St Alban’s Episcopal Church
Thursday, December 8, 2022
Mary, Mother of the Lord About today –For Roman Catholics this is the Feast of the Immaculate Conception. It celebrates the idea that the mother of the Savior ought not be tainted with the same stain of sin that we all know too well. It hasn’t any biblical support, except for the single phrase in Luke, when the angel comes to her and greets her: “Hail, Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with you.” Our translation has a more prosaic, “Greetings, favored one! The Lord is with you.”
In a world that defined our universal, and unhappy experience of sin as somehow passed biologically from parent to child, (as good an explanation as any after all,) it seemed important to preserve Mary from that inherited sin in order that Jesus would not be infected by it.
It still isn’t easy to explain why, no matter how many ages have passed, the power and pervasiveness of “the sin that clings so closely” as Hebrews has it, still remains.
Father Mark-David Janus writes:
Amidst an evil so rapacious, so sticky that it clings to all parts of human life -distorting many, seducing us, Mary is a hopeful figure: It is possible to live a life of faith hope and love while evil, covering the gamut from gossip to atrocities of war, creates a cataclysmic climate crisis for the soul. We can pick and weave a different path for ourselves and humanity. It is not inevitable we will destroy the planet and one by one those who live on it. We can nurture, give life and love it amidst and against darkness. The gift with which Mary was first privileged enabling her to make her way through the labyrinth of selfishness we call Original Sin is given to the rest of us baptized into the love of her Son. Where she has gone we can follow.
We need not be defined by the sins of others not do we need to add to the fearful sin that binds others.
Our life has been touched, formed, molded limited by the sins, selfishness, failures of our fellow human beings. While perhaps inevitable it is not who we are. Love that comes from Christ sets us free to choose who and how we want to be.”
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