Genesis 3:9-15, 20; Psalm 98:1-4; Ephesians 1:3-6, 11-12; Luke 1:26-38
Today’s solemnity recalls the Immaculate Conception of Mary in the womb of her mother. In 1854, Pope Pius IX solemnly clarified with finality the long-held belief of the Church that Mary was conceived free from original sin. In proclaiming the Immaculate Conception of Mary as a dogma of the Church, the pope expressed precisely and clearly that Mary was conceived free from the stain of original sin. This privilege of Mary derives from God having chosen her as Mother of the Savior. St Paul, reminds us in the second reading that God has chosen us in Jesus Christ to be his people and that Mary’s Immaculate Conception was part of God’s predestined plan for our salvation and glory. In order to achieve that salvation and glory ourselves, we have to live the Gospel ethics and say ‘yes’ to God every day, just as Mary did.
The gospel narrates the Annunciation to Mary by Angel Gabriel. The words “Rejoice, so highly favoured!” (Luke 1:28), mirrors the special place Mary already had since the foundations of the world. Mary is a woman and the exemplar of the faith that we are called to have in God. She was privileged but she did not take her privileged grace for granted. We take a lot of things for granted. Sometimes we take our faith and gifts for granted. This is especially true of people who were raised in the church. We have grown so accustomed to our faith we fail to appreciate its beauty. We simply take it for granted. We take the sacraments for granted; we take access to God for granted; we take the gift of salvation for granted; and we take the name of the Lord for granted. Like Mary let us preserve our gifts and live out our calling. During this advent, this solemnity reminds us of the need to be pure or immaculate again. Mary Immaculate, pray for us.
Let us pray
Hail, holy Queen, Mother of mercy, hail, our life, our sweetness and our hope. To thee do we cry, poor banished children of Eve: to thee do we send up our sighs, mourning and weeping in this vale of tears. Turn then, most gracious Advocate, thine eyes of mercy toward us, and after this our exile, show unto us the blessed fruit of thy womb, Jesus, O merciful, O loving, O sweet Virgin Mary! Amen.
HAPPY FEAST DAY TO OUR CATHEDRAL CHURCH!
IMMACULATE CONCEPTION CATHEDRAL, AUCHI.