Theme of the Feast: Mary Is the Sign of Victory over th Serpent. Mary is only a creature; she is and has nothin herself. All she is, she is by the power of the Almighty “and holy is his name” (Lk1:49). This is why the Gospel passage describes her as “favoured one,” full of grace, the same fullness of grace that God is ready to grant to each one of us.

FIRST READING
I will put enmity between your seed and her seed.
A reading from the Book of Genesis  (Genesis 3:9-15.20)

[After Adam had eaten of the tree,] the Lord God called to him and said “Where are you?” And he said, “I heard the sound of you in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked; and I hid myself.” He said, “Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten of the tree of which I commanded you not to eat?” The man said, “The woman whom you gave to be with me, she gave me fruit of the tree, and I ate.” Then the Lord God said to the woman, “What is this that you have done?” The woman said, “The serpent beguiled me, and I ate.” The Lord God said to the serpent, “Because you have done this, cursed are you above all cattle, and above all wild animals; upon your belly you shall go, and dust you shall eat all the days of your life. I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your seed and her seed; he shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise his heel.” The man called his wife’s name Eve, because she was the mother of all living.
The word of the Lord.

RESPONSORIAL PSALM    Psalm98:1.2-3ab.3cd-4 (R.1ab)
R. O sing a new song to the Lord,
    for he has worked wonders.

O sing a new song to the Lord, 
For he has worked wonders.
His right hand and his holy arm  
have brought salvation. R.

The Lord has made known his salvation, 
has shown his deliverance to the nations. 
He has remembered his merciful love 
and his truth for the house of Israel. R.

All the ends of the earth have seen 
the salvation of our God.
Shout to the Lord, all the earth;  
break forth into joyous song, 
and sing out your praise. R.

SECOND READING    
God chose us in Christ before the foundation of the world.”
A reading from the Letter of Saint Paul to the Ephesians (Ephesians1:3-6.11-12)

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. He destined us in love to be his sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will, to the praise of his glorious grace which he freely bestowed on us in the Beloved. In him, according to the purpose of him who accomplishes all things according to the counsel of his will, we who first hoped in Christ have been destined and appointed to live for the praise of his glory.
The word of the Lord.

ALLELUIA  Luke 1:28
Alleluia. Hail, Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with you; blessed are you among women. Alleluia.

GOSPEL         
Hail, full of grace, the Lord is with you.
A reading from the holy Gospel according to Luke (Luke1:26b-38)

At that time: The angel Gabriel was sent from God to a city of Galilee named Nazareth, to a virgin betrothed to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David; and the virgin’s name was Mary. And he came to her and said, “Hail, full of grace, the Lord is with you!” But she was greatly troubled at the saying, and considered in her mind what sort of greeting this might be. And the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favour with God. And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus. He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Most High; and the Lord God will give to him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there will be no end.” And Mary said to the angel, “How will this be, since I know not man?” And the angel said to her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore the child to be born will be called holy, the Son of God. And behold, your kinswoman Elizabeth in her old age has also conceived a son; and this is the sixth month with her who was called barren. For with God nothing will be impossible.” And Mary said, “Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word.” And the angel departed from her.
The Gospel of the Lord.

Today’s Reflection
The blame game, one of the sicknesses of our age, started right with Adam and Eve, as is depicted in the first reading. The second reading gives us the origin of Advent. Right from the time the first Adam erred, God promised humanity a redeemer. We are humanity in waiting. The Gospel reading is a fulfillment of that promise. This is what we celebrate today: a solemnity of the good news that the long promised Messiah will be born of a virgin. The lesson is that our earthly life is that of positive waiting! We are always waiting on the Lord to grant us one favour or another. The joy is that he never fails!

Lord, as we celebrate the solemnity of the Immaculate Conception, give us a positive hope in you even in the face of the worst obstacle, for we believe that nothing is impossible for you.

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