Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary; Patronal Feast of the United States of America
Readings of the day: RB 55:15-22Mass: Genesis 3:9-15, 20; Resp. Psalm 98; Ephesians 1:3-6, 11-12; Luke 1:26-38 Peter Paul Rubens, Immaculate Conception, 1627
HAIL, MARY, FULL OF GRACE!THE LORD IS WITH YOU;BLESSED ARE YOU AMONG WOMEN.ALLELUIA, ALLELUIA.
Herewith today’s reading from Vigils. Thank you, Karl Rahner (1904-1984).
This beginning is the disposition of God alone, the moment when God’s love bestowing itself on human beings is still collected, concentrated in itself, or rather, is originally immanent in itself as a love which has already forestalled guilt and which, because of this power, permits the weakness of guilt. Where this love posits such a created historical beginning, there is the beginning of the Blessed Virgin.
Nevertheless, or rather, precisely in this way, this glory of a pure beginning originating in God was a beginning which had to be experienced with sorrow. The origin meant a future for everyday life, customary things, silence, the seven sorrows and the death of her Son and her own death. Only then was the beginning attained by the future retrieving the beginning. Only then was it disclosed as pure grace.
And the more that love and forgiveness which encompasses and belongs to our beginning is accepted in the pain of life and in the death which gives life, and the more this original element emerges and is allowed to manifest itself and pervade our history, the more the difference, the contradiction in the beginning is resolved and redeemed. And all the more will it be revealed that we ourselves were also implied in that pure beginning whose feast day we are celebrating.
When the beginning has found itself in the fulfillment and has been fulfilled in the freedom of accepting love, God will be all in all. Because then all will belong to all, the differences will of course still be there but they will have been transformed and will belong to the blessedness of unifying love, and no longer of separation. And for that reason this feast is our feast.
K. Rahner, ‘The Feast Day of a Holy Beginning’ in The Great Church Year, pp. 374-375.MARY,QUEEN CONCEIVED WITHOUT ORIGINAL SIN,PRAY FOR US.