Immaculate Conception • Mary was conceived without sin in the womb of her mother. Let us break this dogma down into two pieces. First, where did sin come from? God is a giver. When he made us in his image and likeness, he made us to be givers, too.

Our first parents got tricked into taking something that didn't belong to them. They felt ashamed and they hid themselves. This is original sin. Even though we know that we were made to be givers, we all look for sneaky ways to take things that don't belong to us.

A great example is the gift of our sexuality. This gift is meant to be given away to the right person, someone who will receive my gift and make a gift of themselves back to me. But we often think I should be using this gift for ourselves.

Mary is given the gift of the Immaculate Conception. This means that she is always a giver and never a taker. Her gift is meant to be given away. She gives it back to God and He blesses her and makes her fruitful. She receives from God, and gives to the world, the most perfect giver, Jesus Christ.

Each of us is a gift. Let us learn to be receivers and givers, instead of takers and users. Let us give God the gift of ourselves today at Holy Mass.

(8 Dec 2023)

Going Deeper: When have you felt used, when others took from you instead of treating you as a gift? What are some sneaky ways that you have used others instead of treating them as gifts?

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