Feast of the Immaculate Conception: A Reflection
By Madeline Puente ’17
Good afternoon Dominican. Today we gather to celebrate Mary being conceived without the stain of original sin. Through God’s grace, Mary was preserved from a corrupted nature and given the gift of sanctifying grace from the instant of her existence. God’s purpose was to prepare Mary for her role as the mother of Jesus Christ.
Even though Mary was saved from original sin, she still faced many temptations, but she chose to follow God over giving into sin. When Mary was a teenager, God sent the Angel Gabriel to tell that her she was going to give birth to our Savior. Can you imagine what was going through her mind at that moment? God could have chosen anyone in the world, but He chose Mary to be our Blessed Mother. Mary even had the option to refuse the Lord. She instead chose to say, “Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord. May it be done to me according to Your Word.” From the instant Mary spoke these words, the world was changed forever. She allowed her faith and devotion to God to open the door towards the redemption of all mankind.
By Mary answering God’s call, God was able to bring so much goodness to the world and, most importantly, bring us our salvation. Just think of the potential for greatness in today’s world if we answer God’s call. The possibilities are endless. We all play a special role in making the world a better place. It doesn’t matter how large or small God’s request is because the joy you bring to others will surpass anything you can imagine.
I am inspired by seeing the gifts shared by our school community for Adopt-A-Family. I am also inspired by my oldest brother Michael who went to Peru to work in a clinic for abandoned and crippled children. While Michael was there, he met a man who was about the same age as himself. This man was very crippled and lived his entire life in a wheelchair. As my brother was leaving to return home, the man asked him to please find a way to get him an electric wheelchair, which was unheard of in such a poor area of Peru. This man desperately wanted his freedom because people at the clinic would often forget about him and leave him in rooms for hours and he couldn’t escape because he was completely dependent on others. My brother could have ignored this man and moved on in his life, but Michael chose to answer God’s call to help this man. After two years of searching, my brother finally found the perfect wheelchair for the man and brought it to him in Peru. The man kept telling my brother he finally had his freedom, and the joy the man felt was indescribable. Michael never could have imagined the impact his small act would have to change one man’s life because he said yes to the Lord.
Do you think teenage Mary could have even fathomed the impact her child would have on the world? She was only a teenager, but God gave her the greatest gift of all to save us because of His love for us. I hope that each of us today will realize that we can be just like the Blessed Mother. We all have access to sanctifying grace through the gift of the sacraments. We too can become holy like Mary just by being open to God’s call for our lives. Like Mary, we may not always understand God’s plan for us perfectly, but we can follow Mary’s example by trusting in Him.