I have reposted the text only below and combined it with videos for easier access.
In today's Gospel we also hear for the first time this Advent, the Gospel of the Annunciation and the assent of Mary to God.
Click here for the Feast of the Annunciation earlier this year.
Last year the feast of the Annunciation fell on The Fourth Sunday of Advent .
Click here for my post on this.
Mary's parents were Joachim and Anna.
Often confused with the Birth of Jesus, the Immaculate Conception" is how Mary was
conceived in the womb of her mother, St. Anne, through sexual intercourse with Joachim BUT Mary was born without "Original Sin", unlike the rest of us.
If you want to get your head round the infallible doctrine of the Immaculate Conception this article from the BBC website lays the theology out in small doses.
A much more philosophical discussion is given here by Brother Dan at Dating God. He raises some important questions in the light of modern theology. Well worth a read and it is good to know that theologians are still working on it.
This is a brief reflection on it by Fr. Richard Rohr.
Adapted from Preparing for Christmas with Richard Rohr,
As Jesus says, “No one can serve two masters, he will always love one and ignore the other” (Matthew 6:24). Our first and final loyalty is to one kingdom: God’s, or our own. We can’t really fake it. The Big Picture is apparent when God’s work and will are central, and we are happy to take our place in the corner of the frame.
Because I am a part of the Big Picture, I do matter and substantially so. Because I am only a part, however, I am rightly situated off to stage right—and happily so. What freedom there is in such truth! We are inherently important and included, yet not burdened with manufacturing or sustaining that private importance. Our dignity is given by God, and we are freed from ourselves!
Today’s often misunderstood feast of the Immaculate Conception is saying that even Mary’s dignity was totally given by God from the first moment of her conception, and all she could do was thank God for it. It was nothing she merited. In that she is a metaphor and archetype for every human life."
Interestingly, one of my favourite authors Ron Rolheiser, belongs to the religious order of Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate", founded by Bishop St Eugene DeMazenod. This account gives an interesting summary of the founder's life .
There are several other feast days for saints during Advent so here is a quick link to each of them
All I can say about the Immaculate Conception is that if God is the ultimate creator of the physical Universe and is capable of everything, then it's perfectly reasonable for God to allow an immaculate conception for the mother of the Son of God.
I can live with the mystery, even if I still have questions about the infallibility side of it all.
St. Irenaeus ( not Augustine , thanks Pat !) said: “The glory of God is the human person fully alive."
I can see that the process of Mary's own Immaculate conception which was "blueprinted" before her own birth culminates and is fulfilled in the Immaculate Conception of Christ later on via the power of the Holy Spirit.
But if the dogma was revoked it wouldn't matter to me because if sinners can become saints then the power of God can work in anyone at any time.
I also go along with what Fr Ron Rolheiser says:
"We're finding it more difficult to dwell in a universe inhabited by unseen presences: the presence of God, saints, one another.
Today's world is reduced to what is physical, what can be measured, seen, touched, tasted, smelled.
We're mystically tone-deaf, all the goods are in the shop window."
and below is a from a repost from last year of two videos from Fr. Richard Rohr on the topic of the doctrine of "Original Sin which he reframes as "Inherited Sin" and The Immaculate Conception and the second video deals with "The Cosmic Christ."
The Cosmic Christ