Bishop Caggiano’s reflection on Our Lady
Today is the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary. We remember the unique grace received by Mary at her birth- to be conceived without original sin- so as to become the new Eve through which the Savior of the world could enter into our world and become our Redeemer and Savior.
By receiving this extraordinary grace, Our Lady was offered in advance a share in the grace offered to creation in the Lord’s Death and Resurrection. This unique offering broke the chain of sin that comes to us from our original parents’ sin and allowed the dawn of the Incarnation into our fallen world. We also celebrate the fact that Our Lady fully cooperated with the grace she received at her birth and remained sinless throughout her entire life. In light of the uniqueness of this grace (given only to Mary), we may be tempted to ask; what does the Immaculate Conception have to do with me, a fallen sinner? The answer is everything!
For we cannot forget that each of us are temples of the Holy Spirit, in whom dwells the life of God. While it is true that we were born with original sin and still labor under its effects, the grace of Baptism has forgiven original sin in us and gives us the strength to combat its effects in our daily lives. This means that we are capable to live authentic lives of holiness, through the power of the Holy Spirit, even if we sometimes sin. Today’s feast reminds is that we can and must strive to imitate the holiness that Mary lived perfectly, one day at a time, even if we do so imperfectly. Further, we have Mary’s intercession to help us in our moments of struggle and temptation. As such, she serves as our true spiritual mother, guiding and protecting us on our journey one day to be united with her and her beloved Son in heaven. Today let us pray, “O Mary, conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to you.”