Monday, 8 December, 2008
Holy Day of Obligation
FEAST OF THE IMMACULATE CONCEPTION (I)
"’I will put enmities between thee and the woman.’ In these words, the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary was announced to our first parents. It was to be the reversal of the friendship with the serpent contracted by Eve, when she listened to his voice and fell under his power. The second Eve was never to be under the power of the devil; the enmity between them was to admit of no possible exception. This involved the grace of being conceived immaculate. Mary’s Immaculate Conception was the foundation of all her graces. The absence of any stain or spot of sin distinguished her from all the rest of mankind. It distinguished her from the holiest of Saints, since they, one and all, were sinners. Her perfect sinlessness was the source of all her glory and all her majesty; it was this which opened the door to the unlimited graces that she received from God; it was this that raised qualified her for her divine maternity, and raised her to the throne as Queen of heaven.
‘O Queen, conceived without original sin, pray for us, who have recourse to thee.’”
Collect: O God, who, by the Immaculate Conception of the Virgin, didst prepare for Thy Son a worthy habitation, we beseech Thee, that as Thou didst preserve her from every stain by the foreseen death of this Thy Son, so Thou wouldst grant that we also being cleansed from guilt by her intercession, may come to Thee. Through the same Lord Jesus Christ Who livest and reignest with God the Father in the unity of the Holy Ghost, world without end.
Lesson: From the Book of Proverbs, 8:22-35.
[The excellence of Wisdom. The Church applies this lesson to Our Lady.]
Gospel: Continuation of the holy Gospel according to St. Luke, 1:26-28.
[The Angelical Salutation: Our Lady is “full of grace”.]
Collect: Stir up Thy power, we beseech Thee, O Lord, and come: that from the threatening dangers of our sins we may deserve to be rescued by Thy protection, and to be saved by Thy deliverance: Who livest and reignest with God the Father in the unity of the Holy Ghost, world without end.
Epistle: Bl. Paul the Apostle to the Romans, 13:11-14.
[It is now the hour for us to rise from sleep ... Let us therefore cast off the works of darkness ... and walk honestly.]
Gospel: Continuation of the holy Gospel according to St. Luke, 12:25-33.
[We learn in this Gospel of the Second Coming of Christ: to render to each one according to his works.]
Remarks are abstracted from The Daily Missal and Liturgical Manual, from Editio Typica of the Roman Missal and Breviary, 1962
(Baronius Press Limited, London, 2004, in conjunction with the Fraternal Society of St. Peter, www.baroniuspress.com)