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Monday, December 11, 2017 26° Partly sunny

Immaculate Conception’s message for Advent

Published

By Fr. Bel R. San Luis, SVD

Fr. Bel R. San Luis, SVD

Fr. Bel R. San Luis, SVD

In the gospel episode about the woman taken in adultery, Jesus said, “Let the person who is without sin among you cast the first stone” (John 8). They fell silent, and then, all of a sudden a stone came flying towards the condemned woman.

Jesus looks up, surprised and amused, and then says, “Hold it, mother? You’re excluded here.”

* * *

Tomorrow is the feast of the Immaculate Conception of mother Mary. The Immaculate Conception means that God had bestowed on Jesus’ mother the special honor and privilege of being conceived without the stain of Original Sin. Hence, she was the person Jesus referred to as “one who had no sin.”

* * *

The church’s official teaching (dogma) of  the Immaculate Conception means that everyone born in this world starts life in a state of  dis-grace.

We  lack  sanctifying grace.  However,  God made  an exception of all humanity and that was Mary– “our tainted nature’s solitary boast.”

* * *

Spiritual preparation. We may not be able to reach Mary’s level of sanctity but it gives us a hint of how we can prepare for the coming  of Christmas. It teaches us that Christmas  is  not all  Sta.  Claus, Christmas bonus, exchange gifts, eats, drinks, and merry-making.

* * *

St. John the  Baptist, Christ’s forerunner,  cried out, “Prepare the way of the Lord, make straight  his paths, every valley shall be filled up.”

John’s words were metaphorical and  do not refer to public works like repairing our potholed roads — although there’s much to be done in many provincial roads.

* * *

It means rather that our morally crooked ways must be straightened, the valleys of our pride, laziness, vices, and corrupt practices must be leveled.

Once an old friend confided to me he had been trying hard to turn away from his vices. “How did you do it?” I asked. “Father, through will power. I gave up smoking through will power, gambling through will power…” “How about drinking,” I butted. He paused and replied candidly: “Father, power failure!” “But I’m trying hard to overcome it.”

* * *

Then there’s the need for reconciliation with God through the Sacrament of Confession,  and with people we are not in talking terms with. Let’s not be like that lady who told me, “Father, I already forgave my enemy. But I don’t want to see her face again!”

* * *

Another way of spiritual preparation is sharing our blessings with our indigent brethren, like those in hospitals’ charity wards or those in depressed areas.

A lot of people have the luxury of shopping abundantly but there are many today who can only window-shop.

* * *

May the feast of the Immaculate Conception inspire us to keep on striving to change for the better, to be a loving person, caring for the needy, constantly renewing ourselves despite our failings and weaknesses.

* * *

Movie benefit for seminarians. The SVD Mission Communications is sponsoring a movie — “Star Wars: Last of the Jedi” — which will be shown this December 15 at the SM Centerpoint Cinema, Sta. Mesa, Manila. The proceeds will go to the educational fund of seminarians.

* * *

Please help our project by buying or selling tickets or be a corporate sponsor. For inquiry, call Brian Deguito at tel. 723-3343 or 726-5002 or e-mail me at belsvd@gmail.com.

* * *

By the way…we sent out solicitation letters to prospective sponsors, buyers and sellers. May we hear from you?

* * *

St. Jude.  Today join our novena to St. Jude, Saint of the Impossible, at the Divine Word Shrine, Christ the King Seminary, on E. Rodriguez Boulevard, Quezon City, after the 6 p.m. Mass.

A healing prayer and anointing of the sick will follow.

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