Too Good a Story not to be True

Tom Bartolomeo
Immaculate Conception C 2013
Genesis 3: 9-15, 20; Psalm 98;
Ephesians 1: 3-6, 11-12; Luke 1: 26-38
Reproduced with Permission

Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. Behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall name him Jesus. He will be great and will be called Son of the Most High, and the Lord God will give him the throne of David his father, and he will rule over the house of Jacob, forever, and of his Kingdom there will be no end.

Actually, we have two stories here, one, of a young Jewish maiden and, the other, of Christ, "the Son of the Most High". What man could conceive the imaginings of God except the Author of life himself? Greek, Roman and Eastern mythology can not compare. Their gods were all made in man's image while the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob revealed Himself to nomads in a desert and made them a great nation of law-givers and who continuously transforms their humanity with dignity and virtue unparalleled in any age before and after Christ and to be fulfilled at the end of time. Any wise maiden or man would be afraid of these powers as was Mary. The name of the son whom she would bear, Jesus, gave her reason to fear. She knew the revealed meaning of his name, Savior, the one whom the prophets for many centuries had foretold. Mary understood this very well when she acknowledged to Elizabeth, her cousin, who had also miraculously conceived a child although she was beyond her child-bearing years.

My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord
my spirit rejoices in God my Savior
for he has looked with favor on his lowly servant.
From this day all generations will call me blessed:
the Almighty has done great things for me,
and holy is his Name,

Mary proclaimed. Unlike us Mary was conceived without sin, born absent the pride of Adam and Eve. Her spirit rejoices through all time to the generations of children and their children's children to the last child to be conceived before the end of time. A woman who conceives honors the Mother of God no less. A woman who conceives honors God the Father no less-fulfilling the privilege and commandment of God, Honor thy Father and thy Mother. What reason would justify contraception in marriage and a womb made barren?

He has mercy on those who fear him in every generation,
Mary proclaimed. Not the fear of self-sacrifice but the fear of an unfulfilled vocation.
He has shown the strength of his arm,
he has scattered the proud in their conceit,

Mary proclaimed, confident that whatever trials she would suffer God would give her the strength to remain a humble and steadfast disciple of His Son.

He has cast down the mighty from their thrones,
and has lifted up the lowly,

Mary proclaimed, as no other power on earth could - give birth to the Son of Man in her lowly flesh and be lifted up to the heights of heaven.

He has filled the hungry with good things,
and the rich he has sent away empty,

Mary proclaimed, as she feeds heaven's hunger for more sons and daughters of God, dispensing God's grace that the rich of this world can not purchase.

He has come to the help of his servant Israel
for he has remembered his promise of mercy,
the promise he made to our fathers,
to Abraham and his children for ever,

Mary proclaimed, children from one generation to another, promises remembered and promised kept in His Kingdom for ever and ever.

Wives and husbands, you are donors of new lives in a new heaven and new earth for the family of God. Do you believe? Why would anyone choose contraception and forfeit the blessings by our Blessed Mother who dispenses the graces of child bearing and family to other mothers and fathers? Should we forfeit these gifts of life as mothers and fathers in the face of fear or the cost of raising a child or the inconvenience of earning less and sacrifice career for family? The Evil One, the prince of this world, hates and envies your power to conceive which God solely shares with you in drawing from yourselves living breathing human souls. Why God Himself abandoned his divine prerogative to enter time and become human. The stakes for you and your own can not be greater than they were for our Blessed Mother when at Jesus' Presentation in the Temple at the hands of the priest Simeon Christ shed his blood for the first time at his circumcision and Simeon declared:

"Behold, this Child is appointed for the fall and rise of many in Israel, and for a sign to be opposed - and a sword will pierce even your own soul - to the end that thoughts from many hearts may be revealed, Luke 2:33-35 May the love of our Savior pierce your hearts, and you be converted and know the love of our Lord.