Catholic Culture: What is the Immaculate Conception?

Dec 5, 2022

The Immaculate Conception refers to the doctrine that God preserved the Blessed Virgin Mary from the taint of original sin from the moment she was conceived; it was defined as a dogma of the Roman Catholic Church in 1854 and is a doctrine regarding Mary, Jesus’ mother. Most people misunderstand by believing that the Immaculate Conception refers to the conception of Jesus Christ. Jesus’ conception was most undoubtedly immaculate, i.e., without the stain of sin, but the Immaculate Conception does not refer to Jesus at all.

In the life of Mary, we see that she played an immaculate role in the salvific plan of God. It is a celebration of faith based on the sacred tradition that Mary was chosen to be the instrument of God and was protected from the inheritance of the Original Sin from the very moment of her conception. This special grace has been granted to Mary to bring forth the Son of God. Hence, Mary was being prepared by God from her birth to take up the salvation mission. Mary was faithful in completing the plan of God by accompanying Jesus all through His ministry, until His death on Calvary and beyond.

It would be impossible for any mother to see her son dying on the cross very cruelly. Even though immaculate Mary could not understand it, she accepted it as the will of God. It was this self-surrender and obedience that made Mary the Mother of God. We are invited to imbibe Mary’s spirit of humility and obedience. God has a plan for all of us. It is our duty to find out what God has planned for us individually. No matter what the plan is, once we say YES to the will of God, we will be filled with the grace of God, like Mary, to accomplish the mission. Hence, let us surrender ourselves to God to be guided by Him to know His ways.

By Father Frankline Rayappa, C.PP.S., parochial vicar of St. Joseph’s Parish, Palm Bay, December 5, 2022