Today as we celebrate the solemnity of the Immaculate Conception of the Holy Mother of God I am struck by the awesome wonder of it all!
The “all” in this context means the beauty, holiness of this extraordinary woman, to be sure, but also of the exquisite tenderness of Love Himself, this Trinitarian bending towards all of creation, towards every single human being who ever has, who is, who shall ever be gifted with breath of life!
Each of us knows deep within the very core of our being, indeed in every fibre of our being, in soul’s yearning, mind’s seeking, and heart aching the immense impetus to seek to love and be beloved.
That is a most minuet ache, experience, of the infinite of infinite, if I might stretch the statement somewhat, ache, yearning, desire and active will flowing as immense fire of life and love from the Holy Trinity which, because God is love, in a sense compels creation, specifically creation of the human person, hence urges the self-gift of the Second Person of the Holy Trinity to become a man, a human person, in the wonder of the Incarnation, to pour Himself out in the selfless gift of Himself in His Passion, Death, Resurrection, and more to remain with us, nourishing us with love and holiness in the Holy Eucharist and flowing within this river of Trinitarian love-fire-life the Holy Spirit dwells within each of us, constantly setting alive within us the capacity and ability to love and be beloved.
All this Divine design hinges on a simple word from an ordinary yet extraordinary woman, a true woman of the ordinary people, of an ordinary family, a woman betrothed, living in a small village in an occupied country, a woman aware as are countless women on the face of the earth today of life as an oppressed and impoverished people – yes all the splendour of life, of love, of holiness of redemption, of the outpouring of the Holy Trinity hinging on one word, freely spoken, freely willed, freely chosen, love-gift: FIAT!
We accept, as almost so ordinary few reflect on the fact, that the paten and chalice upon which/in which bread and wine are placed to become by the power of the Holy Spirit the Body and Blood of Jesus, the reality of Jesus in the Holy Eucharist communing infinite of love-life-holiness to us, be made of gold, be blessed.
Hence this great solemnity, this creating of she who was to be the Mother of God, the very one who would give to Jesus the body and blood He would pour out for us, given to us as the critical food and drink essential for fullness of life, for our ability to love and be beloved, is as much celebration of the reality of the Immaculate Conception as it is celebration of preparation and purpose, of present and promise: preparation of the living vessel who would contain the One who cannot be contained; purpose of immediate, as it were, unfolding of redemption; in the present moment Mary is with us as icon of discipleship, trusting abandonment to the Holy Will of the Father, of intimate confidence in Jesus and taking up our cross and following Him, of communion of love animated by the Holy Spirit; promise too for in her assumption into heaven is revealed to comfort us the reality of Jesus as resurrection and life offering us too the everlasting embrace of Trinitarian love.
Yep, the wonder of it all!