Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary
Daily Scripture Analysis

Daily Gospel

Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary

Reading 1: (Gen 3:9-15, 20)

 

After the man, Adam, had eaten of the tree,
the LORD God called to the man and asked him, "Where are you?"
He answered, "I heard you in the garden;
but I was afraid, because I was naked,
so I hid myself."
Then he asked, "Who told you that you were naked?
You have eaten, then,
from the tree of which I had forbidden you to eat!"
The man replied, "The woman whom you put here with me--
she gave me fruit from the tree, and so I ate it."
The LORD God then asked the woman,
"Why did you do such a thing?"
The woman answered, "The serpent tricked me into it, so I ate it."

Then the LORD God said to the serpent:
"Because you have done this, you shall be banned
from all the animals
and from all the wild creatures;
on your belly shall you crawl,
and dirt shall you eat
all the days of your life.
I will put enmity between you and the woman,
and between your offspring and hers;
he will strike at your head,
while you strike at his heel."
The man called his wife Eve,
because she became the mother of all the living.

Reading 2: (Eph 1:3-6, 11-12)

Brothers and sisters:
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,
who has blessed us in Christ
with every spiritual blessing in the heavens,
as he chose us in him, before the foundation of the world,
to be holy and without blemish before him.
In love he destined us for adoption to himself through Jesus Christ,
in accord with the favor of his will,
for the praise of the glory of his grace
that he granted us in the beloved.

In him we were also chosen,
destined in accord with the purpose of the One
who accomplishes all things according to the intention of his will,
so that we might exist for the praise of his glory,
we who first hoped in Christ.

Gospel: (Lk 1:26-38)

The angel Gabriel was sent from God
to a town of Galilee called Nazareth,
to a virgin betrothed to a man named Joseph,
of the house of David,
and the virgin's name was Mary.
And coming to her, he said,
"Hail, full of grace! The Lord is with you."
But she was greatly troubled at what was said
and pondered what sort of greeting this might be.
Then the angel said to her,
"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."
But Mary said to the angel,
"How can this be,
since I have no relations with a man?"
And the angel said to her in reply,
"The Holy Spirit will come upon you,
and the power of the Most High will overshadow you.
Therefore the child to be born
will be called holy, the Son of God.
And behold, Elizabeth, your relative,
has also conceived a son in her old age,
and this is the sixth month for her who was called barren;
for nothing will be impossible for God."
Mary said, "Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord.
May it be done to me according to your word."
Then the angel departed from her.


Written by: Fr. Anthony Dinh M. Tien, O.P.

I. THEME: To be humble and to obey God are two main keys to win over sins and death.

            Many authors compared human life as the battle between good and evil, truth and falsity, light and darkness, and life and death.The most important thing is to find out the way to win this battle in our life.

            Today readings help us to learn victorious exemplars and to avoid failure examples in the history of the salvation. In the first reading, Adam and Eve miserably failed due to the serpent’s temptation. The serpent aroused their pride so that they disobeyed God’s command. The happened results were they were ashamed and hidden from God. In the second reading, by Christ’s humility and obedience through the mystery of Incarnation, human beings receive grace upon grace: the forgiveness of sins, the right to be God’s adopted children, and the seven gifts of the Holy Spirit. In the Gospel, by Blessed Mary’s humility and obedience, she was kept immaculate, became Mother of God; and through her, God’s promise of giving the Messiah to human was fulfilled.

II. ANALYSIS:

1/ Reading I: “He shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise his heel.”

           

1.1/ Because of Adam and Eve’s sin, they were separated from God: When they didn’t sin yet, they had a perfect relationship with God, other and all creatures. When they sinned, these relationships were damaged.

            (1) Adam and Eve were afraid and hidden from God: When God looked for them after they had sinned, He called out to them: "Where are you?"Adam said, "I heard the sound of thee in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked; and I hid myself." The nakedness caused them to be ashamed and hidden from God; this feeling wasn’t happened before they committed sin. Sins caused people to feel ashamed and to be afraid when they faced God. He continued to ask them: "Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten of the tree of which I commanded you not to eat?" The original sin can be called as the sin of pride and the disobedience of God’s command. People wanted to be like God so that they don’t have to obey Him.

            (2) Sin damaged the relationship of man with other: Before they sinned, Adam and Eve loved and trusted each other; after they sinned, Adam suspected and found a fault in Eve. Adam told God the reason of his sin: “The woman whom thou gavest to be with me, she gave me fruit of the tree, and I ate.” This also implied Adam found a fault in God’s providence: Because you gave me that woman, I listened to her and failed.

            (3) Sin damaged the relationship between human and God’s other creatures: According to St. Thomas Aquinas, the original sin supposed the angels’ fall. The author of Genesis used the image of a serpent to symbolize for Satan because of his falsity and craftiness. Right from the beginning of chapter 3, the author mentioned this fact: “Now the serpent was more subtle than any other wild creature that the LORD God had made” (Gen 3:1). This falsity was also expressed twice when he bent the truth in his dialogue with Eve. First, he said to the woman, "Did God say, `You shall not eat of any tree of the garden'" (Gen 3:1)? Sin used to start with bending of the truth. Second, the serpent convinced the woman by two false beliefs: first, there is no death; second, the good result after eating the fruit will be as gods who know good and evil, no longer depending on God.

