What do you mean by the Immaculate Conception?

05-26-2019Why do we do that?

The dogma of the Immaculate Conception holds that Mary was free of original sin from the very moment of her conception. The inheritance of sin passed on from our first parents, Adam and Eve, did not taint Mary.

That seems like an unfair advantage. How could such a perfect person understand what we ordinary mortals are going through?

Exactly the opposite is true. By its nature, sin is divisive and alienating. It destroys relationships. Think of all the harm that hatred, violence, deceit, and greed do. Besides that, sin makes us less human than we were meant to be. It keeps us from becoming the full human beings envisioned by God. Mary was never under the dominion of sin. This means that there’s nothing to prevent her from experiencing the closest possible solidarity with other human beings. There’s nothing to keep her heart from going out to all human beings. After all, these people, like herself, are the ones her Son died for.

The gospel accounts that speak of Mary do not tell a tale of some aloof queen living in regal splendor, unaware of the life of the ordinary person. Rather, we read about a young teenage girl who always tried to do whatever God asked of her. Aside from that one heaven-touched moment when the angel appeared to her, the record seems to suggest that the Virgin Mother lived a life of faith, just like we do.

What do you mean by the doctrine of the Assumption?

From the first moment of her existence, Mary herself, and everything about her, was God’s gift and grace. This did not end with her last breath. Pope Pius XII defined the doctrine of the Assumption in these words: “When the course of her earthly life had ended, she was taken up body and soul into heaven." Because she was God's mother, neither sin nor the corruption of death was to touch her soul or her body. This is what is in store for us also, incredible as it might seem. Because we are called to be God’s sons and daughters, we too – body and soul – are eventually meant to be with God in heaven.

Just as the resurrection of Jesus is the key sign of hope for us, so the assumption of Mary becomes a sign of hope for us who are only human like Mary that we too will rise to new life with Jesus Christ.

Mary gate of heaven, pray for us, amen!