What must it have been like for a young Jewish woman (history says about 14 years old) to receive a message from an angel that she was with child? We can only imagine all the emotions and yet, strengthened by the Holy Spirit, Mary said, “Let it be done to me according to Your Word.” In that moment Mary said yes to becoming “theotokos:” the Mother of God!
However, the plan was long in the works; this plan for our salvation. The Catholic Church teaches and holds as doctrine that Mary was chosen by God from the moment of her conception; that she was born in the state of grace with no stain of original sin. The presence of the Holy Spirit aided her in living a life without sin as she grew to become the young woman who would give birth to our Savior, Jesus Christ. And so the Catholic Church celebrates her “Immaculate Conception” each year on December 8th, nine months before the Blessed Virgin’s birthday on September 8th.
Immaculate Conception is a holy day of obligation for Catholics. Some holy days of obligation are abrogated (have the obligation to attend Mass removed), especially if the date falls on a Saturday or Monday. But not so with the Immaculate Conception here in the United States, for
Mary is the chosen Patron Saint of our country. Therefore all Catholics are obligated to attend Mass in honor of Mary.
I invite you and your family to take seriously our obligation to celebrate Mary’s Immaculate Conception. We owe a great debt to the woman who offered her entire life to do what God asked of her. She is for us the model of a true and devoted disciple of Jesus Christ.
And I wonder (as the lyrics to song offer), “Mary, did you know; that when you kissed your little baby, you kissed the face of God?” We can only imagine!
He Would Love First!
October 24, 2020
A July Faith Formation Series – Part IV – APOSTOLIC