8 December, Tuesday — Co-operating with God

Dec 8 – Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary

On this and the following eight days, the Church celebrates, with particular solemnity, the immaculate conception of the ever-blessed Virgin Mary who, from all eternity, was chosen to be the daughter of the heavenly Father, the spouse of the Holy Ghost, the Mother of the Divine Redeemer, and, by consequence, the queen of angels and of men.

The consideration of these prerogatives convinced the most enlightened fathers and teachers of the Catholic Church that she was conceived immaculate, that is, without original sin. It is very remarkable that among the shining hosts of saints who have, in every century, adorned the Church, no one wrote against this belief, while we find it confirmed by the decisions of the holy fathers from the earliest times.

Pope Piux IX forced, as it were, by the faith and devotion of the faithful throughout the world, finally on 8 December 1854, sanctioned, as a dogma of faith falling within the infallible rule of Catholic traditions, this admirable prerogative of the Blessed Virgin.

It is, therefore, now no longer, as formerly, a pious belief, but an article of the faith that Mary, like the purest morning light which precedes the rising of the most brilliant sun, was, from the first instant of her conception, free from original sin.

  • Patron Saint Index

Gen 3:9-15,20
Eph 1:3-6,11-12
Lk 1:26-38

Let what you have said be done to me

Today’s great solemnity is one of those days where we have the opportunity to reflect on Mary’s attitude and behaviour towards accepting God’s call. This is especially important in this day and age, where there is an emphasis to focus on the right of the individual to make his choice in life. Mary serves as an example on the traits and attributes needed in the life of a Christian.

The first reading recounts the Fall of Man and how Original Sin entered into the world. One thing that strikes me is the saying of how it takes two hands to clap — how the serpent tempted, and how Adam and Eve responded. I believe this is perhaps an instructive episode for each one of us — that we should move away from opportunities of sin so that we do not fall into sin. This is probably going to be difficult for some of us where the opportunities of sin abound and are easily found, even as near to us as in our pockets. The many apps which we have in our handphones could serve as a distraction for each one of us. This is indeed something which is very difficult, but which we can certainly try to overcome.

The example which I like to follow from Mother Mary is her ability to trust in God totally. She chose to co-operate with God fully and, in return, God granted her the grace to persevere against all difficulties and troubles which she faced in raising Jesus. I find it very hard to trust God in all the challenges which I am facing. It is easier to depend on my own strength than to rely on God’s providence. This is something which I would need to contemplate on this feast as I discover what it means to be a Christian who trusts in God.

As we continue in our season of Advent, it might be good for us to set aside time for us to discover what plans God has for us and how we can co-operate with them for us to live a life worthy to be called Christian.

(Today’s Oxygen by Nicholas Chia)

Prayer: Mother Mary, please pray for us.

Thanksgiving: We give thanks for all who provide us with counsel

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