The Immaculate Conception and the Faith of the Virgin Mary
“Nothing will be impossible with God.” ~ Luke 1:37
As Catholics around the World gather to celebrate the Feast of the Immaculate Conception, a seminal moment in our faith tradition which maintains that the Blessed Virgin Mary was kept free of original sin and filled with the sanctifying grace of the Holy Spirit from the very moment she was conceived, we are reminded once again of Mary's unbreakable faith in God and his plan for her. Upon revisiting that fateful encounter with Mary and the Angel Gabriel (Luke 1:26-38) we see a startled and understandably perplexed young girl, one who‘s merely trying to make sense of this unannounced visit from God's most epic of Heralds. When she asks the Angel Gabriel, how can she, who has had no prior relations with a man, conceive such a child, she was reminded that with God all things are possible while simultaneously encountering a true "Pentecostal Moment.”
This woman, “filled with the grace” of the Holy Spirit, proclaims "Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord. May it be done to me according to your word", essentially echoing the very same vow that Catholics proclaim every Sunday upon reciting The Our Father in unison as a Parish Community ("thy will be done, on Earth as it is in Heaven"). God's immeasurable love is on display at this very moment, a love which promises that "nothing will be impossible with God.”
As human beings we dwell in a world of imperfect love, a love that has limits. A love that will from time to time disappoint, despite the best efforts and intentions of those involved. This is why we must seek to view our relationship with God in a different light, yet another example of our never-ending struggle to walk the tightrope of living in a finite world with our eyes fixed on eternal life and its vast glory. This of course takes faith, the kind of faith that Mary displayed upon her visit from the Angel Gabriel, but it also requires a steadfast yearning and desire to know, love and serve God with renewed zeal. Through the gift of wisdom, we grow to understand God's loving plan for us. God knows that we are not immaculate. God does not dwell on our failures and shortcomings. He knows our hopes, fears, dreams and aspirations as well as our desire to love and be loved.
The moment we abandon our own misguided will and exhibit the kind of faith that Mary possessed on this fateful day by allowing God to shape and mold us according to his plan, we will have achieved true freedom of heart, mind and soul, much like the Blessed Virgin Mary.
For all who aspire to live a life in pursuit of fulfilling God's wonderful plan, look to your eternal mother. Seek the intercession of your eternal mother. Love your eternal mother.
”The almighty has done great things for me, and Holy is his name!”