Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary
And coming to her, (the angel Gabriel) said,
“Hail, full of grace! The Lord is with you.”
The feast of the Immaculate Conception reminds us that Mary was conceived without original sin in the womb of her mother Saint Ann. And as Saint Ann nurtured her daughter, so did Mary nurture her son Jesus from the day of his conception, with her love and care.
I have had the good fortune to be present to a number of great women bearing a child within their wombs, most notably my wife, daughter, and daughter-in-law, as well as some close friends and family members. Certainly there were times of discomfort and even pregnancy sickness. But I also remember those moments when it seemed there was a glow around them as they nurtured the child within. I could only sit back in awe at the miracle taking place.
Though we really don’t know the actual month Jesus was born, we can enter into Advent with the imagination that we are in that anticipatory last few weeks before the birth of a child, in this case, Jesus who “will be called the Son of the Most High . . . (who) will rule over the house of Jacob forever, and of his kingdom there will be no end.”
I remember with the birth of our own two children, the top priority these growing babies had in our lives. We were focused on that child—not on ourselves.
Advent is a time to refocus our priorities: to be quiet, to put Jesus first, not ourselves. May we take time to reflect on our blessings and all the ways God has graced us with his love.
Let Us Pray:
Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with you.
Blessed are you among women,
and blessed is the fruit of your womb, Jesus.
Holy Mary, Mother of God,
pray for us sinners,
now and at the hour of our death. Amen.
Daily Eucharistic Reflection – Center for Eucharistic Evangelizing (eucharisticevangelizing.com)