To all my readers, I wish to extend to you my blessing on this obligatory solemnity of the Immaculate Conception of Mary, Mother of God.
Since this solemnity is often misunderstood as a celebration of Mary conceiving Jesus in her womb through the Holy Spirit (this is not what we are recalling this day), I want to simply state what I am sure all of you know: Today is the day we recall the conception of Mary, who was conceived without sin, who was spared, by a singular grace of God won for her by her Son Jesus’ merits, the stain of original sin. We also believe that Mary kept her sinlessness throughout her life, free from both original and actual, personal sin. All of this by God’s grace and her cooperation with the grace given her, so that she would be a worthy mother of God himself in his Son, Jesus Christ.
This is a sign from God of how important and dignified we are meant to be, all of us. Mary is a model for us, both in life and in death. What she is, we too will be if we are responsive to the grace given us in our lives, and faithfully do what is asked of us by the Lord. Mary’s highest dignity and honor was in following her Lord, her son, Jesus, by being not only his mother, but his follower. She followed him everywhere, and led all to him by her intercession, example, and acceding to grace. Yes, she was given a special, singular grace not offered to us, but like us she had a role to play in the history of salvation, and she fulfilled it perfectly. Our role, our mission, our vocation, is also equally important in some ways. Will we accept it?