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Immaculate Conception _Dec 8

29 December, 2009

                                  We have two sets of homily notes to choose from. 
                                             Please click on the one required.

1 Kenneth Payne, What shall I say Year C

2 Thomas O’Loughlin, Liturgical Resources for Year C (Luke) 

Kenneth Payne,
What shall I say Year C

Our Lady’s Unique vocation

Liturgical Text:
‘You let her share beforehand in the salvation Christ would bring by his death, and kept her sinless from the first moment of her conception.’ (Opening Prayer)

Homily Notes:
1. Mary was given that unique special gift by God from the mo­ment of her conception in her mother’s womb, because she had been chosen by God for the greatest of all vocations. We too have been given special gifts – think for a moment what yours are – to fulfil whatever task God gives us to perform.

2. Mary forestalled, as it were, the grace of baptism, and our be­lief in her Immaculate Conception underlines the fact that human life must be valued from the moment of conception. It rules out abortion at no matter how early an age in pregnancy.

3. Unfortunately, devotion to Mary is often distorted. Should she be declared the patroness of battles (e.g. the crusades) or dressed up in sumptuous garments and paraded through the streets?

Beneath the statue of Mary in a church in Switzerland is writ­ten: Sancta Mater Ecclesia. (Holy Mother Church) She is ‘the woman of our race who supremely achieves our vocation.


Thomas O’Loughlin,
Liturgical Resources for Year C (Luke)




1. While it is a coincidence that this feast always falls in Advent – today’s celebration is calculated on the older feast held on 8 September – there is a long. tradition of seeing this as Advent’s marian feast (see Paul VI’s Marialis cultus).

2. In Advent we are reflecting on God moving in history: he prepared a people as we are reading each day in the prophets. He sent John the Baptist to prepare the way before him. He called Mary to be the}mother of Jesus. This part of our faith is not something that is easy for us to accept for we have become suspicious of stating that God’s hand is in events after the most destructive century in human history. However, part of our good news is that in the face of that de­struction there is a caring God: a God who cares, who listens, who brings new life, and who offers us the life of heaven. The alternative to this good news is that we are but barges on the torrents of history. We may feel mighty forces are tossing us about, but we are also attentive to the sign of hope that such forces are not the final word.

3. Believing in a caring and loving God we seek out the signs of his care in our lives. We have to try to become attentive to what place each of us has in his desire to renew the creation, to stem the effects of humandestructiveness, and to chal­lenge the forces of evil.

4. The most shining example of someone being called to have a specific role in bringing about the coming of the kingdom (for which we constantly pray), to make the Anointed One present in our world (for which we ask strength at every Eucharist) and to take a part to stem the torrents of destruc­tion (something for which each of us has committed him or herself in baptism) is Mary. We are celebrating that during the whole of her existence God was interested in her as an in­dividual: let us pray that each of us may have the faith to lOW that the Father is just as interested in each of us. Ephesian hymn sums up this whole notion of God’s liv­.g providential care. That hymn can be said today to be the hymn of Mary. It was also the hymn of many of the earliest .dturches: can we make it our hymn?