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Monday, December 8, 2014

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Immaculate Conception

Genesis 3:9-15, 20
Ephesians 1:3-6, 11-12
Psalm 98:1-4
Luke 1:26-38

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god's worthy vessel

"...to be holy and blameless in His sight..." —Ephesians 1:4

Picture a Thanksgiving supper. There are many leftovers and you are ready to store them in the refrigerator. Of course, you will put the leftovers in clean containers, so the food will not spoil. Who could imagine putting the leftovers in unwashed containers that the kids had used to make mudpies? The thought is repulsive; the image itself is unthinkable.

We couldn't imagine a scene at Eucharistic Adoration where the monstrance was filthy. No, the priest or sacristan would first clean and polish the monstrance before placing the Holy Eucharist into it, so that the consecrated Bread of Life would be placed into a clean and suitable container befitting the holiness of our Lord.

How much more would Mary, as the Mother of God, need to be absolutely pure, spotless, and immaculate to be able to carry Jesus, the Second Person of the Blessed Trinity, God Himself, in her human womb? The Church teaches that "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" (Catechism, 491).

Mary received a special grace for her unique role in the plan of salvation, yet she also foreshadows God's plan for each of us: to make us all "holy and immaculate, without stain or wrinkle" (Eph 5:27). With Mary, say "Yes" to a life of holy love for Jesus.

Prayer:  Father, "cleanse me of sin" (Ps 51:9) that I may be made holy as You are holy (1 Pt 1:16).

Promise:  "We were predestined to praise His glory." —Eph 1:12

Praise:  Mary Immaculate is a sure sign of the sovereignty of her Son Jesus as Lord of life and Lord of time.

Reference:  (This teaching was submitted by a member of our editorial team.)

Rescript:  †Most Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Auxiliary Bishop, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, June 30, 2014

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