Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Reflection for the Feast of Immaculate Conception

Immaculate Conception Feast Reflection

By Rev. Bob Johnnene OFD Mission Saints Sergius & Bacchus/ Franciscans Divine Mercy



On this, the feast of the Immaculate Conception of Our Blessed Mother let us reflect on what that means in the overall story of God’s gift to all humanity of His beloved Son, Jesus Christ, who was born of the virgin Mary through the Holy Spirit.

Almighty God deemed that Mary should come into this world free of the stain that all others before and after her have come into this world with, original sin, so that she would be a pure receptacle within which Our Savior Jesus Christ would be conceived in.

He sent His messenger, the angel Gabriel, to her to inform her that she had been chosen to bear the promised of the ages.

Mary responded with apprehension but with the affirmative words “Let it be done unto me according to thy will”.

In our lives, we often are faced with challenges or situations where we have great apprehension but after prayer, we feel that what we are facing is God’s will.

Do we respond with “Let it be done according to thy will O Lord”? Or do we complain because it is difficult?

I often wonder what went through Our Blessed Mothers mind when Simeon told her, “a sword will pierce your soul.”

If we had been told that, we would run for cover or accept it as God will that had to be accomplished.

Mary accepted it with the same full acceptance as she accepted her conception without having a sexual relation and being unmarried.

Mary was totally accepting of God’s will in spite of the fact that it held extreme danger for her since an unmarried woman with child was supposed to be stoned to death.

If only each of us could only become more like Mary, accepting our lives as God chose it for us and make the best of them by living our life with the purpose of bringing greater honor and glory to God.

I am certain that Our Blessed Mother was instrumental in my being where I am since the order I was accepted into after so many years of applying to religious orders after my marriage ended, was The Servant Franciscans of the Immaculata, an order dedicated to the Immaculate Conception of Our Blessed Mother.

When that order disbanded I felt called to found the Franciscans of Divine Mercy.

On this feast honoring the Immaculate Conception of Mary, let us dedicate ourselves to being more like Our Blessed Mother, totally and completely accepting God’s will for us. Let us strive to live our life in a manner that reflects her life by accepting what God sends our way even the less than desirable as Christ accepted his passion and death in order for us to have forgiveness of sins.

By accepting all that comes our way we can be assured that we will be blessed with all God’s gifts we will need to gain eternal peace for all eternity.

On December 8th in 1957, I was living in a walk up in New York pursuing my second love Theater, after being told by the Josephites that I needed to think about my vocation to the priesthood and being laicized from my vows as a deacon, I could not seem to fall asleep because some words kept going round and round in my head.

I finally got up and wrote what was in my head down and then went back to bed and sleep. The next morning when I got up, I went to the table and there was what I had written. I thought, “My mother will like this”, and I mailed it to her.

In 1987 after she died, as I was going through her things, I came across the original paper with what I had written on it. I would like to share it with you now.

I call it, A Sinner’s Prayer


O, Mary Immaculate, Virgin so fair

Mother of our Savior, please hear my prayer

Intercede dearest Mother to your Heavenly Son

Tell Him I am sorry for all the wrongs and sins I have done

Ask Him to guide me by the gifts of the Holy Spirits truth in all of my ways

So that I may be with Him to give glory and praise at the end of my days. Amen

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