Handel's Messiah at Holy Cross
Pergola Rising

Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception

Before we focus all our attention on

Marble Statue of Mary in Prayer Garden
Our marble statue of Mary in the prayer garden was blessed on the Feast of the Immaculate Conception.

Jesus’ Birth
Tonight we’re asked to consider
How Mary’s birth came about
And to honor her
And her prime place
In God’s plan
For our salvation

Not her birth exactly,
But her conception
Her very beginning
And her Divine exemption
From original sin. 
Born in the full human nature
We were intended by God
To possess from the beginning
Before greed, pride and disobedience
Entered the human family
Through our own consent

From the first moment of her existence
Divine grace kept her safe from all sin
Since she was to be the mother of Jesus

Not from a right all her own
But from a privilege...
The first to enjoy
The redemptive grace
Of Christ’s passion, death and resurrection
Even before it happened
Through a merciful act of God
Who can act in and through time
Or around and above it

It’s a lot to think about
In any time and place
But especially
During the Season of Advent
When our imaginations
Not only have Mary born
But of age, engaged
And expecting the infant Jesus

Hail Mary, from the beginning
Hail Mary, when grown and visited by Gabriel
Hail Mary, in Bethlehem with the newborn
Son of God
Hail Mary, at the foot of the cross
At the empty tomb
At Pentecost
Hail Mary this day