            This is the temptation of many people. They don’t want to listen to anyone who preaches morality, to tell them what they should do or avoid. They want to determine for themselves what is good or evil according to their thinking and standard. Eve felt into temptation due to the fruit’s attraction and the deisre to know what is good and evil like God. She ate it and gave to Adam, and he also ate it. When they recognized that they were deceived by the serpent, it was too late (Gen 3:4-7). When God asked the woman: "What is this that you have done?" The woman said, "The serpent beguiled me, and I ate."

1.2/ The enmity between Satan and human beings: First, God declared the serpent’s punisment because he is the cause of sin: “Because you have done this, cursed are you above all cattle, and above all wild animals; upon your belly you shall go, and dust you shall eat all the days of your life.” Next is the human punishment, they must continually fight with the serpent. This battle will happen in two areas:

            (1) Between the serpent and the Woman: Today event, in the first Book of the Scripture, has a relation with the event between the Woman and the red dragon, the old serpent, in the last Book of the Scripture (Rev 12:1-18). The scholars easily identified the old serpent as Satan, but not on the Woman. Some said the Woman in Revelation is Mary; the others said she is the Church. I agreed with the second but saw no opposition between the two opinions because Mary is always with the Church to fight against Satan and his companions.

            (2) Between your seed and her seed: God said to the serpent: "I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your seed and her seed; he shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise his heel.” Even human must always fight, but God implied the final victory will be on the Woman’s seed through the words, “he shall bruise your head;” and the serpent’s hopelessness, “and you shall bruise his heel.” The Woman’s seed is first applied to Christ, and then, all those who belong to him.

2/ Reading II: “He destined us in love to be his sons through Jesus Christ.”

2.1/ Christ is the new Adam.

            (1) The origin of grace: The author of the Letter to the Ephesians explained to us the origin and the meaning of grace when he praised: “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places.” Grace comes from God, is bestowed through Christ by his merits. Grace is also the Holy Spirit’s seven gifts which Christ sent to us after his departure from this world.

            (2) The priviledges which human are inherited: By Christ’s meritorious works in his Passion, Death and Resurrection, human are inherited the following graces:

            + To become pure and holy: "Even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him." 

            + To become God’s children: "He destined us in love to be his sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will."

            + To praise God: "To the praise of his glorious grace which he freely bestowed on us in the Beloved."

2.2/ Christ brought back glory for human: Due to Adam’s fall, human were condemned and died; but due to Christ’s obedience to God, human are forgiven from all sins, given grace upon grace, and inherited eternal life. This is God’s plan of salvation which existed from the beginning of the world, but only was revealed to human beings when Christ incarnated. The author explained this mystery as follows: “In him, according to the purpose of Him who accomplishes all things according to the counsel of His will,we who first hoped in Christ have been destined and appointed to live for the praise of His glory.”

3/ Gospel: Christ incarnated after the word “Fiat” of the Blessed Virgin Mary.

3.1/ God chose Mary to be the mother of the Messiah: First, we need to make clear that verse 26 in this passage is Luke’s introduction before he entered into details the Annutiation event. This understanding helps us to avoid the question: Why the Virgin Mary said “How shall this be, since I have no husband?” in verse 34, while in verse 26 described, “to a virgin betrothed to a man whose name was Joseph.”

            We could say that most of the Blessed Mary’s titles which the Church declared through generations, have their origins in the details of the Annuciation.

            (1) Mary is full of grace and God is always with her, as Gabriel’s salute to Mary: “Hail, O favored one, the Lord is with you!”

            (2) Mary is always in good standing with God: The angel said to her: "Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God." This shows Mary is always free from sin. The title “Immaculate Conception” which we are praising today found its origin here.

            (3) Mary is the Mother of God: "And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus.He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Most High." Mary is the Mother of God because Jesus is the Son of the Most High.

            (4) Mary is the one who brings God’s promise to our forefathers to fulfillment: “And the Lord God will give to him the throne of his father David,and he will reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there will be no end.”

3.2/ The conflict between God’s and Mary’s will: When Mary knew God’s will through the angel’s revelation, she also declared her will to the angel that she was wanting to live a consecrated life: “How shall this be, since I have no husband?” The angel revealed to Mary the mysterious conception which was different with all conception in human history: “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore the child to be born will be called holy, the Son of God.”

            This means Mary had conception while she is still a virgin, as foretold in Isaiah 7:14 and repeated in Matthew 1:23. St. Luke ascertained this by Gabriel’s words: “For with God nothing will be impossible.” If God let those who conceived in their own ages, such as Sarah, Adam’s wife, Sampson’s mother, Samuel’s mother, and Elisabeth, Mary’s kinswoman, He can also let Mary to conceive and to be a virgin. Nothing is impossible to Him.

3.3/ Mary’s Fiat: Mary’s answer to God taught us two things. The first is her humble attitude when she said to the angel: “Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord.” The second is her obedience to do God’s will: “Let it be to me according to your word.” With these two proper attitudes, she conceived Christ and opened the salvation age for all humankind.

III. APPLICATION IN LIFE

                

           - The original sin is the result of Adam and Eve’s pride and disobedience. We must try to destroy these two sins in us.

            - Grace and salvation are from God’s immense love, Christ’s and Mary’s humility and obedience to do God’s will.

            - We are still fighting against Satan and his companions because it is the continuous enmity; but we are promised by God that we will be victorious if we are always humble and do God’s will as Christ and Mary did. 

Donation (credit card)

Thanks for your supporting.

Amount: