Meditation for the Day

Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception, December 9

May Mary’s Fiat Become a Model for Our Own Life of Faith, Giving Birth to the Virtues of Compassion, Love and Mercy, So That We May Live a Life Filled with Humility and Personal Sanctity.

“Sing to the LORD a new song, for he has done wondrous deeds” – these words from today’s psalmist, which we find in our Responsorial Psalm, set the stage for the Solemnity which the universal Church celebrates today, the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary.

And what does the dogma of the Immaculate Conception teach us? – that Mary was preserved from the stain of Original Sin from the very first moment of her conception in her mother’s womb, due to a Singular grace and privilege accorded her by the Eternal Father through the foreseen merits of Jesus Christ.

(For more information, please read today’s Saint for the Day for December 8.)

On this Solemnity, we identify Mary as “the woman” and Christ as “her offspring” in the Book of Genesis – who will ultimately crush the head of the serpent for all eternity. On this Solemnity, we identify Mary as the new Eve, who in contrast to the first Eve about whom Scripture describes as the “mother of all the living”, Mary becomes the Mother of all who live in Christ; for she becomes our Spiritual Mother – a Mother who constantly invites us to grow in our relationship with her Divine Son, a Mother who always intercedes for us so that we may grow in personal holiness, a Mother who loves each of us so intensely and so tenderly that she does not desire to lose any of her spiritual children to the realm of eternal darkness.

In today’s First Reading from the Book of Genesis, we are introduced to that moment in time when the disobedience of our first parents led to the foundation of Original Sin, mankind’s fall from grace. Eve’s seduction by the serpent is in sharp contrast to Mary’s surrender to God’s will, which we find in today’s Gospel.

Adam and Eve’s efforts to evade responsibility for their actions contrast sharply with Mary’s heroic willingness to accept the responsibility which God offers her on becoming the Mother of His Son, who was to give Him flesh so that He would become the Eternal Word and the Eternal Wisdom Incarnate.

One can only wonder what went through Mary’s mind when first being greeted by the Archangel Gabriel – a greeting which prompted even Mary to ponder the depth of what such a salutation might mean, “Hail, full of grace! The Lord is with you.” And being open to all that God was asking of her, Mary gave her humble assent, her fiat, fully trusting in God’s providential Love – “Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord. May it be done to me according to your word.”

The Church holds up Mary’s fiat as a model for each of us. Her fiat becomes our roadmap, the response required by each of us as faithful Christians in God’s plan for our own life of faith – as we imitate the humility, the holiness, the purity within Mary’s life.

If we could reach the level of faith and virtuous life which Mary our Mother lived, we would find within ourselves that indwelling of peace that her Divine Son came to give us. And we would also find the glorious serenity that places all of our cares and sorrows of this world in the hands of God, truly trusting in the One who is Love Himself.

During this season of Advent, a season of hope and expectation, the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception is a time to celebrate the great joy of God’s gift to humanity in Mary, and to recognize, with greater clarity, the truth that each and every human being has been created by God to fulfill a particular role in response to the needs of the Body of Christ.

“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I dedicated you, a prophet to the nations I appointed you” – these words which we find in the Book of the Prophet Jeremiah speak not only of Mary, but also to each one of us wherever we may find ourselves in life, fulfilling God’s will for us.

And in Paul’s Letter to the Ephesians, he reminds us that we are all called to a life of holiness with the words which we read today, “In him we were also chosen, destined in accord with the purpose of the One who accomplishes all things according to the intention of his will, so that we might exist for the praise of his glory…”

In Mary’s life, we find the example of holiness for each of us to follow. Hers was a life of simple humility and loving service to her God through the fiat which she gave – so that God’s will might be fulfilled through her, so that she, as our Spiritual Mother, would bring into the world and give to each of us our Savior and our Redeemer.

As we prepare for the celebration of Christ’s Holy Birth among us, may Mary’s fiat become a model for our own life of faith, giving birth to the virtues of compassion, love and mercy – so that our journey of faith may be filled with true humility and personal sanctity, together with loving service in response to all that God asks of us.

And may our respect and admiration of Mary’s holiness, from the very moment of her Immaculate Conception, give praise to God as we, too, seek a life filled with God’s grace, all for His greater honor and glory!

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Please Comment, Like and Share, and Suggest to your Facebook friends – to spread the message of God’s Merciful Love.

Por favor Comente, Le Gusta y Comparta, y Sugiera a tus amigos en Facebook – en difundir el mensaje del Misericordioso Amor de Dios.

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Scripture for the Day

  • “And coming to her, he said, ‘Hail, favored one! The Lord is with you.’” (Luke 1:28)
  • Then the angel said to her, ‘Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God.’” (Luke 1:30)
  • “Mary said, ‘Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord. May it be done to me according to your word.’” (Luke 1:38ab)
  • “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I dedicated you, a prophet to the nations I appointed you.” (Jeremiah 1:5)
  • “I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers; he will strike at your head, while you strike at his heel.” (Genesis 3:15)
  • “In him we were also chosen, destined in accord with the purpose of the One who accomplishes all things according to the intention of his will, so that we might exist for the praise of his glory…” (Ephesians 1:11-12a)
  • “For those he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son…And those he predestined he also called; and those he called he also justified.” (Romans 8:29a, 30bc)
  • “For behold, henceforth all generations will call me blessed; for he who is mighty has done great things for me, and holy is his name.” (Luke 1:48b-49)
  • “Sing a new song to the LORD, for he has done marvelous deeds…He has remembered his mercy and faithfulness toward the house of Israel. All the ends of the earth have seen the victory of our God.” (Psalm 98:1a, 3)
  • “I will sing of your mercy forever, LORD; proclaim your faithfulness through all ages.” (Psalm 89:2)

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Prayer for the Day

“Most Heavenly and Eternal Father,

The image of the Virgin is found in the Church.

Mary had a faith that Your Spirit prepared

and a love that never knew sin,

for You kept her sinless from the first moment of her conception.

“Trace in our actions the lines of her love,

and in our hearts her readiness of faith.

Prepare once again a world for Your Son

who lives and reigns with You in the unity of the Holy Spirit,

one God, for ever and ever. Amen.”

cf. Alt. Prayer from the Proper for the Immaculate Conception (Liturgy of the Hours)

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