ARTICLE FOR CHURCH NEWSPAPERS
Feast of The Immaculate Conception ~ 8th December 2015
– by Julia Beacroft
MY HUSBAND is one of four children. He has a brother who is the eldest and two sisters who are both younger than him and they are fairly evenly spaced out in terms of age.
My wonderful late mother-in-law used to love to tell a tale concerning her youngest offspring; in fact she would fairly ‘dine out on it’. Having discovered that she was expecting a fourth child, she could hardly wait to give her husband the glad tidings.
However, to her surprise he replied, ‘Well, how did that happen then?’ Her answer was to tell him, that it was certainly not an immaculate conception!
A PERFECT HOME
We, as Catholics, so often hear the term ‘immaculate conception’ incorrectly used in this way. We understand that Mary was immaculately conceived in her mother’s womb without single spot or stain of sin. This was to enable her, in turn, to provide a perfect home for Jesus when she herself conceived, by the power of the Holy Spirit. Only she, who was totally without sin herself, could have borne the baby Jesus – God’s only begotten Son.
My mother-in-law did not, of course, have an immaculate conception. However, thanks to the Lord’s loving providence, she was able to give birth to four children of her own. She may not have been blessed in the same way that Mary, the Mother of God, was blessed, even so she was loved and
cherished by the Lord in exactly the same way that each and every one of us are.
LOVED BY GOD
So the next time you hear the expression ‘immaculate conception’ used mistakenly or out of context, smile and say to that person that they are certainly not the Virgin Mary, Mother of God, but are definitely loved by God, nonetheless. Every child who enters the world can become a member of God’s family, but there is only one Jesus Christ.
(ENDS – 311 words)
Julia Beacroft is a catechist and pastoral volunteer who lives in Torquay. Her first book
‘Sanctifying the Spirit’ will be published and available to buy from Pentecost 2016.