December 8, 2018 ~  St. Peregrine Laziosi Diocesan Shrine/ Jasper Christian Gambito. Today , the Universal Church celebrates the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception of Blessed Virgin Mary. Blessed Pope Pius IX defined in the Apostolic Constitution ‘Ineffabilis Deus’ that Mary, upon her conception in the womb of her mother St. Anne, was freed from the original sin as she was predestined to become the mother of Jesus Christ. Pius IX argued that ‘from the very beginning, the eternal Father chose and prepared for His only-begotten Son a Mother in whom the Son of God would become incarnate and from whom … He would be born into this world.’ He added that Mary, “in the first instance of her conception, by a singular grace and privilege granted by Almighty God … was preserved free from all stain of original sin.’ Mary was freed from the original stain so that her womb would become a worthy dwelling place for the Son of God.

In this holiday of obligation, we Catholics were being reminded that as sin entered this world and infected humankind through a woman, a woman on the other hand became instrumental in saving humankind from sin – the dichotomy between Eve and Mary. Eve, because of her disobedience committed the original sin, while Mary because of her obedience was made instrumental in the birth of the Lord who would save us from sin.  Her obedience in making herself an instrument for the salvation of mankind gave her the merit from God who made her worthy to bear Jesus and spared her from the chains of original sin, thus making her spotless and pure.