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Tuesday, December 8, 2009

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Immaculate Conception

Genesis 3:9-15, 20
Ephesians 1:3-6, 11-12
Psalm 98:1-4
Luke 1:26-38

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"Upon arriving, the angel said to her: 'Rejoice, O highly favored daughter! The Lord is with you. Blessed are you among women.' " —Luke 1:28

We can be like Adam and Eve — afraid, naked, hiding, ashamed, disgraced, defeated, and sinful (Gn 3:10). On the other hand, we can choose to be like Mary — unafraid, overshadowed by God's power, open to the Holy Spirit, victorious, undefeated, and immaculate (Lk 1:35). Given that choice, we would assume everyone would want to be like Mary. Considering our past record of failure, defeat, and sin, however, it seems impossible to expect a life of victory.

Nevertheless, "nothing is impossible with God" (Lk 1:37). Today we can have a breakthrough in our lives. We can become immaculate as we go to Confession and receive God's forgiveness. We can stay immaculate as we overcome temptations we used to fall into. We don't have to have strength; we only need the willingness to "let it be done" to us according to God's word (Lk 1:38).

Even if we're not completely willing, the Lord will help us repent and open our hearts. In our weakness, His power will reach perfection (2 Cor 12:9). This holy day is a sign of breakthrough victory. We can remember this day for the rest of our lives because of what God will do as Mary intercedes for us.

Prayer:  "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)

Promise:  "Know that Elizabeth your kinswoman has conceived a son in her old age; she who was thought to be sterile is now in her sixth month, for nothing is impossible with God." —Lk 1:36-37

Praise:  Praise You, Lord, for preserving the Blessed Virgin Mary from stain of sin from the first moment of her conception. Alleluia!

Rescript:  †Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, June 4, 2009

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