Honoring Mary, The Immaculate Conception

8 Dec

Picture of Our Lady of the Immactulate Conception

Oh what a gift we have!  Today, December 8th, we celebrate the feast of the Immaculate Conception of Mary, the Mother of God.

Mary is a gift to us because she is the first and foremost intercessor on our behalf before the throne of God.  How do we know this?  There are multiple sources in the Bible that tell us that Mary was Immaculately conceived – meaning that she was without Original Sin from the moment of her conception.  This gem I found while searching for sources on this topic.  (By the way, Catholic Exchange is a phenomenal resource!  I visit the website nearly every day to read the articles submitted by lay people like you and me.)  The article gives eight Bible references that point to Mary’s Immaculate Conception.

When trying to articulate what the Immaculate Conception is, I’ve thought of this: God wanted a completely pure and clean vessel to carry His Son from conception in the womb and into the world.  He would not have chosen someone that was in any way tainted by sin.  There is a lot of theological detail I would go into for the reasoning why Jesus’ mother did not have Original Sin, but I will save that for a later date.  But, here is a thought: The Ark of the Covenant from the Old Testament was a prefigurement of Mary, a clean and beautiful “vessel” in which to carry something (in this case someone) pure and holy.  Thus God spared Mary from Original Sin so she could become the Mother of the Savior.

We, as Catholics, do not worship Mary.  Rather, we give her a place of honor as we would give the memory of a loved one.  Mary, being the mother of our Savior, holds a place of high esteem in our lives.  I keep a picture of Mary in my room to remind me to ask her to pray to Jesus for me.  There is a beautiful passage in the Song of Solomon that refers to Mary saying, “Who is she that comes forth like the morning rising, as beautiful as the moon, as bright as the sun, as awe-inspiring as an army in battle array?”

In the Catholic Church, today is a holy day of obligation, which means that we go to Mass and commemorate the saint we celebrate on that day, and in this case we commemorate Mary and thank her for being such a great saint.

Mary is the perfect role model because she was super holy, tight with God, good to her neighbors and a pretty rockin’ wife and mother.  I want to be like her!  Who wouldn’t?

So if you think about it today, tell Mary hello and thank her for playing such an important role in salvation history.  I know she would appreciate it.  So would her Son!

Until next time,

Rachel

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