In his message for the Solemn Feast of the Immaculate Conception, celebrated by the Church on Dec. 8, Bishop David M. O’Connell, C.M., reminds the faithful of the Diocese that the grace bestowed upon Mary in her own conception was the pathway to the birth of Jesus -- the best evidence that "nothing is impossible with God."
“Centuries of longing of the Chosen People of God came to an end as the Angel announced to Mary, ‘Hail, full of grace! The Lord is with you (Luke 1:28).’ That greeting recognized that the Virgin Mary, ‘blessed among all women,’ was truly and uniquely ‘full of grace,’ that no sin could exist in her – ever – from the very first moment of her own conception, which the Church calls her ‘Immaculate Conception.’ And so she alone was worthy to welcome the Angel's words, ‘the Lord is with you.’ …
“The Immaculate Conception of Mary was the pathway which led to the conception of her own Son, Jesus. Being first ‘graced’ by God before her birth, she would give birth to the source and fulfillment of all ‘grace,’ the Lord Jesus Christ, Son of the Most High, the Promised Messiah and Savior of the World, the ‘Word made Flesh who would dwell among us (John 1:14).’ There is no better news that could be told.”
Bishop O’Connell later instructs the faithful to look within ourselves this Advent to truly see “what grace and faith and God's mercy tell us.”
“‘Nothing is impossible with God:’ not forgiveness of the darkest sin, not healing of the deepest hurt, not separation from those furthest away or who should be closest to us, not even the troubles that strangle our planet, our world, our communities, our families or ourselves. ‘Nothing is impossible with God.’
“With faith like that of the Immaculate Virgin Mary, pray to the merciful Father of us all for what He, alone, makes possible, and then respond to God and to those possibilities: ‘Let it be done to me as you say.’"
Read Bishop O’Connell’s full message for the Solemn Feast of the Immaculate Conception, here.