By Fr Jason Smith
The Immaculate Conception teaches us something very positive: God is stronger than sin and where sin abounds, grace abounds even more. (Romans 5:20)
This truth is brought home in a special way in Mary’s life, for she, on account of a singular privilege of God, and in view of the merits of Christ’s death, was preserved from contracting original sin, and came into existence already completely holy.
Four years after the Church defined this dogma, the Virgin Mary herself confirmed it so at Lourdes, when she told young Bernadette, “I am the Immaculate Conception.”
Today’s feast proclaims an urgent and relevant message to the modern world: Sin exists. It should not be taken lightly. Yet God is more powerful than sin is.
Therefore you and I have reason for great hope. The power of the Holy Spirit is stronger than any sin, vice, or circumstance in our life or around us. Perhaps sin has held us bound in the past, or is presently pulling us down. We have no reason to worry or to fear; Mary’s immaculate conception is proof of how forcefully God can act in one’s life, all that is needed to begin is to open the doors of our hearts to God, humbly bow our head, and, like Mary, strive to repeat with her, “Yes. May it be done into me according to thy word.”