“Then the Lord said to 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 3:14,15)
Reflections on the readings for the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary (December 8, 2022): GN 3:9-15,20; PS 98:1,2-3,3-4; EPH 1:3-6,11-12; LK 1:26-38
MISSIO offers “Mission In Scripture” to nurture a missionary heart, providing reflections on the missionary themes in the readings of Sundays, Feast Days and Holy Days.
Let us take a little time to meditate on God’s love and how Mary is truly the mother of the Redeemer as well as the redeemed.
Although Scriptures contain no direct mention of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary, this belief became widely held by the faithful over the centuries of the Church. Today’s Old Testament reading calls us to see Mary as the woman -- the one called to become the New Eve and the true Mother of the living. St. Paul’s letter to the Ephesians reminds us how God prepared for the redemption of His cherished people. “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavens, as He chose us in Him, before the foundation of the world, to be holy and without blemish before Him. …In Him we were also chosen, destined in accord with the purpose of the One who accomplishes all things according to the intention of His will, so that we might exist for the praise of His glory, we who first hoped in Christ” (Ephesians 1:3-4,11-12). All believers in Christ are expected to live out and spread the Good News. But Mary alone was the precious bearer of her Son Jesus, the Son of God and our Redeemer. The Almighty designed that Jesus who would sacrifice Himself for us would be incarnate in her womb by the power of the Holy Spirit.
Let us take a little time to meditate on God’s love and how Mary is truly the mother of the Redeemer as well as the redeemed. St. Louise de Marillac, co-founder of the Daughters of Charity with St. Vincent de Paul, had great devotion to Christ and to His Blessed Mother. She wrote: “The Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary leads us to realize and to adore the omnipotence of God because grace totally vanquished nature in her. She was saved without ever having been lost, not only through mercy but also through justice, since this was essential for the Incarnation of the Son of God in the eternal plan for the Redemption of mankind.”
Suggested missionary action: As we attend the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass on this Solemnity, let us thank Almighty God for His gift of the Blessed Virgin Mary. She is His faithful daughter as well as our mother and queen. Let us pray that she keeps us close to her so that we can draw ever nearer her Son, our merciful Savior.