Monday, December 8, 2008

Feast of the Immaculate Conception

Prayer of Pope John Paul II
December 8, 2003
Queen of peace, pray for us!
Our gaze is directed toward you in great fear, to you do we turn with ever-more insistent faith in these times marked by many uncertainties and fears for the present and future of our planet.
Together we lift our confident and sorrowful petition to you, the first fruit of humanity redeemed by Christ, finally freed from the slavery of evil and sin: hear the cry of the pain of victims of war and so many forms of violence that bloody the earth. Clear away the darkness of sorrow and worry, of hate and vengeance. Open up our minds and hearts to faith and forgiveness!
Mother of mercy and hope:.
Help every human being of every race and culture to find and embrace Jesus, who
came to earth in the mystery of Christmas to give us 'His' peace.
Mary, Queen of peace, give us Christ, true peace in the world!


The Immaculate Conception, a solemnity, is the patronal feast of the United States. As this feast occurs early in Advent, it is a perfect time to consider Mary and her important role in the celebration of Christmas.

Homily heard at Mass this morning at St. Therese:

God gave Mary the key to kingdom of heaven at her conception and she treasured and cared for it through all her joys and sorrows. He gives us the same key at Baptism, but we're not nearly so careful; we lose/misplace it all the time through petty grudges, angry words, judgmental thoughts, envy. The fortunate thing is that God loves us so much He's always willing to give us another key. All we have to do is come to Him with repentance in the sacrament of Reconciliation. I'm looking forward to joining Gabrielle as she receives her first Reconciliation this Thursday and asking God to please give me another key.

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