HOMILY FOR THE FEAST OF IMMACULATE CONCEPTION OF THE BLESSED VIRGIN MARY.
THEME: ‘I am the handmaid of the Lord,’ said Mary ‘let what you have said be done to me.’
BY: Fr Diotacious Chikontwe SMA.
HOMILY FOR DECEMBER 8.
*READINGS OF THE DAY*
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, today we celebrate the solemnity of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary, solemnly commemorating the Dogma of the Immaculate Conception in which we believe that Mary, the Mother of God, was conceived without sin by St. Anne and Joachim.
*Why do we celebrate the Feast of the Immaculate Conception?*
Since the beginning of the Church, the Blessed Virgin Mary has been regarded as the holiest and the most blessed of all disciples. The celebration of the Immaculate Conception began in the 7th century under the title, “Conception of Mary by Saint Anne” and was changed to “Immaculate Conception” with the definition of the doctrine in 1854.
We can say that the Immaculate Conception was the beginning of our salvation and is now one of the central doctrines of our faith. Because of this, we celebrate the Feast Day to highlight the significant place Our Lady has in salvation history.
*What is the doctrine of the Immaculate Conception and why is it significant for the Catholic faith?*
The doctrine of the Immaculate Conception, defined by Pope Pius IX on December 8, 1854, states that “The Most Blessed Virgin Mary was, from the first instant of her conception, by a singular privilege and grace granted by God, in view of the merits of Jesus Christ, the Savior of the human race, preserved exempt from all stain of original sin.
*How is the doctrine of the Immaculate Conception meaningful in our lives as Catholics today?*
The doctrine of the Immaculate Conception places Our Lady before the faithful as an example of what God can do and what we can do, if like Mary, we put ourselves in God’s hands and at God’s service, always open to what God asks and always seeking to fulfill God’s will.
It finally reminds us that, if we cooperate with God ‘s grace, as did the Blessed Virgin Mary, we can lead a life as free from sin as is humanly possible.
Today’s feast reminds us that we have someone we can look to and be inspired by in our efforts to respond to the Lord’s choice of us and his call to us, his searching love. Mary, the mother of Jesus, is also our mother. She knows the power of sin and what it can do to human lives; she saw what it did to her Son. She surrounds us with her intercession and prayer so that we too can become the human person God desires us to be. That is why we can ask her with confidence to pray for us sinners now and at the hour of our death.
HAPPY FOUNDATION DAY TO THE SMA FATHERS (Society Of African Missions Fathers).
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