The Immaculate Conception
This month, we celebrate the great Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of God. On this day, we celebrate one of the four great Marian Dogmas, the Immaculate Conception. As defined by the Church, the Mother of God and the bearer of our Lord and Savior, was Immaculate or free from the burden of Original Sin. Not only was she free from sin upon her birth, Mary remained free from sin throughout her life.
The Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary does not refer to the birth of Mary, which we celebrate nine months from now. Instead, the Immaculate Conception refers to the moment when Mary was conceived in the womb of St. Anne, Mary’s mother. Despite the stain of sin on St. Anne, she conceived Mary and through God’s grace, Mary was without sin.
We hear in Genesis that mankind fell into sin when Adam and Eve, our first ancestors, listened to the lies and falsehoods of Satan instead of obeying God and His Commandments. When Adam and Eve ate of the Forbidden Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil, Satan managed to persuade mankind to disobey the Lord. Through that disobedience, sin entered into Man’s existence. Sin has corrupted our human nature and what was all good and perfect by God’s design became stained by sin.
God already had in mind exactly how He would come to save us from our downfall. Consistently, God sent prophets to remind us of His promise to send a Messiah through a Virgin woman.
This woman is indeed none other than Mary, whom God, by His special grace, made holy, immaculate and pure and free from original sin. Mary was special because although she is still a created being, a human person, she was preserved from the stain and corruption of sin. We see this when the Archangel Gabriel visited Mary and hailed her as “full of Grace” She was totally and completely perfect and from this perfect woman comes our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
Mary is then loved as “the new Eve” and Jesus “the new Adam” since both were totally obedient to the desires of the Lord and followed His Word perfectly. The Immaculate Conception is a celebration of not only Mary aiding in righting the wrong of Eve but also acts as “the New Ark of the Covenant.” This is because her Son is God Himself and she acted as the Ark by bearing God in her womb for nine months before He was born into this world at Christmas.
Mary acts as an example for how we were originally intended to be, perfect and free from sin. We were never meant to suffer in this world and from the consequences of our sin, we do. Our inability to resist the temptations of sin, its allures and power caused us to end up in this predicaments! But God has shown us the way out, through His Son, Our Lord and Savior. His mother, Mary, the Immaculate Conception, is our inspiration and guide to Him. May we resolve to commit ourselves anew to God, in the footsteps of our Blessed Mother, Mary, the one conceived without sin.