DEC. 8. THE IMMACULATE CONCEPTION. LK. 1. 26-38
The angel Gabriel was sent by God to a town in Galilee called Nazareth, to a virgin betrothed to a man named Joseph, of the House of David; and the virgin’s name was Mary. He went in and said to her, ‘Rejoice, so highly favoured! The Lord is with you.’ She was deeply disturbed by these words and asked herself what this greeting could mean, but the angel said to her, ‘Mary, do not be afraid; you have won God’s favour. Listen! You are to conceive and bear a son, and you must name him Jesus. He will be great and will be called Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his ancestor David; he will rule over the House of Jacob for ever and his reign will have no end.’ Mary said to the angel, ‘But how can this come about, since I am a virgin?’ ‘The Holy Spirit will come upon you’ the angel answered ‘and the power of the Most High will cover you with its shadow. And so the child will be holy and will be called Son of God. Know this too: your kinswoman Elizabeth has, in her old age, herself conceived a son, and she whom people called barren is now in her sixth month, for nothing is impossible to God.’ ‘I am the handmaid of the Lord,’ said Mary ‘let what you have said be done to me.’ And the angel left her.
(December 8. Immaculate Conception) The whole world needs to stop and ponder this moment in its history, acknowledging the state of its people at this time; - permanently separated from God’s love by pride, self-love, and sin! What we are witnessing in this scripture reading is the response of God’s Wisdom and Merciful Love to this separation; - where he desires to send his only Son to become one of us; - to make Atonement and Reparation for the sins of his creatures.
God’s response to our sins and the rejection of his Love, is to show Mercy, and to formulate a way where Divine Reparation could be made for this rejection, so that the Creator and his creatures could live again in a union of Love! God’s only Son, Jesus Christ, was to become a Divine “Lamb of God” and sacrifice his life, in the same way animals were sacrificed in the Temple at the time; - in a fruitless attempt to atone for sin!
The Divine Plan was the “Lamb of God” would not only atone for our sins, by the sacrifice of a Divine Life, but would also live with us for thirty-three years to teach how God wants us to live. Atonement for sin, on its own, would not achieve the divine goal of redemption, as man would continue to sin due to pride and self-love. We needed to learn the need for humility; - and a new way to live on earth; - if we were to be reunited with our Creator after death!
We needed to learn to seek, and do, the Will of God; - rather than own desires and our own will! The first lesson of our Creator; - humility; - is provided in this reading where God asks the permission of one of his creatures for his Son to be born of her womb?
This is a preposterous situation, but it shows The Trinity had no desire for any of the worlds “things” or “attractions”, but their only ‘desire’ was to do the Divine Will; - a lesson God’s People needed to learn from “The Lamb of God”; - who sacrificed his life to teach this lesson!
With the aid of The Holy Spirit, the Virgin Mary; - who was to become “The Mother of God’ also understood this lesson; - something she bore witness to in her reply to the Angel; - ‘I am the handmaid of the Lord,’ said Mary ‘let what you have said be done to me.’ ….. Here, in a few words, is the purpose of our earthly life!
We also need to be mindful of the fact at the end of his life, from the Cross, Christ gave us his Mother, to be our mother also; - The Mother of the Church, so we must turn to her in our need!