Chaplain’s Reflection: Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception

Fr. Brian Morris ’03, Chaplain, shares reflections on the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary:

The story of Mary, the mother of our Lord, perfectly demonstrates a very important truth: God has a plan. He has had a plan from the very beginning. Thus at the Easter Vigil, when some poor guy has to sing the Exultet, he sings “O felix culpa” — “O happy fault!” The truth is that God created us in the beginning, knowing that we would fail Him, and He did it anyway. And He did it with a plan to save us.

And the really awesome thing about this plan is that each and every one of us has a role to play in it. Today we celebrate Mary’s role. Sure, she got a pretty amazing role, Mother of the Redeemer. Unfortunately there can only be one. And last month, on the feast of All Saints, we celebrated men and women who’ve had some pretty special roles throughout the history of the Church. Each person who has EVER lived, going all the way back to Adam and Eve, has had a role to play, has had a part in the plan. Those before that first Christmas Day were part of the plan to prepare for it, and those since, are part of the plan to spread the graces that flow from it.

And even when you deviate from that plan. Whether it is some crazy mistake you’ve made, some serious hole you’ve gotten yourself into, or even when something happens that isn’t your fault: a serious injury or disease you suffer from, an injustice done to you, the death of someone you love; God has a plan to get you through it. He has a plan. Nothing is outside of His control. If the Original Sin that thrust all of humanity out of the garden and into a world of pain and suffering was not too much for God to take care of, nothing that you might experience is.

The Blessed Mother’s story offers a second great truth, too: we don’t know why God choose Mary specifically. But we do know why He chose someone, and why He always has a plan. Because God loves you. As I already said, God created us in the beginning, knowing that we would fail Him, and He did it anyway. It seems completely nonsensical for Him to do this, except that we know that He did it because He loves us. He loves us because God is love. And God’s love is completely non-negotiable. You cannot get away from it, you cannot escape it, you cannot cause it to end. To get God to stop loving you, He would have to cease to be God.

Those two truths which flow from the feast we celebrate today: 1.) God always has a plan, and 2.) God loves you no matter what, are key to getting through life. They’ve gotten me out of some of the hardest, most difficult times of my life. And I’ve seen them get others through theirs. Take them to heart in your own lives. Pray on them, especially these next two and a half weeks, as we prepare for the coming of Jesus Christ on Christmas Day.