Homily — Immaculate Conception MMVII

Homily — Immaculate Conception MMVII

You are all beautiful, my beloved, and there is no blemish to be found in you.

We read those words in the Old Testament Song of Songs.  King Solomon speaks them in reference to his bride whom he just married.  You are all beautiful, my beloved, and there is no blemish to be found in you.

But God intended there to be a much deeper meaning to this verse of inspired Scripture.  Certainly the Most Holy Trinity, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, spoke those same words the moment they created the soul of Mary in the womb of St. Anne.

You are all beautiful, my beloved Daughter, said God the Father, and there is no blemish to be found in you.

You are all beautiful, my beloved Mother, said God the Son, and there is no blemish to be found in you.

You are all beautiful, my beloved Spouse, said God the Holy Spirit, and there is no blemish to be found in you.

And the Most Holy Trinity desires that we too would honor and venerate their most beautiful of creatures.

After successfully tempting our Mother Eve, the devil never ceased to send his fallen angels to her and her children, saying to us “Hail, empty of God’s grace, the Lord has banished thee.”

But now for the first time since the fall, we hear see an angel of the Lord God say to Our Mother Mary “Hail, Full of Grace, the Lord is with Thee.”

No longer are we merely “poor banished children of Eve,” deprived of sanctifying grace.  In the Immaculate Conception of the woman who will say “no” to the Serpent and “yes” to God, the dawn of our salvation begins to rise.

In 1847, in response to the request of Bishop Carrol, Blessed Pope Pius IX declared the Immaculate Conception the patroness of the United States.   It is very fitting that Mary be the patroness of our country under this title, because if there’s one thing our country prides itself the most on, it is freedom.   And freedom is the reason why God created Mary without stain of original sin and preserved her from all sin throughout her life.  The Catechism of the Catholic Church, #490, states “in order for Mary to be able to give the free assent of her faith to the announcement of her vocation, it was necessary” that she be Immaculately Conceived, “full of grace.”

Sin keeps us from being truly free, keeps us from fully seeing truth, from fully loving.  And while we don’t share in the singular gift of Mary’s Immaculate Conception, we share in the graces Mary receives from God, which Mary our Mother wishes to bestow on us to help us say “no” to temptation and “yes” to God.

May Mary the Immaculate Conception bring true freedom to our country, and may the grace of Christ her Son help us to say along with Him and the Father and the Holy Ghost: You are all beautiful virgin Mary, my beloved Queen and Mother, and there is no blemish, no stain of sin, to be found in you.

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