It’s the feast of the Immaculate Conception. It’s difficult for me to understand it fully. I wonder if there is really anyone here on earth who really understands it full. Because of its difficulties, I understand why it is, as it has been, so easy to misunderstand the whole thing. I want to surrender these difficulties today and look at what we are celebrating and enter into this solemnity.
Every feast of the Church has something about me, about each one of us. When we look at Mary, we see ourselves as well: she is what we can be, what we should be, what we will be. After centuries of theological reflections and preparation, we have this feast and I want to take it as an opportunity to enter more deeply into the mystery of Emmanuel, “God-with-us.”
The Word brings us to the core of our existence: our story begins in the Garden of Eden. It was not something that just happened. God had a particular project, as Paul tells us in the second reading. Because of the great power of Love, this project “backfired” and turned into a tragedy. But God didn’t let death and sin have the last words. His faithfulness is everlasting. His Dream continues.
In Mary we see it all: she is “full of grace,” true representation of what we are supposed to be. Of what we can still be. Although she was conceived without orginal sin, she still had to say “Yes.” I can hear in her voice some trepidation; rightly so, it’s impossible not to wonder what would happen if she agreed with the angel. That’s not the problem.Sometimes we let this “wondering” paralyze us, and because we do not know what the future will bring, we never make a decision.
She disrupts the plan that Sin and Death had created since the days of Adam and Eve; with that trembling Yes she manages to make the whole world tremble: now God is truly with us.
I am enjoying the reality of this feast celebrated in the context of Advent. I can see what happens when I say Yes to the great message: “The Lord is with you.” It’s a new life, never lived a alone but always with Him.
“Full of Grace.” What a gift! Now, God’s love and grace has a face, a body: Jesus made flesh because of a yes. I can understand and enter into this mystery as well: in Baptism, God removed original sin. Although I was not conceived in the same way, I can live now the reality of Mary and, when I say Yes to Him-who-comes-to-be-with-me I, too, experience a fullness of Grace. It’s the grace that comes from Christ living in me.
With a Yes, I also become pregnant with Jesus. I can be another Mary, and bring Him everywhere I go. But He must be born first within me.
Today, I want to join my Yes to that of Mary. I want to make the trembling louder. The world out there expects me to fill it with His grace.
I, too, have no idea of what the future will bring me. But I say Yes “According to his word.” I want to live the Gospel more fully, then so that I can experience Advent more fully.
I wonder… who else will join her today?