Posted by: njs44 | December 8, 2009

Sinless Mary

Today is the Feast of the Immaculate Conception. This feast is often misunderstood, by those who are easily confused, as being about the conception of Jesus. If you think about it, December 8th just would not work, as everyone knows the Birthday of Jesus is December 25th, a mere 17 days away. If we can avoid panicking about the number of shopping days left to Christmas, we can work out that Jesus must have been conceived 9 months earlier on March 25th, the Feast of the Annunciation. Incidentally I was interested to learn that the name ‘Nancy’ is thought to be an abbreviation for Annunciata and I can understand why a girl would prefer to be called Nancy. But I digress.

So what today’s feast must be about is the conception of Mary. Mary, the Mother of God, the Mother of Jesus, the Mother of the Church, was conceived without sin. That’s where the ‘immaculate’ bit comes in. It’s simple really, when you stop to think about it.

The trouble is, some people can imagine that because Mary is immaculate it makes her not like other people and that makes her more remote, with a kind of sanctity which removes her far from the cares of this world. This is a pity, as Mary must have felt all the human emotions we feel, such as sorrow, fear, anxiety and concern, as she watched her son carrying out his work on earth. The beautiful statues and paintings that depict Mary holding her son’s body, known as The Pieta, show Mary as the suffering mother. I think of the mothers of soldiers killed in Afghanistan, the mothers of children who are terminally ill, the mothers of those who have become victims of alcohol or drug abuse, and Mary is there with them, sharing the same pain. O clement, O loving, O sweet Virgin Mary.


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