Of the Blessed Virgin Mary
Genesis 3:9-15, 20
Ephesians 1:3-6, 11-12
On this Feast Day of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary. We profess that Mary was conceived without sin, that she remained sinless her whole life and that she gave birth to Christ our savior. Mary from the moment of her conception was “full of grace.” What is this “grace” that Mary received and was full of? I used to think that I received grace from God when I was good, and I lost graced when I was bad. Grace is a gift; it is a gift freely given from God to us. We can choose to participate in this God-given gift, or we can refuse it, either way, it is given to us. Mary spent her entire life in that grace and because she did she always points us to a holier way to live.
In our first reading from the book of Genesis, we see that God created Adam and Eve and placed them in paradise. However, this was not enough for Adam and Eve, to live in a perfect world, so they gave into temptation, and they realized their sinfulness. The awesome thing about this is God in his goodness still gave them the gift of grace and life began through them.
In our second reading, St. Paul knows all about “grace” as he proclaims, “God has chosen us as he has already given us every spiritual blessing to be holy and blameless in his sight.” Mary is our good example of holiness living.
In our Gospel, we hear all about Mary and how she is “full of grace” as she says, “Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord. May it be done to me according to your word.”
As we celebrate the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary, may we say, “Behold I am the servant of the Lord. May it be done to me according to your word.” May we be “full of grace” and with the help of Mary become more filled with hope, more prayerful, more at peace, and more filled with joy.