Immaculate Conception, Thursday — 8th December 2022 — Gospel: Luke 1,26-38
Today we celebrate that Mary was conceived in the womb of her mother Anne without the sin with which all other humans are conceived. This was the beginning of Mary’s grace, the gift of God’s life within her. This nature of her Immaculate conception was solemnly defined as a dogma by Pope Pius IX in his constitution Ineffabilis Deus on December 8, 1854. The Church believes that the dogma has foundation in Scripture and supported by the writings of the Church Fathers such as Irenaeus of Lyons and Ambrose of Milan.
Today’s Gospel leads to the woman, who was gifted with grace. God gives Mary an abundance of grace. The angel Gabriel confirms this by greeting her, “full of grace.” And she responds with her “fiat” – “let it be”. We reflect on how Mary responded to God’s grace, and how she was perfected by God’s grace. It is because she was ever conscious of God’s love for her and desired to do what God was asking of her. She freely chooses to accept God’s grace, God’s life incarnate within her womb. This was a huge request that God asked of her. She struggled with fully understanding God’s will, but always was willing to say “Fiat”. She was confident that God will see her through, if she listens and responds. Because of this, God allowed her to be the blessed vehicle to carry and bring forth the Son of God in His Humanity.