasure is that Mary made a holy place for Christ to dwell as he became incarnate, grew, lived and redeemed the world in loving mercy.
Our Gospel story today invites us to pray with the most important word Mary ever said, “Yes. Fiat.” Think about it. Mary was not TOLD to become the mother of Jesus. She was asked. She could have said, “No” … for any number of logical reasons.
- I’m too young.
- I’ve got other plans.
- Joseph won’t like this!
- I don’t trust angels.
- I’m afraid.
I’m sure all of us can think of a few more very rational excuses to tell our “angels” that we’re not ready for transforming grace. I know I have quite a few of them tucked away from over the years. But Mary calls us to something more – she calls us to an “irrational season” of love which responds to the irrational love God has for us!
Mary chose to say “Yes.” She may not have had to work too hard to find the courage for it within her heart. She was already “full of grace”, having lived her short young life with a faithfulness that made her ready to bear Christ to the world.
We pray that, with Mary’s love and guidance, we too may find the courage to make choices that sanctify our hearts, readying them to receive God.
God will come to us today – not on angel’s word – but in the human form of someone poor, sick, desperate, heart-broken, lonely, or just plain tired. May our faith allow us to respond as Mary did, with a grace-fullness that invites God into the situation.