Thursday 08 th december 2022
The Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary
The doctrine of the Immaculate Conception is the doctrine that the Virgin Mary was conceived without original sin, a grace that enabled Mary to give a “Yes” to becoming mother of the incarnate God, Jesus. The doctrine was formally defined as a doctrine of the Church by Pope Pius IX in 1854.
Entrance Antiphon : Is 61: 10
I rejoice heartily in the Lord, in my God is the joy of my soul; for he has clothed me with a robe of salvation, and wrapped me in a mantle of justice, like a bride adorned with her jewels.
O God, who by the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin, prepared a worthy dwelling for your Son; grant, we pray, that, as you preserved her from every stain by virtue of the Death of your Son which you foresaw, so, through her intercession, we too may be cleansed and admitted to your presence. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.
First reading : Genesis 3:9-15. 20
After Adam had eaten of the tree the Lord God called to him, ‘Where are you?’ he asked. ‘I heard the sound of you in the garden.’ he replied. ‘I was afraid because I was naked, so I hid.’ ‘Who told you that you were naked?’ he asked. ‘Have you been eating of the tree I forbade you to eat?’ The man replied, ‘It was the woman you put with me; she gave me the fruit, and I ate it.’ Then the Lord God asked the woman, ‘What is this you have done?’ The woman replied, ‘The serpent tempted me and I ate.’ Then the Lord God said to the serpent, ‘Because you have done this, ‘Be accursed beyond all cattle, all wild beasts. You shall crawl on your belly and eat dust every day of your life. I will make you enemies of each other: you and the woman, your offspring and her offspring. It will crush your head and you will strike its heel.’ The man named his wife ‘Eve’ because she was the mother of all those who live.
R/ Sing a new song to the Lord for he has worked wonders.
- Sing a new song to the Lord for he has worked wonders. His right hand and his holy arm have brought salvation.
- The Lord has made known his salvation; has shown his justice to the nations. He has remembered his truth and love for the house of Israel.
- All the ends of the earth have seen the salvation of our God. Shout to the Lord all the earth, ring out your joy.
Second Reading : Ephesians 1:3-6.11-12
Blessed be God the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with all the spiritual blessings of heaven in Christ. Before the world was made, he chose us, chose us in Christ, to be holy and spotless, and to live through love in his presence, determining that we should become his adopted sons, through Jesus Christ for his own kind purposes, to make us praise the glory of his grace, his free gift to us in the Beloved. And it is in him that we were claimed as God’s own, chosen from the beginning, under the predetermined plan of the one who guides all things as he decides by his own will; chosen to be, for his greater glory, the people who would put their hopes in Christ before he came.
Alleluia, alleluia! Hail, Mary, full of grace; the Lord is with thee! Blessed art thou among women Alleluia!
Gospel : Luke 1:26-38
The Angel Gabriel was sent by God to a town in Galilee called Nazareth, to a virgin betrothed to a man named Joseph, of the House of David; and the virgins name was Mary. He went in and said to her, ‘Rejoice, so highly favoured! The Lord is with you.’ She was deeply disturbed by these words and asked herself what this greeting could mean, but the angel said to her, ‘Mary, do not be afraid; you have won God’s favour. Listen! You are to conceive and bear a son, and you must name him Jesus. He will be great and will be called Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his ancestor David; he will rule over the House of Jacob for ever and his reign will have no end.’ Mary said to the angel, ‘But how can this come about, since I am a virgin?’ ‘The Holy Spirit will come upon you’ the angel answered ‘and the power of the Most High will cover you with its shadow. And so the child will be holy and will be called Son of God. Know this too: your kinswoman Elizabeth has, in her old age, herself conceived a son, and she whom people called barren is now in her sixth month, for nothing is impossible to God.’ ‘I am the handmaid of the Lord,’ said Mary ‘let what you have said be done to me.’ And the angel left her.
Prayer over the Offerings
Graciously accept the saving sacrifice which we offer you, O Lord, on the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary, and grant that, as we profess her, on account of your prevenient grace, to be untouched by any stain of sin, so, through her intercession, we may be delivered from all our faults. Through Christ our Lord.
Glorious things are spoken of you, O Mary, for from you arose the sun of justice, Christ our God.
Prayer after Communion
May the Sacrament we have received, O Lord our God, heal in us the wounds of that fault from which in a singular way you preserved Blessed Mary in her Immaculate Conception. Through Christ our Lord.
Even before he created us, God had willed that we should be his children through Jesus. The devil tried to foil this plan by leading Adam and Eve into sin. But Jesus overcame sin on the cross and reconciled us with God. When we celebrate the Immaculate Conception, we remember the role Mary played in this divine plan of salvation. God chose her to be the new Eve, whose offspring would destroy sin and death, and to prepare her for this mission he covered her with his shadow from the moment of her conception. By preserving Mary from original sin, God has made her a model of the purity he wants us to attain. May her prayers support us in our quest for holiness.