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Today’s Gospel
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December 8th: Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary

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Gospel text (Lk 1:26-38): The angel Gabriel was sent from God to (…) Mary. And coming to her, he said, “Hail, full of grace! The Lord is with you.” The angel Gabriel was sent from God to a town of Galilee called Nazareth, to a virgin betrothed to a man named Joseph, of the house of David, and the virgin’s name was Mary. And coming to her, he said, “Hail, full of grace! The Lord is with you.” But she was greatly troubled at what was said and pondered what sort of greeting this might be.

Then the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. Behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall name him Jesus. He will be great and will be called Son of the Most High, and the Lord God will give him the throne of David his father, and he will rule over the house of Jacob forever, and of his Kingdom there will be no end.” But Mary said to the angel, “How can this be, since I have no relations with a man?” And the angel said to her in reply, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. Therefore the child to be born will be called holy, the Son of God. And behold, Elizabeth, your relative, has also conceived a son in her old age, and this is the sixth month for her who was called barren; for nothing will be impossible for God.” Mary said, “Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord. May it be done to me according to your word.” Then the angel departed from 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!