Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary
Open Our Hearts and Bear Christ to the World
It is God’s grace that allows us to do anything. We have a choice to use or not use the grace of God to bear Christ to the world. Mary was graced to be born immaculate and without sin. Mary was not forced to bear the Son of God. Mary was asked and she gracefully accepted. God does not force us to do anything. We always have the freedom to choose. Adam and Eve chose to sin, and this is where death entered into the world. Mary chose to bear the Son of God, and this is where life entered the world.
The Blessed Virgin Mary was conceived immaculately, and so is unstained by original sin. In the second reading today, Saint Paul reminds the Ephesians that God chose us to be adopted as God’s children, holy and loved. We all received a call in our baptism. That call is remarkably similar to the Blessed Virgin Mary’s, whose calling we recall in today’s Gospel. Like Mary, we are called to bear Christ to the world. We are called to be the voice of Christ in what we say and the hands of Christ in what we do. We are called to put this into practice every day, allowing ourselves to be the vehicle for Christ’s ongoing uplift of the world. Let us respond as Mary did: “May it be done to me according to your word.” Mary opened her heart to hear God’s word from the lips of the angel. Let us open our hearts as well as we hear God’s word.
Deacon Peter Smith is a member of the Passionist Family. He resides in Arizona.