by Fr. Kevin Joshua B. Cosme
Today is the great Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception. On this day in 1854, Pope Pius IX issued the apostolic constitution “Ineffabilis Deus”. He declared a dogma - a teaching that was binding for all Catholics to believe - that “the most Blessed Virgin Mary, from the first moment of her conception […] was kept free of every stain of original sin.”
To understand this, we have to know what is meant by “original sin”. God created the first human beings, Adam and Eve, without sin. Our first parents enjoyed perfect harmony with God, themselves, and the rest of creation. But this harmony was destroyed when they committed sin. This disharmony brought suffering and death to the world.
Every human being born henceforth inherited not the actual sin of Adam and Eve, but the terrible effects of their sin, like a predisposition to heart disease that is inherited by children from their parents. This fallen state we are all born to is called “original sin”.
Today’s dogma says that Mary was conceived without this original sin, a unique grace given to her by God in view of becoming the Mother of the Redeemer. Adam and Eve belonged to the original creation. They screwed up, and all of us after them. Jesus and Mary are the new Adam and Eve, and with them humanity finally got it right.
Mary never sinned. She COULD have, but she never, ever chose to. As her children, are we willing to follow in our Mother’s footsteps?
Flex our Faith Episode 10: Mary Immaculate | Aired on December 8, 2021