Why Mary and her Immaculate Conception matter

10

Oh no, not another Mary message.

Advertisements

Actually, this is about you and me as much as it is about Mary. And what Church teaching about the Blessed Virgin Mary means for our own personal lives.

Okay (deep breath), what does she mean for ordinary believers like you

Well, have you ever wished you had a direct line to the Almighty who wasn’t, well, intimidatingly almighty? That’s Mary. As the Mother of Jesus, Who is God’s Second Person, and the Spouse of the Holy Spirit, the Third Person, Mary listens, cares, and tells our needs and pains to God as only a mother can.

If one feels that God stirs a bit too much fear of the Lord, turn to His Blessed Mother and whisper, whimper and sigh how hard it is to be as loving, righteous, and faithful as her Son. Then let her remind you not only of her understanding, compassionate ways, but even better, the same loving, wise gaze from the Blessed Trinity.

Take it from Fr. Timoteo Ofrasio at the Loyola School of Theology in Ateneo. In his homily at Latin Mass at Christ the King Church Greenmeadows last Saturday morning, the professor of systematic theology points out that being family isn’t a monopoly of humanity, but indeed the paramount attribute of divinity:

“Christianity is a religion that has at its core a family relationship, between Father and Son, which, through their great love for one another, produces a Third Person, the Spirit. And, in their relationship with humanity, the Triune God has included a Woman, Mary of Nazareth.”

In his sermon Fr. Tim cited seminal insights from Pope Saint John Paul II’s 1987 encyclical “Redemptoris Mater,” which the Polish pontiff explained was “my reflection on the role of Mary in the mystery of Christ and on her active and exemplary presence in the life of the Church.”

Mary the mold for Homo sanctus
Bringing this message to our lives and times, the Blessed Virgin, through the Immaculate Conception and her life of holiness, became not just man’s direct link to God as His Mother. She was (is in fact) also the first of the new humankind imbued with the Holy Spirit and embraced by the Father as His children and the Son as His brethren.

Expounds St. John Paul, quoted by Fr. Tim: “In the mystery of Christ she is present even ‘before the creation of the world,’ as the one whom the Father ‘has chosen’ as Mother of his Son in the Incarnation.” Hence, explained Fr. Tim, “the Catholic Church recognizes in Mary the highest achievement of all the saints, teaching that she is ‘redeemed in a more sublime manner’ than all others.”

In our tech-age language, one might say God made Mary the template or mold for humanity liberated from the ills of this world in her Immaculate Conception. So Monday marks the day our species first achieved heavenly perfection, a milestone immensely greater than the first living organism and the first spark of human intelligence and will.

In the Immaculate Conception, Homo sapiens took the first step toward Homo sanctus.

As evolution goes, the leap of one individual creature to a new form opens the door for others to follow. But rather than mutation and replication, we can all become like Mary not by any special genes, but the indwelling of the Spirit, offered to every soul.

The holy is in the everyday
There’s more in Mary to inspire and encourage. Those wishing to live good lives would be doubly driven also because she achieved the pinnacle of holiness by living the most ordinary life, at least by outward appearances. Hence, we unmiraculous mortals could very well do the same.

Scripture tells of no supernatural feats by the Blessed Virgin, who lived simply as a mother and a spouse, caring for her Son, and accompanying Him in life and death.

That is not to say, however, that being holy is easy. Indeed, what Mary did to merit the highest honor accorded to a creature is nothing less than the greatest acts of faith, hope and love.

“Mary’s faith in the promise of God was an abandonment of her own will and her own interest,” explained Fr. Tim. Moreover, her belief in Yahweh and assent to His will in the Annunciation, Jesus’ birth in the manger, and the flight to Egypt obviously came minus her Son’s preaching, miracles and rising, on which all other believers ground our faith.

As for hope and love, Mary’s motherly love is the closest any creature came to the Father’s love for the Son. Also unmatched on earth is her anguish over His crucifixion. “Because she herself was without sin,” Fr. Tim explains, “she was able to enter into the sacrifice of Calvary in a deeper way than sinners can comprehend, for she understood what it meant for the innocent victim to suffer for the sake of others’ sins.” And in the depths of that harrowing agony, she still believed and hoped in God.

Thus, no miracles, but perfect faith, hope and love. “This faith,” said Fr. Tim, “gives consolations in the midst of tribulation and trial, as experienced by Mary in the daily travails of life.”

Next time things are tough and goodness impossible, think of Mary and the Immaculate Conception, and remember that sanctity lies in embracing and trusting God through it all. With Mary holding our hand and leading us to our Father, her Son, and Their Spirit.

Amen.

Share.
loading...
Loading...

Please follow our commenting guidelines.

10 Comments

  1. Mary was not God His mother. God has ever existed in as such did not come out of a woman, because then she would have been first and God was the First of everything and every one.

  2. I consider myself very fortunate and blessed for having Mary, the Mother of Jesus as my own Mother. For those who can not venerate Mary, how would Jesus treat those who say they love Jesus but they can not love Mary His Mother who from eternity the Blessed Trinity chose to be the Mother of the second Person of the Trinity??

