Pastor’s Reflection for December 4, 2016
On December 8, we celebrate the feast of the Immaculate Conception, a holy day of obligation. The holy day Mass schedule can be found on page 5 of this week’s bulletin.
“The Immaculate Conception refers to the Blessed Virgin Mary’s conception in the womb of her mother, St. Anne, free from original sin by virtue of the foreseen merits of her son, Jesus Christ. The Catholic Church teaches that Mary was conceived by normal biological means but God acted upon her soul (keeping her immaculate) at the time of her conception.
The Immaculate Conception is commonly mistaken to be the conception of the child Jesus in her own womb. The Immaculate Conception deals with the conception of Mary herself and not that of her son.
The Church celebrates the feast of the Immaculate Conception, exactly nine months before celebrating the Nativity of Mary (September 8). The feast of the Annunciation which commemorates the virginal conception and the incarnation of Jesus is celebrated on March 25, nine months before Christmas Day.”
In 1858, at Lourdes, Mary identified herself to St. Bernadette as the Immaculate Conception. It was unbeknownst to the public that in 1854 the Church had already made it a matter of dogma that Mary was immaculately conceived. The United States is under the patronage of the Immaculate Conception.
Mary is one of the principal figures of the Advent season. This is a time of watching and waiting for Jesus to come in a new and fresh way into our lives. Mary said yes to God’s invitation to be His mother. By her yes, Mary brought Jesus to us as our Lord and Saviour. May we imitate Mary by saying yes to Jesus to come into our lives with His love and healing power. Jesus came to save us from our sins. We are in need of His grace to help us turn away from the darkness of sin into the light of His love. May Mary help us to go to Jesus and to walk faithfully in His ways.
I encourage all to consider receiving the sacrament of Penance in preparation for the birth of Jesus. We tend to clean our homes when a special guest is coming to visit. May we do the same in our spiritual preparation for Jesus who is coming in a special way on Christmas.
As a reminder, our Healing Mass will be this Wednesday, December 7, starting with the recitation of the rosary at 7:00 p.m.
I will be available for confession this week on Tuesday, December 6, from 1:00 p.m. – 1:30 p.m.
May Jesus continue to shepherd you in all of your needs.
God love you,