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December 8th - Immaculate Conception

me>Immaculate Conception

(Yes it is a Holy Day of Obligation)

***I'd like to begin by wishing a happy feast day to the many churches all around the world dedicated to Mary the Immaculate Conception.***

When many people think about this Feast Day, they think that it is about Jesus being born immaculately. In reality, the feast day celebrate the Virgin Mary's own conception. Tradition holds that Anne and Joachim had been childless for many years. After much praying, an Angel appeared to them to tell them that they would indeed bear a daughter. They decided to dedicate this daughter to God. This daughter's name was Mary.

As part of God's divine plan, Mary was foreseen as the mother of God, but the 2nd person of the Trinity had to have a worthy mother. Mary was conceived by the help of an Angel and without sin. She would remain sinless and innocent when Gabriel would appear to her as a young teenager to tell her that she was "full of Grace." Grace is God's very life, a life with which she was very open. And because of her openness to God, she would be asked to bear the Savior of the world, Jesus Christ. 

We celebrate the Feast Day of a woman who is the 1st among the Saints. I like to think of her as the Patron Saint of the interior life. Throughout the Gospel stories, she remains mostly silent. It wasn't that she didn't have anything to say, but it was that she exemplified the virtue of patience. Her openness to God helped her to see many things that most people missed. Like John the Baptist, she would point to Jesus. And at the Wedding of Cana, she would say the words to the waiters that she says to us each and every day :"do whatever He tells you."