December 8, 2020 – Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary
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“Where are you?” God’s voice must have been echoing in the garden looking for humanity. God’s voice also echoes today in every heart of man and woman, waiting to be heard. Though God knows where we are, but God waits until we show ourselves to Him in humility. This is the very scene that the Book of Genesis is depicting to us on this Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception of Mary, the woman consecrated to God.
Now, let us see a bit how sin destroys our relationship with God and with one another, and on how grace also restores that relationship and brings new life through the person of Mary.
Sin leads us to fear. Fear is filled with guilt and shame. This is the reason why Adam and Eve were hiding. Their nakedness tells us of their guilt. Yet, their guilt never assumed the responsibility that they have sinned. As a result, what happened was the chain of blaming. Adam blamed Eve. And Eve blamed the Serpent.
Because of sin, the intimacy between man and woman was shattered. In the same way, they lost their closeness with God. It was them who distanced from God. Thus, sin makes us to hide yet, it leads to destruction and to death.
Moreover, in this occasion of the Immaculate Conception of Mary, we are reminded of the original grace in each of us, of that grace given by God to us. In Mary, that grace was preserved. The Gospel of Luke that recounts the annunciation to Mary sheds the light of this mystery.
What we see in the life of Mary is this – that grace leads to confidence and faith. Such confidence and faith made Mary to conceive God in her womb. She became pregnant with God. Mary’s willingness and availability for God and for others allowed God to work wonderfully and beautifully in the life of Mary. This reminds us now that grace indeed, overflows and it creates and inspires life.
After all, God continues to find us not to condemn us and to destroy us but to renew us, to recreate us, to give us the fullness of God’s grace and presence.
Through the fullness of grace in Mary, God initiates to restore our relationship with Him. This has been fulfilled through the participation of Mary by expressing her freedom that she chose God, she chose grace not sin, and that she chose life and not death.
First, as the Book of Genesis tells us, God calls and finds us when we try to hide because of shame and guilt. God does that, not to condemn us to death and to eternal misery but to restore and renew us. Allow God to find us.
Second, when we ty to separate and distance from God, God initiates to come to us to invite us to come closer to Him in humility. Thus, let not our fear, guilt and shame prevent us from seeking God’s mercy. Our sacraments are God’s initiative too to make us ever closer to Him. Allow God to forgive us.
Third, God desires that we too shall be filled with grace so that like Mary, God’s grace will also overflow in our life. The pregnancy of Mary and becoming the Mother of Jesus, was that overflowing grace of God to Mary. When we choose the Lord today and every day, God blesses us and fills us with grace. Grace makes us discerning and understanding, joyful and generous. Moreover, grace does not only renew us but also grace inspires and creates life through us. Thus, allow God today to fill us with grace. Hinaut pa.