What do we understand by the Dogma of the Immaculate Conception of Jesus? In its simplest terms we understand that because of her role of being the future Mother of God, and God could know that Mary would say, “yes” because he is all omniscient, he decided that it would be apt to preserve her from sin and thus make holy the womb that would carry the Son of God for nine months and, generally speaking, the woman who would be the mother who raises him as a child. The mechanics of the Immaculate Conception we simply leave to the wisdom and power of God. I am more interested in the possible meanings or lessons we might be able to draw from this Dogma.

 

The first thing that strikes me is that God goes to the fullest lengths possible to identify with our human condition. Jesus does not bypass any of the difficulties or dangers of childhood in becoming our Savior but cements his identification with humanity through living them to the full. Yes, Jesus too is without sin, but then we cannot expect God to actually sin just to know what it feels like. I do not have to murder a person to know that without a doubt murder is wrong!

 

Jesus’ identification is complete in that he experiences the effects of sin just as we all experience the effects of those who sin against us. We also have personal sin but personal sin is not essential to the human condition! God did not make sinning a part of our nature – we took it on through rebellion and disobedience. The Immaculate Conception helps to affirm the reality of Jesus’ taking on of our humanity and thus becoming a redeemer in our human form.

 

Today’s feast also reminds us of the uniqueness of Mary’s role in the work of salvation. It is right for us to honor her as first and foremost of all the saints. It is logical that we attribute to her the full benefits of the resurrection of her Son, Jesus, in the Dogma of the Assumption. I am sure that this is the very least that Jesus would desire to give her.

 

What role does Mary have in my life? How do I understand her as my mother and Mother of the Church? Do I need to reflect more on her role in my life?

 

Holy Spirit, enlighten my heart and mind as to the importance of Mary’s role in my life as an intercessor and model for the life of faith.