Read Genesis 3:9-15,20, Ps. 98:1-4, Ephesians 1:3-6,11-12, Luke 1:26-38

“Then Mary said, ‘Here am I, the servant of the Lord; let it be with me according to your word.’ Then the angel departed from her.” (Luke 1:38)

By the Immaculate Conception, we mean that Mary was conceived without sin in the womb of her mother. Long before the Word became flesh in her womb, God had already prepared the way by freeing her from original sin. Since Advent is a time to prepare ourselves for the birth of Jesus, our celebration of the Immaculate Conception reminds us that we serve a God who prepares. And one of the best preparations is abstaining from sin.

Even in our local context, our forefathers had a tradition of abstinence from intercourse on the days leading up to certain ritual ceremonies. They understood the importance of ritual purity. The feast of the Immaculate Conception challenges us to purify not just our bodies but our hearts as we prepare to receive Jesus.

Having been conceived without sin, was there a need for God to seek Mary’s consent regarding the role she was to play in the life of Christ? Why was the Angel Gabriel sent to her? The fact that God has showered certain gifts and blessings on us does not remove our free will. God may have called you before birth, but He would not force you to say “Yes” to this call. God, who made you without your cooperation, will not save you without your cooperation.

While Mary said “Yes” (let it be done to me according to your will), Adam and Eve, in today’s first reading, said “No.” They chose to eat the forbidden fruit. God wants to do great things in your life. You were born for a purpose greater than you, but unless you say “Yes” to God and allow God’s will to be done, this purpose will not be realized.

How do we allow God’s will to be done in our lives? St. Paul tells us in today’s second reading: “to be holy and blameless before him in love.” (Ephesians 1:3-4) Dear friend, if Mary could say “Yes”, you too can say “Yes”, and as the Angel Gabriel said, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you.” (Luke 1:35)

Let us pray: Almighty, ever-living God, like Mary, may I find favour in your sight always. Work in and through me to bring Christ to my fellow brothers and sisters. Through Jesus Christ, Our Lord. Amen.

Be Happy. Live Positive. Have Faith. It is well with you. God bless you. (The Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary – Solemnity. Bible Study: Genesis 3:9-15,20, Ps. 98:1-4, Ephesians 1:3-6,11-12, Luke 1:26-38).

@Rev. Fr. Evaristus E. Abu