The Immaculate Conception teaches us how to receive
Mary is the archetype, the personification of the one who represents and sums up the entire mystery of received salvation, one that has many dimensions:
- The “immaculate conception” refers to her identity before she had done anything right or anything wrong (perhaps implied in Romans 8:30).
- Her free election of the Annunciation with no mention of merit (Luke 1:38).
- Her virgin motherhood is shrouded in mystery even for her (Luke 2:19, 51-52).
- A quiet, ordinary life (no statements for thirty years).
- Her heroic “standing” in dignity and solidarity with the pain and despair at the end (John 19:25).
- Her receptivity to the shared life of the Holy Spirit along with everybody else at Pentecost (Acts 1:14).
All of these dimensions point to the full meaning of how God is born into the world! It is never about us, and always about God. We, like Mary, are merely “handmaids,” instruments, and it took such a woman as this to make the whole pattern glaringly clear.
From Things Hidden: Scripture as Spirituality, pp. 177-178
Prayer: Teach me to be receptive.