Advent 2010

December 8 – Wednesday, Feast of the Immaculate Conception

Thought for today

The bacterium helicobacter pylori was discovered in 1982. This followed years of dedicated research conducted by Dr. Robin Warren and Professor Barry Marshall, winners of the Nobel Prize. In order to bring healing to millions of people suffering with ulcers the two scientists gave their lives to research.

Today Christians celebrates the feast of the Immaculate Conception. Not unlike the story of the two scientists, the feast brings to mind another story wherein Jesus lovingly laid down his life so that the world might live. The Church recalls how God’s persevering love was poured out on the world through the life, death and resurrection of his only Son. Though God’s Son was without sin, he himself became sin so that his love might render sin powerless and the world be redeemed.

Mary is exalted today as the first among the redeemed. The Church recalls her song: “Gods faithful love extends from age to age ... He has filled the starving with good things, sent the rich away empty.”(Luke 1:50, 53). Mary still gives the Church hope to press on and fill the starving with good things.

 

Scripture  

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
- Psalm 98:2-3

Prayer

Gracious God, amidst this world’s confusion we recognise Mary, the shining light whom you chose to be mother to your Son. May the drought-breaking rains of redemption that poured over her living and dying also pour over your people, seeding in us our hope who is Christ the Redeemer. Amen.

Poetry extract 

..You tell us
 of the stone’s astonishment
at its sudden warmth at the first beam of light ...
- From ‘To Our Lady’ by Kevin Hart

Marian anthem

Hail, holy Queen, Mother of Mercy!
Our life, our sweetness, and our hope!
To thee do we cry, poor banished children of Eve,
to thee do we send up our sighs,
mourning and weeping in this valley, of tears.
Turn, then, most gracious advocate,
your eyes of mercy toward us;
and after this our exile show unto us the
blessed fruit of your womb, Jesus;
O clement, O loving, O sweet virgin Mary.