Today’s Thoughts: As we celebrate the Feast of the Immaculate Conception today our focus is on two things, God’s gift to Mary and us by bringing her into the world untouched by sin and Mary's gift to God and us in her response of "Yes" to the angel Gabriel.
We celebrate the vision, the plan of God from the first moment of creation to touch us with the beauty, joy and faithfulness of Mary. We celebrate a simple response of “yes” by Mary. “Yes” is a response, word, we make and use many times in life. Sometimes our “yeses” are simple responses to easy questions but at other times our “yeses” become responses that change our lives forever. Mary’s “yes” changed her life and our lives profoundly because it paved the way for Christ, the gift of perfect love, to come into the world.
Mary’s “yes” was not an easy "yes" because before she could utter it she had to deal with fear. What was God asking? What did all this mean? How could this happen? Why me? But Gabriel asked Mary to not fear. So, Mary with faith and trust in God moved beyond her fear to God’s perfect love. Remember as St. John tells us, "Love casts out fear!" Enlivened with God’s love Mary stepped beyond fear and said "Yes!" And this made all the difference for her and us!
As I pause to celebrate God’s gift of Mary to us today I am thinking back to my trip four summers ago to Lourdes, France. It was there that Mary appeared to a frightened teenager, Bernadette Soubirous and told her not to fear because "I am the Immaculate Conception.” St. Bernadette like Mary chose not to fear and thus brought healing waters to a world in need of healing.
If nothing else our feast today challenges us to not live fear. It challenges us to welcome God’s gift of Mary into our lives. Our feast challenges us to be like Mary and say “yes” to God because when we do impossible things happen for as Gabriel reminds us “nothing is impossible for God.”
Blessings to all on this Feast of the Immaculate Conception! Have a great Friday everyone and may you find peace, hope and joy throughout your day!
Fr. Paul R. Fagan, C.P. "Preacher on the Run"
Just a few thoughts to help you on your journey through life...let me know from time to time what you think...