Monday, December 9, 2019

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)

Many think that priests find hearing confessions interesting.  They don’t. They consider time in
the confessional tedious work however necessary it may be.  Very often people confess the same says.  Viewing pornography seems to be the sin most confessed today at least by men.  Today’s fest testifies to one person’s escaping the scourge of sin completely.  As a special favor of God, Mary was conceived without original sin.  In turn she is to play a critical role in God’s plan of overcoming the scourge of sin I the world.

Sin begins, of course, at the beginning, just after creation.  Adam eats the forbidden fruit.  His sin readily gives way to others.  No sooner does God confront the man with his disobedience than Adam denies responsibility for it.  He says that because she gave the fruit to him, he ate it.  The woman, who will be called “Eve,” likewise refuses to accept responsibility for the sinful act.  She blames the serpent.  Fast forward to the gospel for a unique take on humanity. “Full of grace,” Mary obeys God’s word by assenting to His request to bear Jesus, God’s “Son.”  She accepts this responsibility despite the fact that she cannot understand exactly how it will happen. 

We are somewhat like Adam and Eve and somewhat like Mary.  We sin, often enough looking for excuses to justify ourselves.  But we also take advantage of the grace that Mary’s son, Jesus, has won for us.  In the end we confess our sins, accept God’s grace, and resume our moral responsibilities.