Tomorrow is the Feast of the Immaculate Conception. It is a day we celebrate the fact that, from the moment of her conception, Mary was “preserved immune from all stain of original sin.” But the Feast of the Immaculate Conception has a tendency to raise a lot of questions, even among Catholics.
Do we have to believe in the Immaculate Conception? Yes, it’s a dogma of the Church.
Do we have to go to Mass on the Feast of the Immaculate Conception? Yes, it’s a Holy Day of Obligation.
Isn’t the Immaculate Conception about Jesus’ conception? No. That would be the Annunciation, which is celebrated nine months before Christmas, on March 25.
Another question some might have is that, while the Immaculate Conception is great for Mary, what does that have to do with us? To answer this, Relevant Radio® contributor Fr. Carl Pieber stopped by Morning Air® to discuss the Immaculate Conception and how we too are called to be full of grace.
One way to enter into the Immaculate Conception is to pay attention to tomorrow’s Mass readings, said Fr. Pieber. “Oh, the readings!” he said. “You’ll jump out of your skin when you hear the readings. These readings are just picture perfect and wonderful. The first one is about the Garden of Eden, and God’s first promise that He is going to send us a Redeemer. How exciting is that?”
“Right at the moment Adam has sinned, God already has planned a redemption for us,” he explained. “Not only a redemption, but to become one with Him.”
In the Second Reading, Fr. Pieber pointed out, “You find out God destined us to be one with Him before everything began. The God of infinite power, infinite holiness, infinite majesty, who keeps everything living – He created us to be one with Him through Jesus Christ, Our Lord. How exciting is that!”
“And then, of course, the wonderful Gospel, which is the Annunciation,” he continued, “The Lord is with you. Hail full of grace. That’s our destiny. Our destiny is to be full of grace, and the more we work on it now, the more full of grace we are, the happier we are, the more we can do everything God wants, because we have more grace.”
So rather than thinking that the Immaculate Conception has nothing to do with us, we can be energized when we realize that the fullness of grace that Mary experienced is one that we are all called to,
“We’ve got this wonderful Feast of the Immaculate Conception, wherein God chooses a human person to be His mother, so that He can become like us,” said Fr. Pieber. “And He picked her from the beginning, so that when she was conceived she could receive God. And that’s what we have to look at. Your listeners have to know that they’re made to receive God.”
Mary, the Immaculate Conception, pray for us!
Listen to the full conversation below: