Saturday, December 8, 2007

Sermon of Fr. Gerard for The Feast of The Immaculate Conception

Hail, full of Grace, in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost, Amen.

These words of the Gospel of St. Luke tell us exactly the story of Our Blessed Mother that she is full of grace and, as the Church teaches us and has defined as a dogma, from the first moment of her conception she was preserved from original sin and full of grace. As St. Alfonso tells us: “at every moment she was increasing the store of grace, which she possessed, because she was always cooperating with it, it cost an effort for her to cooperate but there was an effort to cooperate with the grace of God at every moment of her existence.”

In defining the dogma of the Immaculate Conception, Pope Pius IX drew on this passage in scripture as also many others from the Old Testament such as from some of the writings of Solomon, one is “my dove, my perfect one” and many other passages in the Old Testament intimated this fact. Also the fact that Our Blessed Mother, we know, is the woman prophesized to our first parents as the one who will crush the head of the serpent, to be victorious over Satan it would be necessary to be so at every moment in one’s existence and never to have been subject to his dominion.

Jesus Christ, Son of God, of course by his nature of God, is victorious over Satan in his state of humanity, as well he conquered Satan, especially by his death upon the cross and by those merits foreseen by Almighty God, the Blessed Virgin Mary was preserved Immaculate from the first moment of her conception. The Fathers of the Church, especially those who wrote in Greek, were prolific in their praises of the Blessed Virgin Mary. They almost argued with one another inventing new terms of description for her purity.

One time, a few years ago, Bishop Pivarunas put in the “Adsum” bulletin a whole list of all these different adjectives which the Greek Fathers came up with in order to describe the Immaculate and complete purity of the Blessed Virgin Mary. This is one of her favorite feasts, if not perhaps her favorite because, although it was a preparation for all the others, especially her divine maternity, I’m sure that to possess this freedom from sin, she would have been willing to forego even being the Mother of the Redeemer because, as we, when the Angel Gabriel came to her, she questioned him as to how she was to become the Mother of the Redeemer. Because she knew not man and had a vow of virginity and tradition tells us that St. Joseph also had a vow of virginity. The Angel told her that it would be by the power of the most high, the Holy Ghost would overshadow her and the son to be born would be called the Son of God.

And so on this feast, let us ask Our Blessed Mother for the special graces, which she is always so willing to grant on her feast days, especially the grace of purity of body and soul, of which she has, after her divine Son, the greatest model and exemplar in this world.

In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost. Amen

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