It took me a while to fully understand and appreciate the feast of the Immaculate Conception. It wasn't until I had been in the struggle for holiness, the fight against my own sin, that I understood what a gift God gave to Mary. Understanding the gift is the whole reason I love this feast. Today, we honor God for his unique gift of grace to the Blessed Virgin Mary, by which, from the first moment of her conception in the womb of her mother, she was protected from sin. What does this event some 2025 years ago have to do with our own Christian life today? Mother Mary serves as an image of what God desires to do for us.
How can I explain this? There is a family I know with four small children and they are very close. The two middle children are closest of all, why? The parents think it is from when the younger was in the womb, the older one would come up close to her mommy’s belly every day and say: “Hey, its me, your big sister. I love you and I can’t wait for you to be born.” The brother became used to his sister’s voice and presence even before he was born. Though they are human and have their fights they are still very close.
God’s gift to Mary allows her to hear and answer His voice when He calls through the Archangel Gabriel. She may not understand the Father’s plan but she knows and trusts His voice. That is enough for her to say: “Be it done to me according to your word.”
What about us? We often resist the voice of God. Whether because of sin or its fruit: suffering, we confuse the voice of God and the voice of our own desires or of the enemy’s voice. That is why we must pray for and seek healing from our sins. If we feel distant from God or feel separated from His love, when was the last time we sought to purify the ears of our hearts?
On this feast of the Immaculate Conception, let us ask for healing from Jesus Christ. Healing through the intercession of Mary, who desires us to hear the voice of her son so we may do whatever Christ tells us.