SOLEMNITY OF IMMACULATE CONCEPTION
REV. ARNOLD C. BIAGO, SVD
Today is the Solemnity of Immaculate Conception
Immaculate conception calls our attention to the special privilege of Mary to be free from all sin from the moment of birth. Mary was exempted from the pain and difficulty of being separated with God. God was always with Mary from the beginning.
Also, Immaculate Conception directs us to that noble role of Mary of being the Mother of God. If Mary was (in all her life) always in the presence of God it was due to this very significant role she has to assume. By being the mother of God, Mary then is rightly our mother too. Indeed, she was the best of all mothers. She was never tired of caring for us all her children. Remember what we say in the prayer, Hail Mary: “Pray for us sinners NOW and at the HOUR of our DEATH.” Mary never gets tired of us, she wants us all to come close to her Son Jesus, that is why, she is always praying for us.
With Mary, we are reminded of who we are and what we shall become. First, Mary personifies what we are supposed to be as followers of the Lord, that is, as Christ’s disciples. Mary was the first to accept the Good News of Salvation by her “fiat”, “yes” to the announcement of Angel Gabriel that she will be the mother of the Son of God. Later, Mary spends all her life faithfully and literally following Jesus up to the Cross. Like Mary, God is offering us the Good News of Salvation and asking us to follow the Son of God in Jesus Christ. And like Mary, God is waiting for our “fiat”, our yes to the Good News of Salvation and hoping that we follow Jesus until and even on the Cross.
Second, Mary provides us the hope of finally coming to be with God at the end. Here I am referring to the Assumption of Mary. Because Mary was free from sin, we strongly believe that at the end of her life on earth, Our Mother did not experience the corruption of death. At the Moment of Mary’s death, God assumed her body into Heaven. That is also what will happen to us. We will be with God when we are freed from sin, when we have faithfully followed the Lord and remained in God.
Mary is especially chosen by the God to be the Mother of the Son of God, Jesus Christ. She is our model in faith and in her we see our future. If God trusted Mary to be the Mother of the Son of God, the more we should trust that she’ll help us get close to God, to her Son.
I have my own reason for entrusting myself to Mary. I remember, as a small kid, I like to accompany my grandmother in her regular house visit to the house of a family of a bereaved to pray the rosary for the repose of the soul of the dead. Initially, I do not understand what it was all about. What I was very much interested was the merienda served after the praying of the rosary. But later, I came to know that it was a prayer… That was my first experience of God, praying the rosary, praying through Mary. Looking back at that experience, I can convincingly say that it was Mother Mary who introduced me to God. Mother Mary awakens in me an awareness of God, an awareness of Jesus, her Son and our Lord. Being our Mother, I am confident and unafraid that Mary will never get tired of interceding for us once we entrust ourselves to her motherly care, because she will pray for us… Now and at the hour of our death…