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The Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary

Today we celebrate the feast of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary. This feast celebrates God’s choice of Mary to be the mother of Jesus. God preserved Mary from the stain of original sin from the moment of her conception. Thus, Mary was the first to receive the benefit of the redemption that her Son would merit for all.

To reflect upon this mystery, the Gospel reading for today presents to us the story of the Annunciation.

It is through her exchange with the angel Gabriel that Luke, the Evangelist, introduces the person of Mary.

The Annunciation begins in the context of Luke’s account of the birth of John the Baptist. “In the sixth month,” referring to Elizabeth’s pregnancy, the angel Gabriel appears to a virgin of Nazareth—Mary. Indeed, there are many parallels in Luke’s accounts of the births of John the Baptist and Jesus.

In this passage, Luke tells us much about Mary and the child she is to bear. We learn that Mary is a virgin from Nazareth who is betrothed to a man named Joseph, who was of the house of David. The angel greets Mary in the most glowing of terms, acknowledging the favour she has found with God. The son Mary is to conceive is described in messianic terms. He will be called “Son of the Most High” and the “Son of God.”

Mary is bold in her exchange with the angel. She is troubled by his greeting and questions the message, asking “How am I to bear a son if I have no relations with a man?” Mary is told that she will conceive through the power of the Holy Spirit and is offered a sign in the miraculous pregnancy of her elder cousin Elizabeth.

Mary’s affirmative response to this seemingly impossible message gives evidence to the grace we know that she possesses from God. Only one who is “full of grace” can be so receptive to and cooperative with the will of God. Because of this, Mary is the model of discipleship for all Christians.

CWD Disaster Response Collection

Catholic Welfare and Development request donations

to be brought to the Church.

(Sr. Vimala addressed the congregation – 3 weeks ago)

They will collect on the 3rd Sunday of Advent…. 11th December.

 

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STRAWS IN THE MANGER — Preparing Our Hearts for Christ’s Birth.

As mentioned last week, the Crib will be set up in the Sanctuary early this year. And so, from next weekend (10th & 11th December), we will begin to prepare the Manger. We will be making Baby Jesus’ bed soft by adding straws in the manger. The straws reflect extra spiritual efforts made during Advent.

The manger or crib is a symbol of our hearts. Advent is the time to prepare one’s heart for Christ’s coming at Christmas

So this year, we encourage you to place a piece of straw in the crib when you have done a good deed at home, in the workplace and for your community and let us fill the crib with LOVE.

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