Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception of Mary
Blessed be God the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with all the spiritual blessings of heaven in Christ. Thus he chose us in Christ before the world was made to be holy and faultless before him in love, marking us out for himself beforehand, to be adopted sons, through Jesus Christ. Such was his purpose and good pleasure, to the praise of the glory of his grace, his free gift to us in the Beloved.
And it is in him that we have received our heritage, marked out beforehand as we were, under the plan of the One who guides all things as he decides by his own will, chosen to be, for the praise of his glory, the people who would put their hopes in Christ.
It is not by chance that the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception of Mary is such a significant celebration of the Church, for all that we hear of our predestination applies in a special way to the Blessed Virgin Mary, who gave her YES to the will of God and answered for us all to the plan of salvation.
So it is helpful to prepare for the Feast of the Nativity of the Lord when we look at the Mother of the Lord on this Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception! For in Our Lady we have the beauty of the intact creation, for the holy Virgin was received without the taint of original sin, and received all the graces of her Son.
In the Mother of God, we also realize what it means to live according to the predestination of God, for she has undoubtedly, with her whole existence, fully corresponded to the plan God had for her life.
A predestination as we see it in the text today makes it clear to us that our life is in God and in His intentions for us. This is for the overriding goal of becoming God’s heir and destined to praise his glory. Each one of us has an unmistakable determination for this purpose, as well as the task of glorifying God. Therefore, it is also important to be open to a deeper vocation. In order to find these we do not have to wander around and try this and that, but in the concrete following of the Lord, we will be led from God to realize what he has always intended for us.
“You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you so that you might go and bear fruit—fruit that will last” (Jn 15,16) says the Lord in his farewell discourses.
Previously, he called his disciples friends whom he entrusted everything (cf. Jn 5,15). We know the way of the disciples, who then carried out the gospel as apostles and know that their fruit has remained. Even today we live from the words and the example they gave us. In them the plan of God has been fulfilled and through them we praise God.
When people today search for their personal happiness, they often do not know this dimension, that true happiness can only be found in union with God, to live what God has given and entrusted to them in life.
If one does not yet know God well and does not really trust him, it may even happen that the fact of that our way is predestined may create feelings, as if one had to do and fulfil something one did not choose oneself. Paradoxically, one might even think that predestination would limit our personal freedom. However, such thoughts show that human freedom is not recognized correctly. There can be no greater freedom than to do the will of God with consciousness and love and thus enter into his predestination.
The Virgin Mary realizes that her entire commitment to her predestination is the great joy and fulfilment of her life. Nothing she wants for herself, everything should serve for the glory of God. It is her happiness to be able to respond to the love of God with her devotion and to surrender to God’s providence: “let it be to me according to your word” (Lk 1,38). She is destined to praise the glory of God. “He who is mighty has done great things for me, and holy is his name” (Lk 1,49).
One more word on this topic! Maybe there are people who realize that they have not fulfilled their predestination or vocation and no longer have the ability to repair it. Maybe they are rightfully suffering from it. You should be aware of it.
But then it is time to go to God and ask the Lord to bring as much fruit as possible in the circumstances in which one finds oneself, and not to give up. Our father will not leave such a request unheard!
One final word: I am very grateful that many of our faithful listeners have responded to the request to participate in the Church’s liberation prayer on December 6th. Thus, in these times of spiritual warfare, the Lord gathers an army that he can rely on. And it is also good to know that not all Catholics close their eyes, and perceive when something violates and attacks the dignity of our faith! May the Lord repay it!
However, let us prepare for further battles in these spiritual war times. For before the Lord returns in glory, an Antichrist or the Antichrist will take over the reign for a certain time. His spirit is already massive working. But with the help of heaven, especially of the Virgin Mary, the “flock of the Lamb” will resist and emerge strengthened from such unavoidable battles.
Come, Lord Jesus, Maranatha!