Today we celebrate the Blessed Virgin Mary under the title of Our Lady of the
Immaculate Conception. This feast celebrates the Church’s dogmatic teaching (declared in 1854 by Pope Pius IX) that the Blessed Mother was given the gift from God of being conceived without
original sin. That is to say that from the moment of her conception, Mary was given the grace not only of freedom from original sin but of being the only human being other than her Divine Son who lived a life without sin. The Church teaches that the Blessed Mother was given this very special Grace of liberation from the effects of sin partly because she would be the Mother of God and bear the second person of the Blessed Trinity in her womb for nine months. As any scholar of the Old Testament could tell you, God could not dwell in the presence of sin. This is the reason the Angel called her "Full of Grace” or the “Highly Favored One."
The document Lumen Gentium says “Mary is…filled with entirely unique holiness,” someone who had free will and could have easily said no…but she was unimpeded by all of the
imperfections of human nature that came with sin; therefore, Mary was able to give herself over totally to the will of God, completely able to
cooperate with the Plan of Salvation.
In the year 1846, the Bishops of the
The United States unanimously chose Our Lady as the patroness of the United States under the title of Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception. Today we commend our lives and families and this blessed country, the United States of America, to her protection and guidance. She was the perfect disciple of Christ and our inspiration to be
faithful and listen to Jesus' Words. Remember that the best way to honor our Blessed Mother is to do what she told us during the wedding in
Cana: “Do what He tells you to do."
During this time of Advent, we set our eyes and our minds to contemplate the mother of God who is waiting for the Lord. Before she conceived Jesus in her womb, she conceived him in her heart.
You and your family are in my prayers. I pray that you have a blessed Advent with your beloved.