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. lab)
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  Cf. 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  

In our celebration of the immaculate conception of Mary, the focus is on God who preserved Mary from Original Sin. The greeting of the angel to Mary, “Hail, full of grace” (LK 1:28) is an indication of that. Adam and Eve were created in precisely that state of grace (cf Gen 1:31), but by the abuse of their free will, they fell out of that grace. Mary on the other hand chose to cooperate with God (Lk 1:38). We too can choose either to cooperate with God and strive after holiness in life or remain and perish in sin. That decision is for everyone to make individually. May the spirit of God inspire and sustain in you, the decision to follow him faithfully in holiness of life. Amen

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