Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary
The readings for the day can be found here.
In today’s readings God calls us on to something greater. The reading from Genesis shows the series of events immediately following The Fall of Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden. They eat the forbidden fruit and see that they are naked, so they hide themselves from God. They hide, ashamed and vulnerable of what they have done, and upon facing God they do an incredibly human thing: they make an excuse. I think that this is a human tendency; no one likes to feel at fault and ashamed. Adam and Eve were banished from the garden for their transgression, but I think all too often we think of God as an angry father punishing his children in this story. When reflecting upon this I do not see an angry father, but a disappointed father. I reflect on my own father being upset with me for falling short, but remember that each disappointment was followed by compassion and hope for reconciliation. God did not abandon us when we turned away from him, but promised us that we would again be free in His time. Paul tells us in his letter to the Ephesians that we were not made to be alone; we were made for the glory of God. We were chosen by God to live radically, and to say yes to his call as Mary does in the gospel. It is only through this yes that we can return to God. Mary as the mother of God became the new Eve, beginning again our intimate relationship with God unimpaired by human shame. It is important to recognize the importance of Mary’s willingness to follow God, especially in this Advent season, that we may prepare our hearts to be like hers, so that we may receive her Son. We are called to be like Mary, to say yes to God even when we are afraid, to realize that we are called to bring glory to God. In each and every one of our lives there is a fall, our own Adam and Eve moment that we stray from God. We all do it, and we fall short of the will of God, but that does not expel us from the garden forever, for in Christ all things are made new. We are given the chance to say yes and bring glory to God. Like Adam and Eve were tempted, we are tempted, but this temptation is an empty promise. Pope Benedict XVI tells us, “The world promises you comfort, but you were not made for comfort. You were made for greatness.” We are called to live a life radically for Christ, to move past the excuses and shortcomings to embrace the loving father that awaits our return.
“I urge you to live in a manner worthy of the calling you have received.” ~ Ephesians 4:1
Adam Dirnberger is a Sophomore Theology and Philosophy double major with a minor in Urban Social Analysis. Adam is originally from St. Charles, MO. He is active in the Micah Program, Alpha Phi Omega, Billiken Buddies, Oriflamme, and is a vocalist for the Upper Room Band and the Spanish Mass Choir.