Thursday 8 December 2022

About Today Readings

Immaculate Conception

Genesis 3:9-15, 20. Sing to the Lord a new song, for he has done marvellous deeds – Psalm 97(98):1-4. Ephesians 1:3-6, 11-12. Luke 1:26-38.

Hail Mary, full of grace

Today we celebrate the feast of the Immaculate Conception. Some people have mistakenly thought that this means that the Spirit settling on Mary as declared by angel Gabriel at the Annunciation or the virgin birth of Jesus was encapsulated by this phrase. However, this is not the case. The Immaculate Conception refers to Mary’s own birth and life as free from original sin. As a young woman ‘full of grace’ she was able to say yes to Gabriel, a profound leap of faith in setting out on an unknown path, especially in those severely patriarchal and judgmental times.

In our tradition, we know of Mary as mother, wife and first disciple. She is mother of the Church and the most famous woman in history. Yet, she was lowly-born, humble, a woman of her times. Despite this, her vocation was to bring into the world the Christ child and set in train the redemptive story of humankind’s salvation through her Saviour son. Pope John Paul II wrote that she was an icon of the pilgrim Church in the wilderness of history (General Audience 14/3/2001)

Let us pray to our mother Mary to continue to guide and bless us as we find our way out of our contemporary wilderness. May her shining example of faith and goodness illuminate our path.

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