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Today's Gospel + short theological explanation

December 8th: Immaculate Conception

Gospel text (Lk 1,26-38): 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, «I am the handmaid of the Lord, let it be done to me as you have said» (…).

The “Immaculate” Conception of the Virgin Mary

EDITORIAL TEAM evangeli.net (based on texts by Benedict XVI) (Città del Vaticano, Vatican)

Today, we celebrate Mary who is the “In-maculate” (spotless), holy, since she was conceived: as a singular divine favor, God saved her from the original and “contagious” sin. The wonderful story of the Annunciation to Mary, help us to understand the content of the title “Immaculate”.

The angel’s greeting is interwoven with threads from the Old Testament. Mary, the humble provincial woman who comes from a priestly lineage, is the “holy remnant” of Israel, as referred by the prophets in all turbulent periods. In Her the true Zion is present: in her heart God finds peace. She is the sprout that, in the dark winter night of history, flowers form David’s beaten trunk: of her germinates the tree of redemption. God has not failed, as it may appear at the beginning of the story: God saved and saves his people.

—Mary, you are the holy Israel, you say “yes” to God, you become fully available to Him, and so you become the living temple of God.