“Hail, full of grace! The Lord is with you." ~ Luke 1:28
On this the day our Church celebrates the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary, our 1st Reading (Genesis 3:9-15, 20) takes us back to that fateful day when sin first entered the world.
Our Church Fathers have taught us that Mary is in fact the “New Eve.” Whereas Eve sought deity, Mary humbly proclaimed herself the handmaid of the Lord, seeking to instead do the will of the father, not her own. Pope Benedict XVI once said that “In Mary Immaculate, we contemplate the reflection of the beauty that saves the world. The beauty of God that shines on the face of Christ. In Mary, this beauty is totally pure, humble, and free of all pride and presumption.” This was but a mere part of her legacy, a life that culminated in her Coronation as the Queen of Heaven, the eternal mother of all who seek her powerful and glorious intercession.
If our Blessed Mother were to visit us today, I have no doubt that she would urge each one of us to seek wisdom, patience, humility, and submission. Of this I am sure. The idea that one’s life is not about one’s self may seem foreign in this day and age but the removal of pride and vanity from our lives is without question the first steps in discovering one’s true self. We are a chosen people who have “been blessed 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” as Paul so lovingly explains in today’s 2nd Reading (Ephesians 1:3-6, 11-12). Paul goes on to say that “...in love, he destined us for adoption to himself through Jesus Christ, in accord with the favor of his will, for the praise of the glory of his grace that he granted us in the beloved.” It would appear yet again that by aligning our will with that of God’s, we come to live the truth, a truth that is written on our very hearts.
So yes, the God who chose Mary has also chosen you and I. And from the beginning of creation as well. He knew you. He intended for you to be born (“Before I formed you in the womb, I knew you” ~ Jeremiah 1:5). He sent his only son so that by his holy cross and resurrection we may achieve eternal redemption. Daughters and sons of the King of Kings. May our souls, like Mary’s, forever proclaim the greatness of our Lord.
“Oh clement, Oh loving, Oh sweet Virgin Mary. Pray for us Oh Holy Mother of God. That we may someday be made worthy of the promises of Christ.” ~ Amen