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Homily (Reflection) for the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary (8th December, 2016) on the Gospel and the Solemnity
 

Gen 3:9-15.20;
Ps 97:1-4. (R. v.1);
Eph 1:3-6.11-12;
Lk 1:26-38.
Topic: Rejoice, favoured one.
Today, the Church celebrates that Mary was conceived in the womb of her mother, Saint Anne, free from original sin by virtue of the foreseen merits of her son Jesus Christ. This is better known as the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary and was dogmatically defined in 1854 by Pope Pius IX in his papal bull Ineffabilis Deus.
Surely, this solemnity is one of the areas many non-Catholics question seriously. Just as Mary herself asked in today’s gospel how could it be possible that she would conceive and bear a son since she is a virgin, some also ask how could this be possible, cf. Lk 1:34. In my humble opinion, angel Gabriel has the answer: “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore the child to be born will be holy; he will be called Son of God” (Lk 1:35). We read in the gospel: “You will know them by their fruits. Are grapes gathered from thorns, or figs from thistles?” (Matt 7:16). It is God who protected Mary from the original sin because of the task ahead. The angel also said: “... nothing is impossible with God” (Lk 1:37, NLT).
Just as the Blessed Virgin Mary surrenders to God’s will: “Here am I, the servant of the Lord; let it be with me according to your word” (Lk 1:38) God expects each and every one of us to surrender our wills to Him. Because “Blessed rather are those who hear the word of God and keep it!” (Lk 11:28; Rev 1:3). We should rejoice because we are favoured by God.
Bible Reading: Lk 11:27-28.
Thought for today: Do you keep the Word of God?
Let us pray: May God help us through the intercession of Blessed Virgin Mary to give ourselves freely and entirely to Him – Amen.
Mary conceived without Original Sin – Pray for us.

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