THE IMMACULATE CONCEPTION
(A biblical reflection on the Solemnity of THE IMMACULATE CONCEPTION OF THE BLESSED VIRGIN MARY – Tuesday, 8 December 2015)
Second Reading: Ephesians 1:3-6,11-12
First Reading: Genesis 3:9-15,20; Psalms: Psalm 98:1-4; Gospel Reading: Luke 1:26-38
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, even as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before Him. He destined us in love to be His sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of His will, to the praise of His glorious grace which He freely bestowed on us in the Beloved.
In Him, according to the purpose of Him who accomplishes all things according to the counsel of His will, we who first hoped in Christ have been destined and appointed to live for the praise of His glory. (Eph 1:3-6,11-12 RSV)
It’s easy to see that Mary was singled out to live for the praise of God’s glory: She was conceived without sin! After all, isn’t that what we are celebrating today? It’s also easy to assume that God permitted Mary to be conceived in this way because He thought she was special. The unspoken thought behind that assumption is that somehow we’re less special to God. And that is simply not true. We too have been appointed to live for the praise of His glory (Ephesians 1:12)!
Every single one of us has been decreed, before all time, by God’s divine will to be His daughter or son. God chose us. He planned that we would belong to Him – His children, His treasured people (Deuteronomy 7:6), holy and blameless in His sight (Ephesians 1:4). It wasn’t just His will, it was His pleasure (Ephesians 1:5)! God has always been eternally committed to us.
In order to rescue us from the sin we had fallen into, God needed a pure vessel to bear His Son, our Redeemer. That’s why Mary was conceived without sin. Having chosen and created and destined us to be holy and blameless before Him, God provided a way for us to return to the intimate, loving relationship He always wanted to enjoy with each of us. And Mary, conceived immaculate, was part of that plan.
What does that say about our lives? It says we are special to God! It says we can rely on Him for everything. It says He will never abandon us or leave us without a way to Him. God works out everything according to the purpose of His will (Ephesians 1:11). In His eyes, each of us is equally loved, equally special, and equally special, and equally unique. Dear Sisters and Brothers, today let’s ask for a grander perspective of His love for each and every one of us and of our worth in His sigtht.
Short Prayer: Heavenly Father, most glorious God, great are You in power and love! You are faithful and unchanging. You always accomplish what You intend. Your plans stand unchanged, unthwarted throughout time. Great are You, Lord, and greatly to be exalted!
Jakarta, 7 December 2015
A Christian Pilgrim