From the Gospel according to Luke
The angel Gabriel was sent from God
to a town of Galilee called Nazareth,
to a virgin betrothed to a man named Joseph,
of the house of David,
and the virgin’s name was Mary.
And coming to her, he said,
“Hail, full of grace! The Lord is with you.”
But she was greatly troubled at what was said
and pondered what sort of greeting this might be.
Then the angel said to her,
“Do not be afraid, Mary,
for you have found favor with God.
Behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son,
and you shall name him Jesus.
He will be great and will be called Son of the Most High,
and the Lord God will give him the throne of David his father,
and he will rule over the house of Jacob forever,
and of his Kingdom there will be no end.”
But Mary said to the angel,
“How can this be,
since I have no relations with a man?”
And the angel said to her in reply,
“The Holy Spirit will come upon you,
and the power of the Most High will overshadow you.
Therefore the child to be born
will be called holy, the Son of God.
And behold, Elizabeth, your relative,
has also conceived a son in her old age,
and this is the sixth month for her who was called barren;
for nothing will be impossible for God.”
Mary said, “Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord.
May it be done to me according to your word.”
Then the angel departed from her.
The Gospel of the Lord:
Result of the ultimate sacrifice.
Today, we observe the significant celebration of the Immaculate Conception of Mary. While we hold Mary in deep reverence, the focal point of our faith remains Christ. The Immaculate Conception, seen as the prelude to Christ’s redeeming grace, depicts Mary receiving the gift of immaculacy from her Son’s sacrifice even before it took place. Essentially, we contemplate in the Immaculate Mary a masterpiece crafted by Christ.
Applied to marital life:
Claire: Peter, why are you gazing at the Immaculate for so long?
Peter: I’m marvelling at God’s work in humanity through the Blessed Virgin. I see her beauty, simplicity, and humility, contemplating the Heart of the Creator.
Claire: That’s beautiful and profound, Pedro. Can I join you in contemplating her?
Peter: Certainly, come here by my side.
(They embrace while contemplating the Immaculate)
Peter: She is the outcome of the Father’s Heart, the Sacrifice of Christ, and the action of the Holy Spirit. What truly moves me is that the marital embrace between two spouses serves as the mediation for all these spiritual fruits. Does our marital bond hold such significance for God? It’s truly overwhelming, this profound mystery.
Claire: Indeed, God’s plans are magnificent, and He involves humanity in all His greatness. It’s incredible how much He loves us.
Peter: It’s incredible.
Happy birthday. While I entered Life on the day of my baptism, you were born into Life on the day of your Immaculate Conception. We express gratitude to God for you and your spiritual Motherhood.