Friday, December 7, 2023
Luke 1:26 - 38
May it be done to me according to your word
Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary
On December 8, 1854, Pope Pius IX made this dogmatic declaration:
We declare, pronounce, and define that the doctrine which holds that the most Blessed Virgin Mary, in the first instance of her conception, by a singular grace and privilege granted by Almighty God, in view of the merits of Jesus Christ, the Savior of the human race, was preserved free from all stain of original sin, is a doctrine revealed by God and therefore to be believed firmly and constantly by all the faithful.
The Church had a devotion to the Immaculate Conception for centuries prior; making it a dogma means we can know that this is certain.
To celebrate the Immaculate Conception, the Gospel reading today is a reminder of why it was so important for Mary to be preserved from sin: “He will be great and will be called Son of the Most High…” Only the most pure could give birth to the second person of the Trinity.
Mary was chosen to be the Mother of God, to bear the child and bring Christ to the world for our salvation. And she said, “Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord. May it be done to me according to your word.”
Recommended reading: The Reed of God by Caryll Houselander (As low as $1.99 for Kindle.)
Hail, Mary, full of grace. The Lord is with you. Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death. Amen.