The Second Sunday of Advent has precedence over the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception which is moved tomorrow December 9th. But since it falls on a Monday, it is not a holy day of obligation in the United States.
The Virgin Mary is the Immaculate Conception, conceived in the womb of Saint Anne without any stain of original and actual sin. The Father has chosen her from the very beginning for a special purpose to be the Mother of our Savior Jesus Christ. What do we learn from this mystery?
God will always find a way to save us. He will never stop to bring us back. He will always search for us! This is the Good News of the Immaculate Conception – God is searching and longing for us.
We have heard from Genesis the great mercy and wisdom of God. When Adam sinned, God sought him: “Where are you?” He created the universe because He is overflowing with love. He wanted to share this eternal love to His creation especially to humanity – Adam and Eve – whom He uniquely created in His image and likeness. God desired that humanity will love Him – with all his heart, all his soul, all his strength and al his mind. God desired eternal communion. But Adam and Eve outwardly rejected that love and chose another path – the path of separation, the way of pride, the false illusion that one can exist and persist without God, that a human being can do everything He wants and save Himself! Humanity separated Himself from God. He fell. He chose sin and death as his destiny.
And it is possible that God could have just abolished his creation, terminated it and created a new one from scratch. But in His wisdom and love, He saw something greater in the midst of the mess that Adam and Eve did. He saw humanity’s capacity to love in return. And this is only possible not through punishment but forgiveness and infinite chances; for genuine love is never imposed; true love is always an invitation and a response of love.
Through Adam and Eve’s disobedience, entered sin and death; God saw at that very moment the best alternate plan – He shall redeem humanity by sending His only Son fully human to show humanity the way back home – to God! God could have done this through magic, without any difficulty. But this is not love, but convenience! His Son Jesus, the Eternal Word must become true flesh so that humanity might be renewed in grace and sanctity. Here, the Father saw from eternity the daughter of Eve, Mary of Nazareth, who has the greatest capacity to love and trust His eternal plans. She is the one who will say “Behold the handmaid of the Lord. Be it done unto me according to your word.” The Father has chosen her to be the worthy dwelling of His Son, the Second Person of the Trinity, and preserved her from all stain of sin. God saw Mary’s worthiness from the very beginning of creation and created her “full of grace.”
Salvation needs cooperation. Saint Augustine said: “God created us without us but he cannot save us without us.” Mary’s Immaculate Conception reminds us to be grateful to God’s desire to save us, finding ways to bring us back to Himself. And we gain much hope and inspiration from the example of our Blessed Mother that when we surrender ourselves completely to God, the road might be a challenge, but God shall take care of everything. All we need is to trust and always say “YES”” Mary made the right decision. She cooperated with God and we are sure that we can be one again with God.