Gospel Reflections

Feast of the Immaculate Conception

Luke 1:26-38

Gospel Reflection by Sister Marie-Angele Kitewo

Published: December 09, 2019

The Immaculate Conception of Mary is a continual call to sanctity according to the plan of salvation of the Creator!

The Gospel passage which we read at the Mass on this feast places this event within time and space.  It refers to an announcement which is specific and extraordinary.  The specific text is, “the sixth month… in a village of Galilee, named Nazareth…” (Mt.1: 26).

We already notice an allusion to another similar event, one which had already happened, that is, the visit made to Zachariah by the Angel Gabriel announcing to him the birth of John the Baptist, the precursor of the Savior who was awaited.

These visits have the characteristics of a call, an invitation from God, addressed to his elect, to collaborate and contribute to the accomplishment of his established plan of salvation.  The details regarding time and space highlight the importance, the seriousness of the message which was to be announced.
Although Holy Scripture does not say anything specific regarding the Immaculate Conception of Mary, this reality may be considered as a particular form of call, an exceptional grace which God accorded to Mary alone, his servant.  No dialogue!  God takes the initiative to prepare the context in which his plan would find its certain accomplishment.  The Immaculate Conception of Mary is a divine choice, a specific action setting her apart so as to accomplish an objective, unique of its kind, to reveal the salvation of humankind.   As a consequence, Mary became a person completely different from other humans; no other creature resembles her!
On a threefold level as children of God, Christians and those called to embrace life according to the evangelical counsels, we bear fruits of the grace of the Immaculate Conception of Mary.  Indeed, divine action, begun in Mary, continues in us throughout the ages.  

In his letter to the Ephesians, St. Paul reminds us in these terms:  
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, just as he chose us in Christ before the foundation of the world to be holy and blameless before him in love.
He destined us for adoption as his children through Jesus Christ, according to the good pleasure of his will, to the praise of his glorious grace that he freely bestowed on us in the Beloved (Eph. 1, 3-6).

To celebrate the feast of the Immaculate Conception of Mary is an expression of the continual admiration to the inexpressible beauty with which God fashioned Mary as a person.  And through this admiration, we, too, are led to praise and glorify God’s holy will as Mary did throughout all her life.  Likewise, following the same path, St. Julie Billiart never ceased to recognize, to find the Goodness of God everywhere, in all the circumstances of her life.

Let us pray that the Feast of the Immaculate Conception of Mary may be for each one of us, an opportunity for grace, given for ongoing and continual sanctification.  
Happy are the pure of heart, for they will see God”! (Mt. 5:8). And this purity will make of them true witnesses of the divine Sanctity!

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