Mary’s Immaculate Conception is a reminder that we too are called by God to live holy lives, free of sin.
Pope Francis reminded the faithful of this calling during his address before the recitation of the Angelus yesterday afternoon.
The Holy Father began by inviting the crowds to greet the Blessed Mother with the words “Full of grace”.
“And this is how God saw her from the very beginning in his plan of love. He saw her as beautiful, full of grace,” he said. “Our Mother is beautiful! Mary helps us on our journey toward Christmas, because she teaches us how to live this season of Advent in expectation of the Lord, because this season of Advent is one in which we wait for the Lord, who will visit us all on that feast but who will also visit everyone in his heart.”
“The Lord is coming!” he exclaimed. “Let us await him!”
Reflecting on the Gospel of Luke, which recalled the Annunciation of the Angel Gabriel to Mary, the Holy Father said that in choosing Mary to be the mother of his Son, God preserved her from original sin.
In being free from this “fracture in communion with God, with others and with creation”, the Blessed Mother has become the fruit of the love of God in his plan of salvation.
“Our Lady never distanced herself from that love: her whole life, her whole being is a “yes” to that love, it is a “yes” to God,” he said. Despite being “very disturbed” by the announcement that She was to conceive the Savior of the world, Mary listens and obeys the will of God.
“The mystery of this girl of Nazareth, which is in the heart of God, is not foreign to us. She is not there while we are here,” he said. “No, we are bound together. In fact, God looks with love upon every man and woman! With a first and last name. He looks with love upon each one of us.”
“The apostle Paul,” he continued, “says that God ‘chose us before the creation of the world to be holy and immaculate’. We too have always been chosen by God to live a holy life, free of sin. It is a plan of love that God renews every time we come to him, especially in the Sacraments.”
Before praying the Angelus prayer with the faithful, the Holy Father invited them to look at the Blessed Mother as a model of humility and courage in following the Word of God.
“On this feast, then, contemplating our beautiful Immaculate Mother, we also recognize our truest destiny, our deepest vocation: being loved, being transformed by love, being transformed by the beauty of God,” he said.(J.A.E.)
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For the full text of the Holy Father’s address, go to: