When you hear the feast of the Immaculate Conception mentioned, what do you picture in your mind? What are the first thoughts? For many Catholics, they mistakenly think of the conception of Jesus as the Immaculate Conception. While He of course is Immaculate and without any blemish whatsoever, the feast is referred to his mother Mary’s conception.
Why is this important?
God chose Mary – long before her existence – to be the one to bring Jesus into the world the way every human enters the world – through childbirth. But, just like the tabernacle of the Jewish people which carried the Ten Commandments had to be holy, so too must be the one who brings Jesus into the world. That is, she must be free from the mark of Original Sin. Remember Original Sin is the mark all humans are born with because of the fall of Adam and Eve. (This is why Baptism is so important for us. It washes away the stain of Original Sin. It frees us from that mark and makes us able to go to Heaven when we die in God’s Grace) even though she was born without Original Sin, she always had the freedom to accept or deny the message brought to her at the Annunciation.
We celebrate Mary’s Immaculate Conception through her Mother St. Anne, on December 8 in honor of the Graces God bestowed on her during her conception.
Today, we look to her as an example of how to live God’s will.
Over the growth of the church, it has been believed and declared by Church leaders and councils that Mary was conceived without sin. In addition, many years later, Mary appeared to St. Bernadette in Lourdes, France. When St. Bernadette asked the name of the one appearing in the vision, the woman replied, “I am the Immaculate Conception.” Like a loving mother always does, she prays for us, intercedes for us, and guides us to her Son Jesus