Feast of the Immaculate Conception

During the Feast of the Immaculate Conception Mass on Monday, December 8, two student preachers offered reflections – one through dance, one through the word.

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The liturgical dance done by Viche Stevenson is an expression of preaching through the arts. There are many ways to preach besides the pulpit. One way is through song, dance, or art. For example, Fra Angelico, a famous Dominican fresco painter, preached the Word of God through his beautiful paintings. Through Viche’s movement of dance to the music of the Angelus in Latin, she enables us to raise our minds and hearts to God in prayer. This is another expression of how Dominicans preach.

Immaculate Conception Reflection

by Brooke Duplantier

immaculate_conception_web10We’ve all had times when we’ve looked up to the sky and thought, “really God? Now?” and we’ve questioned what this whole life thing is really about. We know that God is a mystery- yet we spend time playing detectives like characters from our favorite tv shows and investigate every part of our lives. Like Adam and Eve in the garden, we desire to know more than what God has revealed to us, to figure out the mystery, and control it ourselves. But marveling at Mary, we see a different story. See, Mary never tried to figure out or solve the mystery, she never tried to outsmart life or plan ahead of God. Even when angel appeared to her, out of the blue, and told her she was going to miraculously give birth to the Son of God, Mary kept her cool. Because she knew she would never understand God’s ultimate plan for her, and she trusted- she trusted in his wisdom and life’s grace. But let’s not sugarcoat it. She was scared, I mean she was terrified- and like all of us, she probably had times when she doubted whether she would make it through it all in one piece. But God didn’t leave her out in the cold. God had a plan, from the beginning- Mary was to be without sin- with an immaculate conception- so she could be a mother to Jesus, and us, and she would be prepared to face all of the difficulties along the way. And the same goes for us. God knows us, and he’s got a plan, and we may never know it. But like Mary, we can trust in the mystery life holds before us. Albert Einstein once said, “the most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious.” So let’s experience it. Let’s close our eyes, open our hearts, and enjoy everything about God and our lives that we may never know here on earth. And although that may seem completely frightening, we can have faith that God has got things laid out for us, and Mary, who’s definitely gone through her share of struggles, will be there, in the form of a mother, or a teacher, or a friend, to reach out and say, “hey, you know it’s all going to be okay.” To quote the author of the Harry Potter series, J.K. Rowling- “what’s coming will come, and we’ll just have to meet it when it does.” But to finish her thought, I say we not only meet this mystery, but we embrace it. This beautiful, confusing, unattainable mystery of God and his world, and it will, as it did with Mary, overshadow us with love and excitement, and then we’ll be ready to day to Him, “let it be done to me according to your word.”

For more photos of the Immaculate Conception Mass, click here.