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The Immaculate Conception - Wonderful Gift of God’s Grace

Monday, December 08, 2008
“Hail, full of grace, the Lord is with you” (Luke 1:28). This greeting of the angel Gabriel at the Annunciation tells us so much about Mary’s deep and wonderful relationship with God. Mary was chosen from before her birth. Mary, from her first moment of conception, was preserved free from all stain of original sin. This was done through a unique grace granted her by Almighty God through the merits of Christ. While the act of grace performed for Mary that we celebrate today is unique, we are all called to live the life of grace which helps each person, made in the image and likeness of our Creator, to participate fully in God’s life.

Mary shows us what being fully open to that life of grace can do for us. So joyful is she because of God’s extraordinary love that she cries out in Luke’s Gospel : “My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit rejoices in God my Saviour.” Each of us is warmly invited into that deep and loving relationship with God. We are called to be full of grace and to glorify God with our lives. Later in Luke Jesus tells us : “My mother and my brethren are those who hear the word of God and do it” (Luke 8:21). We are called to celebrate what God has done in Mary, a human being, and to imitate her in our lives so we can share forever in the transforming love of God. As St Augustine said: "Mary is blessed because she ‘heard the word of God and kept it’. Her mind was filled more fully with Truth than her womb by his flesh".

O Mary conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to thee

David Barrins OP


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