What does the Feast of Immaculate Conception say?
It is simply this: That from the first moment of conception, when Mary was conceived in the womb of her mother St. Anne, she was completely free from original sin.
All of us were conceived with original sin. Mary was never conceived with original sin. That is what the Feast of Immaculate Conception means. So it means that Mary was prevented from any stain of sin from the first moment of her conception.
Does that mean that Mary does not need redemption from Jesus Christ? No.
When Mary was delivered from original sin, it was by the merits of redemption of Jesus Christ. Mary was saved from original sin not for her sake but for the sake of Jesus Christ.
Why was Mary freed from original sin from the first moment of her conception? It is because the Father wants to have a perfect instrument, a stainless container to contain the body of Christ for nine months. If Jesus would get a body from one who had sins, his dignity would be lessened. The Father prepared Mary and prevented any sin from touching Mary because this woman would become the container of Jesus Christ and the Father wanted the container to be totally pure from the first moment of her conception. Mary was immaculately conceived not because of her but because of Jesus.
Why do we celebrate the Feast of the Immaculate Conception?
Mary is a human being like all of us. Mary is not a goddess. We don’t worship or adore Mary. Mary is a human being like all of us and we are proud because a human being like one of us was chosen by God to be stainless, to be immaculate, to be sinless.
As an example: when Eric Buhain and Akiko Thomson started to harvest gold medals during the South East Asian Games, we applauded and rejoiced for them even though they are not our relatives. We were very proud of them because they are Filipinos If our fellow Filipinos receive medals, it is as if we ourselves earn that medal.
That is the same with Mary, a fellow human being and creature of God who was blessed. If we are proud to have Eric Buhain and Akiko Thomson, how much more proud should we be for having a human being like Mary who was blessed by God That is why we are proud of Mary.
We cannot adore Mary because adoration belongs to God. We cannot kneel down to worship Mary because worship belongs to God. But we are grateful, we are proud, of a beautiful sinless woman like her because she is one of us. Mary was chosen, sinless, stainless. We are proud of her. Mary gives us every opportunity, every occasion to stand ten feet high because she is one of us.
Perhaps we can no longer imitate Mary in her innocence – we have lost our innocence. Perhaps we can no longer imitate Mary in her sinlessness – we have committed innumerable sins. But even if we cannot imitate Mary in her innocence, we can still imitate Mary in her obedience.
Her obedience made her even more beautiful before God. She was beautiful by herself, but she was made even more beautiful by her obedience to the will of the Father.
We, who have been made ugly by sins, who have so many bruises, so many scars of sins, can still be made beautiful if we will follow the obedience of Mary.
No longer innocent, we do not ask the Lord to restore our innocence. That is too late. But we can ask the Lord to make us more obedient so that in being obedient, we become more beautiful before God and before the Church.
Let us pray and ask Mary for the grace to be always obedient to the will of the Father.
Only Jesus, Always Jesus