What Immaculate Conception means for us

In the dogma of the Immaculate Conception, Pope Pius IX 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."

But how does Mary's reality appeal to our own wounded human nature?

I would like to dwell on the simple words "immaculate" and "conception" to understand that the Mary's message is indeed for us Christians on the pilgrim way to heaven.

"Immaculate" means to be free from any stain, a sure quality possessed by God Himself.  What is consoling is that our condition as fallen human beings is not really that hopeless.  Immaculate Conception connotes our condition with God before the Fall and that we are meant to be complete again only in God.  Mary and Jesus, the true Eve and Adam, broke every chain of dirt caused by sin to make God's words real, "Let us make man unto our image."  And there is no other image except that of being "immaculate".  As God is holy, so we are meant to be holy in God.

The second word is "conception".  From the simple dictionary, this word connotes a process of life itself as well as the birthing of an idea or concept.

Either of these definitions infer what Mary stood for as she shares in the conceiving power of God.  God is a God of life!  He is meant to multiply and regulate life.  Nobody in this world is born without having been blessed by God.  This of course is a manner of attitude for us to share in the procreative faculties of God; not the killers of his procreative powers as proposed in the RH bill.  The whole of creation is in the process of giving birth.  Of course the opposite of this is death and murder.  God intends that we be conceived as His new children, sharing in His love and life.

May we take Mary as the source and fulfillment of Christian life. To share in the Immaculate Conception means to share in the work of salvation, to make efforts to be the new Adams and new Eves in Christ our Lord.  Mary, may you continue to the hope and consolation for the pilgrim people of God.