Friday, December 8, 2023

Immaculate Conception and the “Days of Mary”

The Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception begins the “days of Mary” in the Advent calendar, especially for the land and peoples of “The Americas.” These next four days celebrate the profound “common vocation” of the inhabitants of the Western Hemisphere and its “land” from Alaska to Tierra Del Fuego, which John Paul II called “America” in the singular, indicating the fundamental solidarity of everyone in this land, and the special significance of the Virgin of Guadalupe who began its evangelization nearly 500 years ago from the geographical center of this “America,” in Mexico City.

Today we celebrate with joy the perfect, supereminent work of grace and redemption that is Mary, the All-Holy One, free from all sin from the beginning of her existence by virtue of the foreseen redeeming sacrifice of her Son.

Here is a portion of today’s prayer from Pope Francis:

“The world changes if hearts change; and everyone must say: starting with mine. But only God can change the human heart with his grace: the one in which you, Mary, you are immersed from the first moment; the grace of Jesus Christ, our Lord, that you generated in the flesh, who died and rose again for us, and who you always point out to us. He is salvation, for every man and for the world. Come, Lord Jesus! May your kingdom of love, justice and peace come! Amen!