After the man, Adam, had eaten of the tree,
the LORD God called to the man and asked him, “Where are you?”
He answered, “I heard you in the garden;
but I was afraid, because I was naked,
so I hid myself.”
Then he asked, “Who told you that you were naked?
You have eaten, then,
from the tree of which I had forbidden you to eat!”
The man replied, “The woman whom you put here with me;
she gave me fruit from the tree, and so I ate it.”
The LORD God then asked the woman,
“Why did you do such a thing?”
The woman answered, “The serpent tricked me into it, so I ate it.”
Then the LORD God said to the serpent:
“Because you have done this, you shall be banned
from all the animals
and from all the wild creatures;
on your belly shall you crawl,
and dirt shall you eat
all the days of your life.
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.”
The man called his wife Eve,
because she became the mother of all the living.
Today the Church celebrates the Immaculate Conception. This is the feast in which we remember Mary was conceived without sin in the womb of her mother Anne. One of the titles for Mary is the “New Eve”. This finds its basis in the reading today from Genesis. Through the sin of Eve, death came into the world. Through Mary, in the person of Jesus, new life came into the world. Death came through the fruit of a tree. Life came through Jesus’ death on a tree. God came among us in the person of Jesus to reconcile mankind with Himself.
Some say that it is impossible for Mary to be conceived without sin. She was fully human. But nothing is impossible with God. Why is this not possible? If God wanted to bring His Son into the world through a perfect vessel, could He not do that? We cannot put God in a box.
Thus, the Immaculate Conception is a celebration of God’s active love for us and His desire to save us. It is not an over-exultation of Mary, as some say. It is God planning the perfect way for Jesus to enter into the world.
Do I believe that God actively pursues me in love?
Do I have a relationship with Mary, the mother of Jesus and the mother of each one of us?
Dear Father, we thank you for your presence in our lives. We also thank you for Mary, our Mother, who showed us what true discipleship looks like. Her yes to the Holy Spirit was part of your amazing love story for us. Mary, intercede for us that we may be worthy vessels of the Holy Spirit within us.
May God bless you all on this wonderful feast day!