Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception

The liturgy provides us with the story of the fall of our first parents and the Annunciation.  The scriptures, especially Paul, talks about Christ as the new Adam.  The Fathers of the Church help us understand that Mary is the new Eve, and today’s liturgy invites us to meditate upon this great mystery.  In the beginning, when God created men and women, He created us subject to a law.  He gave us paradise with the single condition of obedience.  We know, again from Saint Paul, that if our first parents, Adam and Eve, had obeyed the voice of God none of us would have ever known sin.  Adam’s obedience would have been enough to prevent any of the rest of us from falling.  We fell in Adam.  In other words, Adam’s disobedience caused us all to become naturally disobedient.

If we turn now and look at how God saves us from that fall, the first person God has us look at in the New Testament – the first person we see recreated in God’s grace – is the Virgin Mary.  Mary shows us a great example of how to be Christian.  It is very simple, when God recreates humanity – when He recreates us – He does not give us another law: do not eat of the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.  Instead He gives us the announcement of a mysterious divine person who will save us.  He doesn’t give Mary a law to follow: He invites her to give birth to someone.  That’s what makes our Christian life so special – the law doesn’t go away, but God invites us to something new.  The Christian life is an invitation from God: God is inviting us to conceive in our hearts.  He asks us to let the Word of God begin to live in our hearts like a seed.  That seed will grow until it is no longer I who live but Christ who lives in me.

Christian grace is so amazing – it is a gift from God.  It is His presence in our lives and in our hearts.  He grows in us in ways we do not and cannot fully comprehend.  He saves us because we allow Him to dwell in our hearts richly, because we allow his Word to become fully alive in our souls.  May our Lady of the Immaculate Conception inspire us today with the simple wisdom to let it be done unto us according to His Word.  Her generosity itself was God’s gift to her, may God bless us with that same openness of heart.

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3 years ago

Amen! Thank you so much Fr. Francis!

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