December 09, 2018
Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception - 8th December 2018 - By Peter Kenny
The feast of the Immaculate Conception is a celebration of God's willingness to grace all of our humanity, to renew humanity from all stain of sin, beginning in a special way with Mary. We celebrate today that special openess of Mary, the first disciple, to place her faith and trust in God with her whole life.
The Genesis description of sin in the garden reveals how sin brings disorder, causes us to blame one another, and also triggers a sense of shame. The serpent is a powerful symbol for how clever evil can seem, how it tricks us. For us today, the critical part of this reading is in the prophecy at the end: the descendant of Eve will crush the head of the serpent, while it only strikes at his heel. The Church sees in Jesus the one who will end this reign of sin and give humanity new hope. Mary as the new Eve will be the better of this new hope and new life.
The early Christians, through reflection on other biblical passages and the tradition of Mary, began to see here in Genesis a proto- evangelium proclaiming the victory over evil through the Messiah Jesus, born of a woman, and thus the special role of Mary as his mother. (Cf. also Rom 16:20, with a reference to the proto -evangelium in the New Testament, 'And the God of peace will soon crush Satan under your feet.')
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