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Wednesday, December 8, 2021

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Immaculate Conception

Genesis 3:9-15, 20
Ephesians 1:3-6, 11-12
Psalm 98:1-4
Luke 1:26-38

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hoping against hope

“We were predestined to praise His glory by being the first to hope in Christ.” —Ephesians 1:12

Imagine how Adam and Eve felt after the first sin. For the first time, they were afraid, ashamed, and confused (Gn 3:10). They had never before experienced pain, sorrow, or death. The first death they experienced was the murder of their son Abel (Gn 4:8). How traumatized they must have felt! All they had to hold onto was God’s promise that the woman’s offspring would strike at the serpent’s head and ultimately be victorious (Gn 3:15). This was a glimmer of hope on the saddest day in human history.

Mary, the new Eve, is also “a sign of sure hope” in traumatized times (Lumen Gentium, 68, Vatican II). She was without sin from the moment of her conception. She was undefeated, not by her power but because she let her Son’s victory be done unto her (Lk 1:38). She is a sign of hope for those hoping against hope, for “banished children of Eve,” crying and sighing “in this vale of tears” (Hail Holy Queen prayer). If you’re in the vale of tears, the time of trouble, the hour of darkness — if you’re going through your own sorrows — Mary is the sign to hope even against hope.

Prayer:  Father, many people have given up and dropped out of any meaningful life. May these people begin to hope and live again.

Promise:  “The Holy Spirit will come upon you and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; hence, the holy Offspring to be born will be called Son of God.” —Lk 1:35

Praise:  In 1854, Pope Bl. Pius IX proclaimed the dogma of the Immaculate Conception. This formalized the Church’s longstanding belief that Mary was redeemed from the moment of her conception.

Reference:  (For a related teaching on Immaculate Heart of Mary, listen to, download or order our CD 19-1 or DVD 19 on our website.)

Rescript:  "In accord with the Code of Canon Law, I hereby grant the Nihil Obstat for the publication One Bread, One Body covering the time period from December 01/2021 through January 31, 2022 Reverend Steve J. Angi, Chancellor, Vicar General, Archdiocese of Cincinnati, Cincinnati, Ohio May 5, 2021"

The Nihil Obstat ("Permission to Publish") is a declaration that a book or pamphlet is considered to be free of doctrinal or moral error. It is not implied that those who have granted the Nihil Obstat agree with the contents, opinions, or statements expressed.