Feast of the Immaculate Conception
Today is a Holy Day of Obligation. We celebrate the Immaculate Conception of the Virgin Mary. Mary herself is the Immaculate Conception. The day does not refer to Mary's conceiving Jesus by the Holy Ghost, but to the conception of Mary in the womb of her mother, St. Anne, by Mary's father, St. Joachim. What makes her conception immaculate is not that she was conceived by the Holy Ghost as was Our Lord, but that from the moment of her conception, she was filled with grace by God. God knew that Mary would say "yes" to the Angel Gabriel. Nine months from now, on September 8, we will celebrate Mary's birthday. At the moment of Mary's conception in St. Anne's womb, God filled Mary with grace and preserved her from the stain of sin so she might be a pure vessel by whom Christ could enter the world. "Immaculate Conception," Mary 's title reveals that the New Adam saved the New Eve from the stain of original sin in as told in Scripture:
Genesis 3:15 "I will put enmities between thee and the woman, and thy seed and her seed: she shall crush thy head, and thou shalt lie in wait for her heel".
Her crown of 12 stars represent the 12 Tribes of Israel and the 12 Apostles, but especially emphasize her purity, and her Immaculate Heart.
The Epistle reading today will be from Proverbs 8:23-25, the Gradual will be Judith 13:23, the Tract will be Psalm 86:1, and the Gospel will be Luke 1:26-28.