The Immaculate Conception Of The Blessed Virgin Mary
Gospel Reflection 12/8/2022
Calling upon "Holy Mary, Mother of God," Christians ask the one who was the immaculate Mother of the Lord by a unique privilege: "Pray for us sinners" and entrust themselves to her at the present moment and at the ultimate moment of death.
Today we honor Mary the Blessed Virgin and Mother of Christ. This is a most special day of the year as the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception celebrates Mary's conception without sin. This holy day of obligation in the Catholic faith teaches and reminds us that Mary was preserved from all stains of original sin. We acknowledge this truth in today's reading, where the angel Gabriel proclaims, "Hail, full of grace! The Lord is with you" (Luke 1:28). Mary's extraordinary holiness reaches over and reveals the unmatched goodness of God.
In 1854, Pope Pius IX proclaimed:
The most Blessed Virgin Mary was, from the first moment of her conception, by a singular grace and privilege of almighty God and by virtue of the merits of Jesus Christ, Savior of the human race, preserved immune from all stain of original sin.
The faithful have much to celebrate today, and I urge everyone to attend Mass and celebrate this glorious day. Spend time and call on Mary as she will help to discern what God is trying to convey to you. She will comfort you as a good and loving mother does with her child and battle the demons that seek to destroy.
Here are a few prayers to ponder throughout the day, and if anyone is unfamiliar with the first prayer below, I hope you will find it most beautiful and simple yet powerful. This prayer of intercession grasps the love that pours out of God and through our most holy Mother.
“O Mary, conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to thee.”
The Memorare Prayer:
Remember, O most gracious Virgin Mary, that never was it known that anyone who fled to thy protection, implored thy help, or sought thy intercession was left unaided.
Inspired by this confidence, I fly unto thee, O Virgin of virgins, my Mother. To thee do I come, before thee I stand, sinful and sorrowful. O Mother of the Word Incarnate, despise not my petitions, but in thy mercy hear and answer me.
135 Pius IX, Ineffabilis Deus (1854): DS 2803