Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary
December 8, 2021 •
When we look at Scripture more deeply, do we find any language in the Word of God that can convince us of Mary's immaculate conception, of her complete sinlessness? That is why we have this Gospel reading today.
Compare this Gospel account where we hear the angel Gabriel speaking to Mary, and earlier on in this chapter where you hear the same angel speaking to Zechariah. If you ever read these two dialogues side by side, they're almost identical. ... He tells both of them that there's going to be a miraculous birth, it's going to be a boy, ... he describes the type of life and ministry these two men will have. Once he describes this birth, each one of the two - Zechariah and Mary - ask Gabriel a question.
Zechariah says, "How could this possibly happen?" ... What does Gabriel respond? Basically: "How dare you question me? I stand before the throne of God. I came to give you this good message and you doubt me? You will be mute until this child is born." Then Gabriel leaves.... Zechariah was punished because he doubted in his heart....
Mary says, "How can this happen since I have no relations with a man?"
So, Zechariah says, "We're old, and she's barren, how is it going to happen?" Mary says, "I'm a virgin, how is this going to happen?"
Does Gabriel get angered at Mary? Does he punish her as well? No. He answers her question. He totally submits and gives her exactly what she wanted: an understanding of this great mystery. Now, we know that the Blessed Mother would never have doubted the will of God spoken to her by the angel.
But I want you to think of from this standpoint: Who is this girl to Gabriel. Who is she?
She's his Queen. ...
Look at his submission to her. It's clearly a sign of her greatness.
Ask the Holy Spirit to help you know Her better. To help you love Her better. The Saints teach us that true devotion to the Blessed Mother is one of the signs of salvific grace in a soul.
Gn 3:9-15, 20; Eph 1:3-6, 11-12; Lk 1:26-38
Homily begins at 23:20