Friday, December 7, 2012

Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception: “Hail, full of grace!"

Genesis 3, 9-15. 20; Psalm 98, 1.2-3. 3-4; Ephesians 1, 3-6. 11-12; St. Luke 1, 26-38

The Church celebrates the birth of our Lady on September 8 and today, nine months prior, her Immaculate Conception.

"To become the mother of the Savior, Mary 'was enriched by God with gifts appropriate to such a role.' (Second Vatican Council, Lumen gentium 56.) The angel Gabriel at the moment of the annunciation saluted her as 'full of grace.' (Lk 1:28) In fact, in order for Mary to be able to give the free assent of her faith to the announcement of her vocation, it was necessary that she be wholly borne by God's grace." (CCC 490)

"Through the centuries the Church has become ever more aware that Mary, 'full of grace' through God, (Lk 1:28) was redeemed from the moment of her conception. That is what the dogma of the Immaculate Conception confesses, as Pope Pius IX proclaimed in 1854:
"The most blessed Virgin Mary was, from the first moment of her conception, by a singular grace and privilege of almighty God and by virtue of the merits of Jesus Christ, Savior of the human race, preserved immune from all stain of original sin. (Pius XI, Ineffabilis Deus, 1854: DS 2803)"
(CCC 491)
"The 'splendor of an entirely unique holiness' by which Mary is 'enriched from the first instant of her conception' comes wholly from Christ: she is 'redeemed, in a more exalted fashion, more than any other created person' in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places' and chose her 'in Christ before the foundation of the world, to be holy and blameless before him in love.' (Cf. Eph 1:3-4)" (CCC 492)
"The Fathers of the Eastern tradition call the Mother of God 'the All-Holy' (Panagia) and celebrate her as 'free from any stain of sin, as though fashioned by the Holy Spirit and formed as a new creature.' (Second Vatican Council, Lumen gentium 56.) By the grace of God Mary remained free of every personal sin her whole life long." (CCC 493)

Art: Inmaculada Concepción o/l. 147x94 cm. Firmada A. Cortina, 1876.

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