One very important feast in our Church calendar this month is the feast of the Immaculate Conception. But a lot of people misunderstand why we celebrate this day. First of all, what do these words mean? The immaculate also means 'clean' or 'spotless'. Imagine a way a window looks afer you've just cleaned it with wondow cleaner... How the light is able to shine through that window so clearly, as if it were brand new! The word conception means the moment that life begins for a baby inside it's mother's womb, the moment that God puts a soul & breathes life into that tiny body. So putting these words together, another way we can say 'immaculate conception' means 'a clean start to life.' It's importatn to remember that because of original sin, none of hus human beings have a 'clean start' to our lives, because our souls are stained by original sin. The sin of Adam & Eve has been passed down through every generation of the human race, and leaves a stain on our souls until we are baptised. But in the sacrament of baptism, we receive a 'new start' to o ur lives as God's children, and our souls are made squeaky clean by his grace!
What's amazing about Mary, though, is that her sould was squeaky clean from the moment her life began in St. Annes womb. Mary never had the original sin that the rest of us had before baptism! God knew from the beginning of time that he wanted her to be the mother of his Son, so he prepared her from the moment of her conception to fulfill this important role in salvation history. He made the window of her soul pure, so tat the Light of the World could shine perfectly unto all, through her. On the feast of the Immaculate Conception (December 8th) we honour Mary for her sinlessness and perfrect obedience to the Father.