Today, as we celebrate the solemnity of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Fr Paul commends to our prayers Deacon Prodencio Bognay who is being ordained this evening at the Cathedral in Lismore. He then reads from the Gospel of Luke (1: 26-38), which tells of the Angel Gabriel’s visit to Mary in Nazareth.

Fr Paul says this doctrine of the church on the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary holds that Mary was conceived without original sin (that is, that twist in our nature that makes our will tend not to follow what it knows to be right). It was this grace that enabled Mary to give the real and authentic ‘Yes!’ to the Angel Gabriel that we hear in today’s Gospel, that she would consent to be the mother of the incarnate God.

Interestingly, this is a doctrine that is also shared with the Islamic faith.  This doctrine was formally declared as a doctrine of the Church by Pope Pius IX in 1854.

On this day, in particular, Fr Paul invites us to commend our needs and the needs of others to Our Lady.