08 December 2006


Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary
Lk 1:26-38

Once I overheard someone pray the Angelus this way: “The angel of the Lord declared unto Mary…and she was conceived by the Holy Spirit.” I was bothered at first then I smiled.

The angelus is not about Mary being conceived. It is about Mary conceiving. Mary was not conceived by the Holy Spirit. She conceived by the Holy Spirit.

That is why what we celebrate today is not the Angelus. We celebrate the Angelus every March 25, the Solemnity of the Lord’s Annunciation. But today is the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception. Today is not about Jesus being conceived by the Blessed Mother, but about the Blessed Mother being immaculately conceived by her mother, St. Anne. Yes, Mary was conceived, but not by the Holy Spirit.

Mary, however, was to become the spouse of the Holy Spirit. The Power from the Most High would come upon her and overshadow her; thus, her Offspring would be called “Son of God” – the angel explained to her. The Immaculately Conceived would be the Immaculate Spouse of the Holy Spirit. She who conceived by the Holy Spirit was conceived without sin.

The feast today is first of all about God before it is about Mary. It is about God’s plan for the salvation of the world. He prepared well for the coming of His Son into the world. The Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary is God preparing the would-be mother of the Lord. It is not about Mary being exempted from being redeemed. It is about Mary being saved also by her Son even before the actual events of redemption. The Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary is about God at work in the life of the Blessed Mother.

How about God’s work in our life?


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