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Saturday, December 8, 2007

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Immaculate Conception

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

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"You shall conceive and bear a Son and give Him the name Jesus." —Luke 1:31

We all have walked right into the middle of sins being committed. Without trying, we've caught people in the act (see Jn 8:3) of violence, anger, sexual sin, etc. Our normal response to this situation is the question: "What's going on here?" The Lord did not ask the question "What?" when He came upon the very first sinful situation. Instead, He asked three other questions: first, "Where are you?", then "Who told you?", and finally "Why did you?" (Gn 3:9, 11, 13)

The first effect of sin the Lord deals with is alienation. Like Adam and Eve, when we sin we hide ourselves (Gn 3:10), we distance ourselves from God, we change our "where." The Lord calls us to come back, to come home. Mary, our adoptive mother, will encourage us to come home with her.

The Lord's second question to Adam concerns who has been talking to Adam, putting ideas in his head, forming and deforming him. Jesus was formed in Mother Mary's womb. Children are formed physically within their mothers and spiritually by their mothers. Mary Immaculate, who is perfectly formed and has not been deformed by sin, will help reform and transform us who have been deformed by sin.

Finally, the Lord asked Eve: "Why did you do such a thing?" (Gn 3:13) Mary will help us answer that question because she has the gift to lay bare the thoughts of many hearts (Lk 2:35).

Prayer:  Father, with Mary's help, may I let You reverse the effects of sin in my life and make me holy as You are holy (1 Pt 1:16).

Promise:  "God chose us in Him before the world began, to be holy and blameless in His sight, to be full of love." —Eph 1:4

Praise:  Sally loved the Blessed Mother fervently. After a life of faithful love, Jesus took Sally from this life on the feast of Mary's Immaculate Conception.

Rescript:  †Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Vicar General Archdiocese of Cincinnati, July 30, 2007

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