Immaculate Conception message in Advent

Published December 8, 2019, 12:28 AM

by Charissa Luci-Atienza & Bernie Cahiles-Magkilat

WORD ALIVE

By FR. BEL R. SAN LUIS, SVD

Fr. Bel R. San Luis, SVD
Fr. Bel R. San Luis, SVD

In the gospel episode about the woman taken in adultery, Jesus said, “Let the person who is without sin among you cast the first stone” (John 8,7). The people fell silent, and then, all of a sudden a stone came flying from the top of a hill towards the condemned woman.

Jesus looked up surprised and amused seeing it was her mother. He said, “Hold it, mother? You’re excluded here.”

* * *

 Jesus’ mother is “excluded” because she is the only creature given the special honor and privilege to be conceived WITHOUT the stain of Original Sin. Hence, her title: Immaculate Conception.

* * *

Today is the feast of the Immaculate Conception of our Blessed Mother. The church’s official teaching (dogma) means that everyone born in this world starts life in a state of  dis-grace due to the original sin committed by our first parents, Adam and Eve.

* * *

SPIRITUAL PREPARATION. We may not be able to reach Mary’s level of sanctity but it gives us a hint of how we can prepare for the coming  of Christmas. It teaches us that Christmas  is  not all  Sta.  Claus, Christmas bonus, exchange gifts, eats, drinks and merry-making.

* * *

St. John the  Baptist, Christ’s forerunner,  cries out, “Prepare the way of the Lord, make straight  his paths, every valley shall be filled up.”

John’s words are metaphorical and  does not refer to public works like repairing our rough and potholed roads aggravated by the lack of regular maintenance.

* * *

The fiery John the Baptist meant that our MORALLY CROOKED ways must be straightened, the valleys of our pride, laziness, vices and corrupt practices must be leveled.

Once an old friend confided to me how he had been getting rid of his vices. “How did you do it?” I asked. “Father, through will power. I gave up smoking through will power, gambling through will power…” “How about womanizing,” I butted. He paused and smiled: “Father, power failure!” “But I’m trying hard to overcome it.”

* * *

Then there’s the need of reconciliation with God through the Sacrament of Confession and forgiveness with people we are not in talking terms. Let’s not be like that lady who told me, “Father, I already forgave my enemy. But I don’t want to see her face again!”

* * *

Another way of spiritual preparation is sharing our blessings with our indigent brethren, like those in hospitals’ charity wards, the ophanages, or in depressed areas. This is very timely in the aftermath of typhoon “Tisoy” which devastated the Bicol region, Masbate, and Oriental Mindoro.

It’s very inspiring to know of some organizations, communities, business establishments and schools which tone down their Christmas celebrations and set aside some cash or kind to reach out to the poor and the victims of calamities. God bless them.

* * *

May the feast of the Immaculate Conception inspire us to keep on striving to change for the better, to be a loving person, caring for the needy as Jesus taught by words and deeds, constantly renewing ourselves despite our failings and weaknesses.

* * *

THE LIGHTER SIDE. An ill-prepared college student taking an exam just before Christmas break wrote on his paper, “Only God knows the answers to these questions! Merry Christmas!”

The professor graded the papers and wrote this note: “God gets 100, you get 0. Merry Christmas, too!”

 * * *

There are 2 kinds of Christmas shoppers – those who shop until they drop and those who can only WINDOW-SHOP.

* * *

GIVE LOVE THIS CHRISTMAS. Let’s share love and joy to the less fortunate sick, like five-year-old Genesis Ll., suffering from leukemia, Dante C.,  renal failure patient, M. Maranga, J. Lopez, R. Cayunda who have pulmonary ailments. You can do it by contributing an amount to buy medicines and pay their medical treatments.

Your help may save the lives of these poor people.

* * *

For inquiries, e-mail me at: [email protected].                                                       

 
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