Happy Feast of Immaculate Conception!
The Pharisees brought the woman, caught red-handed, before Jesus for judgment, and Jesus said, "Let the person who is without sin cast the first stone." They fell silent, and then, all of a sudden, a stone came flying from the crowd. Jesus looked up, surprised and amused, and then said, "Hold it, mother? I was trying to make a point, here." This is a humorous slant to the Catholic belief that Mary was born Immaculate to lead an immaculate life.
December 8 is Feast of Immaculate Conception. Because the Sunday of Advent takes precedent over Immaculate Conception, Feast day is transferred to Monday, December 9th. At the same time, we celebrate at Immaculate Conception parish because it is parish feast, we are going to celebrate the feast of Immaculate Conception along with Second Sunday of Advent. It is because more parishioners can participate in the celebration.
I take this opportunity to wish everyone the Happy Feast of Immaculate Conception, especially to Parishioners of Immaculate Conception as we celebrate the patron Saint of our parish. I would like to thank everyone who worked so hard to make this celebration beautiful, especially the Christian Ladies and KC’s for preparing the breakfast. I would like congratulate also our Confirmation Candidates and first reconciliation candidates who are introduced at Immaculate Conception and St. Anthony.
Mary was chosen and brought her to this world without sin. In the book of Genesis, we read, "The man called his wife Eve because she became the mother of all the living." Mary, the new Eve, bought Jesus to this world to give us life. If we look at Jesus' life, he starts his public ministry at the wedding of Cana in the presence of his mother Mary. And Mary was present throughout his life. Mary was there at the foot of the Cross, at his death and then at the Resurrection. At the foot of Jesus gave Mary as our Mother, mother of humanity.
Bernadette Soubirous at the age of 14 encountered vision of a woman named Mary on hillside grotto. She was a poor young girl so no one believed her, but the vision continued. Finally, the local priest asked Bernadette to find out the name of the woman and she replied Immaculate Conception. Today Lourdes, France where Mary appeared is a great place of pilgrimage and thousands of miracles take place.
Immaculate Conception is not about the conception of Jesus in Mary’s womb; it is about the conception of Mary in the womb of Anna. It is beautiful that we get a chance to reflect on the conception of Mary and Jesus during Advent.
The readings for the second Sunday Advent tell us about homecoming. We see a beautiful poem in the first reading from the book of Isaiah. This poem describes the beauty of the coming of Jesus. It reads, “A shoot shall sprout from the stump of Jesse…”He is the one who is going to bring the community integrity. He is going to bring peace and harmony. The Baby of Bethlehem comes to establish his reign over the universe, and most especially in our very hearts. Mary brings Jesus for us, He brings us to the true home.
In the Gospel we see John the Baptist is giving the instruction to how to prepare for Jesus. They listened to him and followed the instruction. They received the baptism of repentance and renewed their life, so Jesus can come home – mind and heart.