The Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary
(Genesis 3:9-15.20; Ephesians 1:3-6.11-12; Luke 1:26-38)
Sin has been in the news a lot lately. Not just the crimes that typically make the headlines, but the kinds that most people think of when they hear the word. A Hollywood producer has been accused of multiple sex offenses, so have politicians, and entertainers. One hopes that the revelations will lead to a widespread cleanup in the media as well as in people’s personal lives. Today’s feast could serve as a prescription for the reform.
Mary’s Immaculate Conception looks forward to Christ’s saving work on behalf of all humankind. The first reading intimates the problem. Adam and Eve’s sin unleashed on the world a tempest of sexual desire that has never abated. The couple pants for and, at the same time, is ready to betray one another. Their descendants through the ages will inherit these conflicting passions. But the hope for peace is not extinguished. God sends His angel to Mary whom He has prepared to mother a savior. Her willingness to accept the responsibility sets in motion the world’s redemption. Mary’s son Jesus will atone for sin so that humans can, as noted in the second reading, become “holy and without blemish.”
For our part we must keep sexual desires properly directed. This means strict control of Internet sites and general avoidance of lust. More than that, we call on Christ to cleanse our eyes to see every person as a sister or brother. He remains are last, best hope.