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Liturgical day: December 8th: Immaculate Conception

Gospel text (Lk 1,26-38): In the sixth month, the angel Gabriel was sent from God to (…) Mary. The angel came to her and said, «Rejoice, full of grace, the Lord is with you». In the sixth month, the angel Gabriel was sent from God to a town of Galilee called Nazareth. He was sent to a young virgin who was betrothed to a man named Joseph, of the family of David; and the virgin's name was Mary. The angel came to her and said, «Rejoice, full of grace, the Lord is with you». Mary was troubled at these words, wondering what this greeting could mean.

But the angel said, «Do not fear, Mary, for God has looked kindly on you. You shall conceive and bear a son and you shall call him Jesus. He will be great and shall rightly be called Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the kingdom of David, his ancestor; he will rule over the people of Jacob forever and his reign shall have no end». Then Mary said to the angel, «How can this be if I am a virgin?». And the angel said to her, «The Holy Spirit will come upon you and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore, the holy child to be born shall be called Son of God. Even your relative Elizabeth is expecting a son in her old age, although she was unable to have a child, and she is now in her sixth month. With God nothing is impossible». Then Mary said, «I am the handmaid of the Lord, let it be done to me as you have said». And the angel left her.

Illustration: Francesc Badia

Today is the great celebration of the Virgin Mary, God’s Mother and our Mother too. We celebrate that she was conceived full of Grace, without the blemish of original sin. From the very first moment of her existence she was full of God and fully united to His Divine Will. However, it does not mean that her life was an "easy" one. She grew up and learned as we do: through effort.

- Do you remember where Jesus was born? It was not easy for Mary! Do you remember where Jesus Christ died? It was not easy, either!