  3. Bonifacio Claudio on

    There was no Mary in the First Book (Jews) of the Bible; only in the Second Book (Christians) serving as a vehicle for Son God (Jesus Christ) to dwell in flesh amongst men. Vehicle because there was no woeing nor “loving” that transpired between Mary & Papa God unlike those of Zeus of the Greeks. And so it came to pass that the Son God on the cross addressed Mary as “Woman, here is your son (Jesus Christ)”. So Mary is being treated just like any other woman who is a mother. The Son God in Heaven is not the son of Mary, but the mother of Jesus Christ, who was born, lived & died on earth just like any other mortal — for Jesus in flesh came only to being for the establishment of a better humane covenant of love then murdered by the Jews who considered Jesus blasphemous for usurping the “Coming of Messiah” predicted in the Jews Book — which as it came to pass, was the basis for the making of a Second Book of the Christians. So The Bible is Judaism + Christianity. Kaya nga ang Kristianismo ay rebeldeng “anak” ng Hudyo, pero pinatay ng mga Hudyo ang kanilang hudyong “anak” na Hari ng mga Kristianong anak ng mga Hudyong ama ng mga kristianong anak ng mga Hudyo. Aguy aguy, eh paano na si Mama Mary niyan? Aba ay mukhang naiipit po siya sa nagbabanggaang First & Second Books ng Christian Bible. Aiiiiii ano ba ito? Kakahilo naman aiiiiii — NAGHALO NA NGA ANG BALAT SA TINALUPAN, oh Diyos na mahabagin, sino nga ba ang MAYSALA?!!! Kaawaan mo po kaming mga maliliit…

  4. Nakakalungkot ang pinakadakilang aklat, ang bible ay nagiging useless sa mga pinaniniwalaan ng mga tao na ang sarili nilang opinion ang mas tama kaysa sa nakasulat!
    Ang mga bagay na hindi nakasulat at sariling kaisipan ang patuloy na yinayakap ng mga taong siya pa ang nakikitaan na gumagamit ng aklat na ito!
    Isa lang ang taga pamagitan si cristo at wala ng iba!

  5. Vicente Penetrante on

    Saludo ako sa iyo! I hope your “direct line” to the Almighty becomes a “party line” for everybody.
    The first miracle of Jesus was through His Mother Mary. It was the making of wine. Mary provided the means to make more merry the wedding feast. She can make us all happy.

  6. And where in the bible did it say that mary was without sin? She was a human being who like us inherited the sin of our first father and mother – adam and eve. And the bible says, “for all have sinned, that includes mary, and fall short of the glory of God.” Romans 3:23.
    That’s the problem with the roman catholics they profess to be christians but corrupt the word of God. They even change the ten commandments by omitting the command that we are not to make graven image and worship it and broke one of the commandments so that it appears that there still ten commandments.
    Besides, RC teaches bible plus tradition plus the word of the pope. No wonder people are accusing the pope to be the anti-christ. Please stop mis-interpreting and corrupting the Word of God so that you will not be judged.
    Kaya tuloy parati tayong dinadaanan ng mga malalakas na sakuna dahil sa tayo ay idolatrous galing sa turo ng mga pari. Tayo ay pinaparusahan na Diyos. Gumising kayo mga kapatid kay adam!!!

    • One of the Virgin Mary’s title (among many others) given by the church to her is that of “true ark of the covenant”. The ark of the covenant in the old testament was the container of the tablets on which God wrote the Ten Commandments. The ark was very holy because it contained God’s words. Any one who touches the ark will die.

      In turn, Mary was destined to carry God (Jesus Christ) in her womb. This is the reason for the title as “true ark of the covenant”. Because she carried God in her womb (Jesus) who is the salvation of the world. Anything that contains God is very holy and must be pure and free of evil. Therefore, to become the Mother of God Mary has to be pure and sinless. This is because God cannot be wrapped or covered by anything impure. That is the reason why Mary, from her conception, was free of sin:

      “by a singular grace and privilege of Almighty God, in view of the merits of Christ Jesus the Savior of Mankind, preserved free from all stain of original sin.”

  7. We our natural emotional bond to our mothers, and by extension we gravitate easily to Mary; and this is good. I venerate Mary and owe her protection. I have specific instances in my life I attribute to her intercession.

    If we examine our relationship with our mothers (first of all the fact is, they will always be our mothers and nothing can change that) our relationship with our mothers evolved from total dependence to independence, even to becoming as equal adult human beings. We do not stay dependent on our mother in all the different aspects of life.

    Similarly in spiritual life, Mary has completely dependent in God, so we too should move to dependence in God. At the wedding feast in Cana she told the servants John 2:5 “Do whatever he tells you.” By those words Mary directs us into obedience to God.

    It is safe, warm, and comfortable in the care of Mary, but we also need to listen to what the Father is saying to us. As a mother Mary nurtures us. That nurturing is going to lead to greater capabilities and abilities that would be needed under the command of her Son to bring the good news to the ends of the earth.

    What use are we for the kingdom of God, if we are always hiding behind Mary? Just as a man that is always under the watchful eye of his mother; how can he develop into a strong reliable man?

  8. “For God so love the world, that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life” John 3:16, NIV.
    Jesus answered, ” I am the wish and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me” John 14:6 NIV
    Now addressing Mary as the recipient of God’s grace or favor, rather than the giver of it. The Latin Vulgate translation of this word “full of grace” (gratia plena) is unfortunate and inaccurate as it had led to exaggerated claims for Mary; that because she was full of grace, she now is able to dispense grace to sinners. There is no support in all Scriptures for such claim. It appears to quantify God’s grace and make it something that grows inside us. “Acts 6:8 it says “Now Stephen, a man full of grace of God’s grace and power, performed great wonders and signs among the people”

  9. Jesus is a super-big problem already, much more trying to get other Pinoys of Bangsamoro to idolize Mama Mary — not acceptable. So what happens to Pinoys of Pilipinas if BBL gets approved? At least there have been two commentaries already about BBL and Pilipinas Constitution from Manila Times, but is a handful of commentaries enough?