The Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary

Genesis 3.9-15, 20; Psalm 97.1-4 (LXX); Ephesians 1.3-6, 11-12; Luke 1.26-38

O sing to the Lord a new song
for He has done marvelous things;
His right hand and His holy arm
have gotten Him victory.
The Lord has made known His victory.
He has revealed His vindication
in the sight of the nations.
He has remembered His steadfast love and faithfulness
to the house of Israel.
All the ends of the earth have seen
the victory of our God. (Ps. 97.1-4)
Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord;
let it be to me according to your word.
(Lk. 1.38)
. . .
The victory of our God appears in a most surprising way: the Son of God, eternally begotten of the Father, is born of the Virgin Mary.
It strikes me that there are only two things I can say about these readings, and this feast. The first is that she said ‘yes’ to God, and that ‘yes’ foreshadows the ‘yes’ 2 Corinthians describes. ‘All the promises of God find their Yes in Him’. The second is that, inspired by the example of Mary’s consent, I made her response to the angel Gabriel my morning prayer starting in June of 2009. My intention and hope was to grow in faithfulness and obedience to God, and I very often added a proviso to the prayer: ‘…as long as that doesn’t mean having another child’. Apparently God is not interested in provisos, and I am now pregnant with my fourth child.

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