Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Reflection for the Immaculate Conception

"The attitude of Mary of Nazareth shows us that being comes before doing, and we must leave it to God to truly become as He wants us to be. It is He who does so many marvels in us. Mary is receptive, but not passive. Just as, at a physical level, She receives the power of the Holy Spirit but then gives flesh and blood to the Son of God that is forming in Her, She also receives the grace and corresponds to it with faith, on a spiritual level. For this reason, St. Augustine says that the Virgin 'conceived first in the heart before the womb' (Discorsi, 215,4). Faith was conceived first, then the Lord!

"This mystery of the acceptance of grace, who in Mary by a unique privilege, was without the obstacle of sin, is a chance for everyone. St. Paul, in fact, opens his Letter to the Ephesians with these words of praise: 'Blessed be God, Father of Our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the Heavens in Christ' (1:3). As Mary was greeted by St. Elizabeth as 'blessed among women' (Luke 1:42), so have we always been "blessed", that is loved, and therefore 'chosen first from the creation of the world to be holy and immaculate' (Eph. 1:4).

"Mary was preserved, while we were saved thanks to Baptism and the faith. All however, be it Her and us, through Jesus Christ, 'for the praise of the glory of his grace' (v.6), that grace from which the Immaculate was filled in its fullness."

--Pope Francis

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