Mary, conceived without sin, is our own dear mother as well as the mother of Christ
Reflections on the readings for the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary (December 8, 2018): GN 3:9-15,20; PS 98:1,2-3,3-4; EPH 1:3-6,11-12; LK 1:26-38
MISSIO offers “Preaching Mission,” as a homily help, providing connections to mission from the readings of Sundays, Feast Days and Holy Days.
Belief in the Immaculate Conception of Mary was embraced by many of the faithful a thousand or more years before it was declared a dogma of the Church.
It is most appropriate that the mother of God who carried His Son within her own body would have a soul untouched by sin – original or personal. The merits of salvation that would be won for all by Jesus were illuminated in Mary at her own conception. In today’s Gospel we hear the angel Gabriel greet her with words that describe the state of her soul. “Hail, full of grace! The Lord is with you. … Behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall name Him Jesus. He will be great and will be called Son of the Most High … and of His Kingdom there will be no end” (Luke 1:28, 31-32, 33).
Everything God’s messenger said was true. Mary’s Son Jesus is the Son of the Most High. He is the Redeemer of the world and the King of the universe. At the Annunciation, which was also the Incarnation of the Word made flesh, the Blessed Virgin Mary agreed to all that was asked of her. And God’s plan for the salvation of His people took human form. While she did not realize it at the time of her Son’s conception within her womb, Mary truly became the mother of all God’s children. We can remember her Immaculate Conception and her loving care for us every time we say that beautiful prayer: “O Mary, conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to you.”
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