Genesis 3:9-15, 20; Psalm 98:1-4; Ephesians 1:3-6, 11-12; Luke 1:26-38
Today the Church recalls and celebrates 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, Pope Pius IX said that Mary was conceived free from the stain of original sin. This privilege of Mary derives from God who chose her as the Mother of the Savior. St Paul, reminds us in the second reading that God has chosen us in Jesus Christ to be his people. In this light, Mary’s Immaculate Conception was part of God’s predestined plan for our salvation and glory. In order to achieve that salvation and glory, we have to live out the Gospel codes and say ‘yes’ to God every day just as Mary did.
Today’s gospel presents us with the Annunciation 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 an example of favour. If you need favour; seek her intercession. Mary 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. We even take privileges; divine honour and mandate placed on us for granted. We take the sacraments and the name of God for granted. We are so used to our faith that we fail to appreciate its beauty. Beloved, 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.
LET US PRAY
O God, who by the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin prepared a worthy dwelling for your Son, grant, we pray, that, as you preserved her from every stain by virtue of the Death of your Son, which you foresaw, so, through her intercession, we, too, may be cleansed and admitted to your presence. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, God, for ever and ever. Amen.