Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary

Gen. 3:9-15.20       Ephesians 1:3-6.11-12   Luke 1:26b-38

Theme: Hail Mary, Full of Grace

Today the church celebrates the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary. A celebration that was officially made a Dogma in the church by Pope Pius 1X in the year 1854. Today’s celebration is a holy day of obligation in some parts of the world, while in some other places it is not. This celebration reminds us of the conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary, which is pure and exempts her from the original sin. Suffice it to say that she was conceived, free of original sin. This is because from the very beginning of her life, she enjoyed the grace of God. She was prepared for her role as the mother of Jesus from conception. By implication, she was granted salvation by God from the very beginning of her life. Thus, Mary is a gift from God to all of us as children of God.

In the gospel reading of today, we see the story of the Annunciation, how the Angel Gabriel addressed Mary and the positive disposition with which she accepted the message that was presented to her by the Angel. The attitude of Mary towards the message of the Angel Gabriel is worthy of emulation. She said yes to the message of the Angel, even though she knew it was a difficult one. She asked the necessary question and believed the message of the Angel. In the same way, we all are encouraged to always trust in God, even when the situation seems to be a very difficult and hopeless one, humanly speaking. Always take solace in the fact that there is no situation that is beyond God, even when it has overwhelmed us as human beings.

We are all encouraged today to cooperate with the grace of God at our disposal, just like our mother Mary did, and we will never regret it. The grace of God is sufficient for all of us, no matter the situation we find ourselves in life. May the grace of God continue to sustain us in our lives, in the name of the father and of the son and of the holy spirit, Amen. Peace be with you.

Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary, by Fr. Jude Ifeanyi Ifezime, C.S.Sp