Pastor’s Reflection for December 6, 2015
This week we celebrate two Marian feasts. The first is the Immaculate Conception. This is generally a misunderstood feast. Many think this celebrates when Mary became pregnant with Jesus. This feast actually celebrates that Mary was conceived without any stain of sin. We believe literally that Mary, was immaculate from the first moment of her conception. Since she was to become the mother of God, she received the singular privilege of being conceived without any stain of sin. We are all born with the stain of the original sin of Adam and Eve which is cleansed at our Baptism. Jesus was conceived by the Holy Spirit as the Spirit overshadowed Mary when she said “yes” to the angel’s invitation to be the mother of God. In a way, Christmas begins when Mary conceived Jesus at her Annunciation which we celebrate nine months earlier on March 25.
The Immaculate Conception is a Holy Day of obligation. The Mass Schedule is listed in the bulletin on page 5.
Mary is the woman of the Advent season. As we prepare for the coming of Jesus on Christmas in a new way into our hearts, let us remember that Jesus was born of Mary. She brought Jesus to us. Her work today is to bring us to Jesus.
This brings us to the second feast of Mary, the feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe that we celebrate on Saturday, December 12th. As you know, Juan Diego saw an apparition of Mary at the Hill of Tepeyac. Mary asked that a church be built at that site in her honor. The Archbishop asked Juan Diego to go back to the hill and ask the lady for a miraculous sign to prove her identity. The Virgin told Juan Diego to gather flowers from the hill. He gathered Castilian roses, not native to Mexico, from what normally was a barren hilltop. These were placed in his cloak and when he opened his cloak to show the roses, an image of the Virgin of Guadalupe was on the fabric. We can learn a lesson that God has chosen Mary to lead us to Jesus. She is our heavenly mother who cares for us and desires us to follow the ways of her Son so we can receive the gift of eternal life.
I shall be available for confession on Tuesday, December 8, from 3:00 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.
May Jesus continue to shepherd you in all of your needs.
God love you,