Laudetur Jesus Christus!
Gelobt sei Jesus Christus!
Praised be Jesus Christ!
This coming week we will celebrate the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary. Many people often confuse this Feast with the Feast of the Conception of Christ. What a miracle it would have been had our Blessed Mother conceived our Lord on December 8 and gave birth to Him roughly two weeks later. The Immaculate Conception is not the conception of Christ, but it is rather the celebration of the Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary, whose birthday we celebrate nine months later on September 8. For us at Old St. Mary’s, the conception of Christ that we celebrate on March 25, is an important Feast as this was the day that the cornerstone was laid for our parish church, forever placing Old St. Mary’s under the patronage of the Annunciation.
However, what set off this whole series of events that led to our redemption, is the Immaculate Conception. This represented the first time in all of human history where God directly intervened to help undo the effects of original and human sin. This was the first time that God directly held out his hand to us, offering us forgiveness and grace, if we were willing to accept it. The Immaculate Conception is arguable the most important Marian Feast and one of the most important Feasts of the entire Church year for this reason. It demonstrates to us, in the most concrete way, that God is Lord over even sin and death. That even in the worst of all circumstances, the threat of our eternal separation from God, that He can bring about a most blessed good, the conception of the young virgin who would put into motion our justification and redemption.
In 1847, seven years before he even declared the Dogma of the Immaculate Conception, Bl. Pope Pius IX approved the request of the bishops of the United States to have Our Lady, under the title of the Immaculate Conception, declared the Patroness of the country. For this reason, no matter which day the Immaculate Conception falls on, it is always a Holy Day of Obligation.
Aside from the fact that it is a Holy Day of Obligation, I encourage everyone to attend Mass this day. First, to give homage to Our Lady for the great role that she played in redemption. Secondly, to ask for Our Lady’s intercession for our parish and our country. Secondly, to ask for Our Lady’s intercession for our parish and our country. The world is in need of so many prayers, and it shows us day after day why we are in need of Christ and redemption. Human nature has not changed much from days of Adam and Eve, but the Immaculate Conception shows us that if we cooperate with God’s plan, He can do great things. Have a blessed week ahead!