Holy, Immaculate Mary was the very first Christian. Blessed Mary was the first person to say “yes,” to Jesus.
It is around Christmas we begin to think about the Word becoming flesh–the incarnation of the Messiah. I submit to you, kind reader, myself being no theological authority but merely one who spends many hours a day in conversation with the Blessed Mother, that the moment of the incarnation is not, in fact, Christmas, rather the incarnation (and I beg you recall what the Church teaches “life begins at the moment of conception”) occurred at the moment of Blessed Mary’s fiat. We see evidence of this with the second Christian, John the Baptist, who responds to Mary’s (no doubt melodic) voice as he–John–was most certainly, even being himself contained in the womb of Elizabeth, aware that the Living Christ was present within Mary’s womb and reacted by leaping with joy. True to John’s nature, his own enthusiasm evangelized Elizabeth who became the third Christian. Not long after soon-to-be Saint Joseph and the rest follows. There, I have proven my knack for stating the obvious. So at Christmas we celebrate the birth of Christ, but I suppose we should celebrate the Incarnation on the Annunciation, 25 March.
Like other Marian Consecrates, I spend much time considering this wonder that is the Blessed Mother and considerable time reading other people’s thoughts about her (as long as they are motivated by love for her and not attempt to discredit or accuse those who love her of “Mar-i-dology”). In recent months, I have been thinking through the Immaculate Conception. I completely accept this doctrine as it makes perfect sense to me, but what I ponder is the “when.” It is funny I should put this out on a blog that has something akin to no one reading it, yet I am compelled to write as I am curious to know if anyone else thinks along these lines and cares to comment. Yes! I am that much of an optimist! You can credit Holy Mary with this transcendent hope.
God exists in eternity. Therefore, God is outside of time. “Okay,” you may say, “this is Theology .0000001”, and you would be correct. It occurs to me that Pure Mary’s “yes” was meaningless unless she was able to respond “no.” If Holy Virgin Mary was not able to reject God, there would have been no merit in her “yes” and it could hardly be seen as reversing Eve’s and Adam’s subsequent rejection of God at the behest of the serpent whose “I will not serve” rings throughout the ages. To read a mystic such as the Venerable Mary of Agreda, you’d think Dear Mother Mary was not God’s Masterpiece Creation, but perhaps another incarnation (please forgive my glib choice of words, I trust you, dear reader, should know I mean no disrespect). For the Virgin Mary to be worthy of her role as Mother of God and Co-Redmptrix as a representative of Humanity as a whole, she must have been subject to temptation and the possibility of sin. Let us face it, temptation is not sin, only the potential to sin. This is demonstrated by Jesus Himself in the desert. The Devil tempts Him, yet Jesus knowing Himself (God) will not submit. In similar manner, Blessed Mary was no doubt tempted throughout her life (young and old), nevertheless she never forgot God or failed to carry out His will. I think a young woman, having reached maturity without giving into the fallen human nature, and consequently being filled with God’s Grace, signaled humankind to be ready for God to incarnate. All this is prelude to a rather simple consideration.
Now I come to my rather odd point. Immaculate Mary was not Immaculately Conceived until the moment of her fiat and God, being outside of time, applied the pre-conceptual blessing of salvation. In other words, in the femto-second between her fiat and the conception of our Most Blessed Jesus, God removed the original sin prior to her conception. Strange? Yes, I, too, think it strange. Yet, I cannot help but think that for a young first-century Jewish Girl to change the course of human history in a salvific manner, she could not have been some demi-goddess, or other-than-human, perfect being. I pray you think this not blasphemous, but rather see the beauty in what one human was able to achieve that had not been achieved prior, has not been achieved since, and will not be achieved in the future. Only the Blessed Virgin Mary. Only the small, humble, sweet, gentle, obedient Mary.
Let us pray:
O Lord, through the Immaculate Heart of Mary, we implore Thee to call us to Your Most Holy Will. Grant us the faith and grace to echo Holy Mary’s: Let it be done to me according to Thy Word. That Your Holy Spirit may come upon us and Your Son, Jesus Christ, be formed in us that we, like the Virgin Most-Blessed Mary, may bring Him into the world.
O Most Beautiful and Blessed Virgin Mary, we pray this Christmas that you once again find no room at the inn, that we may invite you into our hearts where you may lay the Baby Jesus in the manger of our souls. We beg this through Christ our Lord.
May Almighty God bless you; the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.
(C) Copyright 16 December 2018