Dear brothers and sisters, Fiat!
It’s the solemnity the Immaculate Conception of Mary.
In the Liturgy of this Feast the Gospel of the Annunciation (Lk 1:26-38) is proclaimed. It contains, precisely, the dialogue between the Angel Gabriel and the Blessed Virgin. “Hail, full of grace, the Lord is with you”, God’s messenger says, and in this way reveals Mary’s most profound identity, the “name” so to speak, with which God himself recognizes her: “full of grace”. This expression that is so familiar from childhood because we say it every time that we recite the “Hail Mary”, gives us the explanation of the mystery we are celebrating today. In fact, from the moment when she was conceived by her parents, Mary was the object of unique favour on the part of God who, in his eternal plan, chose her in advance to be Mother of his Son made man and, consequently, preserved from original sin. Therefore the Angel addressed her with this name which means implicitly, “always filled with God’s love”, with his grace.
“The angel Gabriel came to her.” It is good to think that God touches you lightly, touches you in your everyday life, in your home
The first word of the angel is not a simple greeting, joy, that is, everything good and rare all seek vibrates inside: “rejoice, make feast, be happy.” The angel does not ask: Please, kneel, do this or that. But he says simply: open yourself to joy, like a door opens to the sun. God approaches and tightens you in an embrace, He comes and brings a promise of happiness.
The second word of the angel reveals the reason for joy: You are full of grace. It is a new term, which has never before resounded in the Bible: Mary, you are filled, filled with God. He leaned on you, He is in love with you, He gave Himself to you and overflow with Him.
The angel calls her “full of grace”, the Christian people call Her: Mary Immaculate. And it is the same thing. Mary isn’t full of grace because she said “yes” to God, but because God said “yes” to her before even her answer. And He says it to each of us, everyone is full of grace, we all are loved just as we are, for what we are; good and bad, everyone is loved for ever, children or adults, each one is filled with heaven.
The first word of Mary is not a yes, but a question “How can this be, since I have no relations with a man?” She is before God with her human dignity, with her womanhood, and her need to understand. Then she opens to the most generous response in the world: “Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord. May it be done to me according to your word, according to God’s Word.”. Mary’s story is also the story of each of us. Again the angel is sent to the house of each of us and tells us: Rejoice, you’re full of grace! God is within you and fills your life with His strength.
The mystery of the Immaculate Conception is a source of inner light, hope and comfort. Amidst the trials of life and, especially, the contradictions that man experiences within and around himself. Mary, Mother of Christ, tells us that Grace is greater than sin, that God’s mercy is more powerful than evil and it is able to transform it into good. Unfortunately, every day we experience evil, which is manifested in many ways including relationships and events, but whose root is in the human heart, a wounded, sick heart that is incapable of healing itself. Sacred Scripture reveals to us that the origin of all evil is disobedience to God’s will and that death has the upper hand because human freedom has yielded to the temptation of the Evil One.
The Immaculate Conception of Mary is a great gift for humanity. It is the wonder of God in favor of mankind!
Jesus told Luisa that the immaculate conception of Mary was prodigious and all marvelous; so much so, that Heaven and earth were astonished and made feast. All Three Divine Persons competed among Themselves: the Father poured out an immense sea of power; the Son, poured out an infinite sea of wisdom, and the Holy Spirit, an immense sea of eternal love, which, merging into one, formed one single sea; and in the middle of this sea the conception of this Virgin was formed, chosen among the chosen.
This sea remained around Her, not only to keep Her defended from anything which might shadow Her, but to give Her, in every instant, new beauties, new graces, power, wisdom, love, privileges, etc. So, Her little nature was conceived in the center of this sea, and was formed and grew under the influence of these divine waves; so much so, that as soon as this noble and singular creature was formed, God did not want to wait as It usually does with other creatures – It wanted Her embraces, the return of Her love, Her kisses, and to enjoy Her innocent smiles. Therefore, as soon as Her conception was formed, God gave Her the use of reason, He endowed Her with all sciences, He made Her aware of the divine joys and sorrows with regard to Creation. Even from the maternal womb, She would come to Heaven, at the foot of God’s Throne, to give Him the return of Her love.
She was enriched with all the divine qualities, coming into God midst, all love, all trust, without fear. In fact, sin alone is what puts distance between Creator and creature, breaking love, dissolving trust, and striking fear. So, She would come as Queen who, with Her love, given by God, would dominate God, enrapture God, and capture yet more love.
All the Creation, in Mary, made feast. The sun smiled in its light, and considered itself fortunate in having to serve its Queen by giving Her light. The heavens, the stars, and the whole universe smiled with joy and made feast, because they were to delight their Queen, showing Her the harmony of the spheres and of their beauty. Only hell cried and felt itself losing strength because of the dominion of this Sovereign Lady.
Living in God, Mary recognized that all the evil of man had been the split between his will and That of his Creator; She trembled, and with no delay She bound Her will to the foot of God’s throne, without even wanting to know it. And the Divine Will bound Itself to Her and constitute Itself the center of Her life, so much so, that all currents, all relations, all communications opened between Her and God and there was no secret which God did not entrust to Her. This, indeed, was the most beautiful, the greatest, the most heroic act She did – to lay down Her will at Trinity’s feet; and in this way She was constituted Queen of all.
Oh, prodigy of the Divine Will!
to You everything is due,
through You everything is accomplished,
and there is no greater prodigy
than the Divine Will dwelling in the creature.