SOLEMNITY OF THE IMMACULATE CONCEPTION DECEMBER 8, 2018
A reading from the Letter of Saint Paul to the Ephesians 1:3-6 11-12
Brothers and sisters: Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavens, as he chose us in him, before the foundation of the world, to be holy and without blemish before him. In love he destined us for adoption to himself through Jesus Christ, in accord with the favor of his will, for the praise of the glory of his grace that he granted us in the beloved. In him we were also chosen, destined in accord with the purpose of the One who accomplishes all things according to the intention of his will, so that we might exist for the praise of his glory, we who first hoped in Christ.
“…so that we might exist for the praise of his glory,”
Just how do we exist for the praise of his glory? I can’t get this picture out of my mind: A young boy, getting himself dressed in a nice suit, carefully paddling across a bayou, standing the whole time, so not to get his suit dirty, and attending church on a Sunday morning. Here you have my father, orphaned at the age of 10, with a sense of who God is and how to give Him glory. His actions were an unspoken statement of faith and love for our Lord. He went to church regardless of the inconvenience and made a great effort to present himself before God.
There is no better way to praise God than to attend mass.
God’s glorious love extends beyond our human reasoning. His love is present on the altar and flows from his Son at every mass. Do we share this love with the world after we receive our Lord? As we hope in Christ, let us remember this quote by St. Irenaeus, second century bishop of Lyons, “the glory of God is man fully alive”. When our spirit lives in Christ, we will accomplish much for God and ultimately live in his glory for eternity.
Each and every one of us is chosen for this lofty existence, to praise the glory of God. We should live with a purpose, think with a purpose, and act with a purpose in accordance with the will of God. Our Mother Mary lived her life on earth with a purpose. She existed to serve and give glory to God by living a humble and obedient life. On this feast day of the Immaculate Conception may we recognize and praise God for creating our holy Mother and placing us under her loving care.
Glory be to the Father, to the Son and to the Holy Spirit. As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.