God's great generosity to Mary...and all His children
Reflections on the readings for the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary (December 9, 2019): 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.
On this holy day venerating the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary, we honor God’s special gift to her – and to the world.
In anticipation of her motherhood of His Son through the power of the Holy Spirit, Mary was herself conceived without original sin. The first reference to the unique importance of Mary in the history of salvation comes in the story of Adam and Eve and their fall from grace. Rather than offer grateful fidelity to God’s will, they gave in to Satan’s temptations. They put their own wants and desires before God’s loving plans. Our Almighty Father knew that the sacrifice of Jesus Christ would be necessary to save His people – and the role our Blessed Mother would play in bringing His plan to fruition. In the Garden of Eden, God tells the serpent, “I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers; he will strike at your head, while you strike at his heel” (Genesis 3:15). And so humankind waited in a world that knew sin and death.
Starting in the churches of the east, devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary came to include the idea that, not only had she never sinned during her life, but also that she had been conceived without any stain of sin. The complete purity and absolute loyalty of Mary to Almighty God throughout every moment of her life came to be accepted in the west as well. A universally celebrated feast was created in the 18th century and Mary’s Immaculate Conception was finally acknowledged as doctrine in 1854. The faithful life and love of our Blessed Mother is a beautiful reflection of God’s infinite mercy and care for us, as revealed in the ministry, Crucifixion and Resurrection of our Lord and Savior.