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Monday, December 8, 1997

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Immaculate Conception

Genesis 3:9-15, 20
Psalm 98
Ephesians 1:3-6, 11-12
Luke 1:26-38

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"The woman answered, 'The serpent tricked me into it.' " —Genesis 3:13

In the wake of the first sin, on the worst day in history, the Lord said to the serpent: "I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers; he will strike at your head, while you strike at his heel" (Gn 3:15). God's curse of the serpent is a promise of mercy for us. The woman and the snake will hate each other and be at war. The offspring of the woman will have a decided advantage and win the war.

The woman is Eve, the chosen people, the Church, and Mary. On Calvary, moments before His death, Jesus called Mary "woman" (Jn 19:26). He told her to adopt all His disciples. Therefore, the offspring of the woman is not only the human race and Jesus but also Jesus' disciples. Thus, God has promised us victory over "the ancient serpent known as the devil or Satan" (Rv 12:9).

Jesus destroyed "the devil's works" (1 Jn 3:8) and even swallowed up death in victory (1 Cor 15:54). From the moment of her conception, Mary shared perfectly in her Son's time-transcending victory over Satan. We, as disciples of Jesus and adopted children of Mary, also share greatly in Jesus' victory.

Today's great, solemn feast is a celebration of victory, hope, Mary, and discipleship. Today is a celebration of Jesus — God, Man, Savior, and Lord. Alleluia! Praise the Lord Jesus!

Prayer:  Father, may I be free from sin by repenting and constantly depending on Your grace. "O Mary, conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to you."

Promise:  "He likewise predestined us through Christ Jesus to be His adopted sons — such was His will and pleasure — that all might praise the glorious favor He has bestowed on us in His Beloved." —Eph 1:5-6

Praise:  "Praised be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, Who has bestowed on us in Christ every spiritual blessing in the heavens!" (Eph 1:3)

Nihil Obstat:  Reverend Ralph J. Lawrence, June 1, 1997

Imprimatur:  †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, June 9, 1997