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Dec 7, 2016

Hail, Full of Grace: The Immaculate Conception Explained

Dr. Edward Sri

We celebrate the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception of Mary on Thursday, December 8. In this video from “Mary: A Biblical Walk with the Blessed Mother,” Dr. Edward Sri explains Mary’s Immaculate Conception and shows how this teaching is supported by Scripture. He describes how the Angel Gabriel’s greeting to Mary, “Hail, full of grace” (Luke 1:28), points to a deeper spiritual reality about her.


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  • Thank you Dr. Sri…I loved your image of your nephew (If I remember right) falling into the washing machine…as an explanation how God used two different ways to achieve salvation…This, in itself is a message of immense hope…for it says God will find a way to bring about salvation for each of us…As an aside, it reminds me of the song “God Will Make A Way” by Don Moen…it can be found on You Tube..Also, this salvation God achieves in us, and that we want to receive in us, comes us when we are made totally holy, pure, and clean…”full of grace”, if you will, just as Mary was…It is at that point…God can enter into us, and grow in us (as He did in Mary’s womb), until the time when the Holy Birth takes place…and God is made brought into clear vision for us…Another example of this is when a woman is expecting a child…First comes the act of conception (idea); then comes the message (announcement of the pregnancy); then comes the waiting…this is not as we sometimes think..a stagnant time…but a time in which growth and change takes place, both in the mother and in the child…; when the time of fulfillment (birth) arrives, all the family is prepared, excited, and ready to embrace this new little one into the family…

    At least this is the ideal of what should happen…but we know, this is not the way it is in real life for all of us…we have many examples of the many different ways that this can go wrong…Signs to us that we live in a broken world…Having been through two miscarriages early in our married life, and the stories I have heard of those who have been through still born births, abortions, premature births, and births of children with disabilities…that such sorrows and feelings of guilt are sometimes more than they can bear…Yet, I am glad to know that God did not chose one of these kinds of broken ways to enter into our world…No, instead, He brought His Son to us in the fullness of time…which means that God will enter into this world when things are just right as well. We can choose to try to bring it about prematurely, but we know from the examples all around us where that will lead..pain, sorrow, and grief…No, when He is ready, He will come…and not before…

    Does that mean we shouldn’t prepare and be ready for His coming? Certainly not…just as expectant parents prepare the room for the baby, get clothes bought, supplies gathered, and the family pitches in with baby showers to help the expectant parents to prepare…so should we prepare for the coming of Jesus into our hearts…Cleaning out the rooms in our heart, so to speak, filling it up with good actions, deeds, and the virtues…etc. And this I see is what Advent is all about for me…It is that expectant time of preparation…Lord, May Our Lady of Guadalupe, the expectant Mother of Jesus, guide us through this season of preparation…that we may be ready to receive Our Lord, Jesus Christ, when He comes this Christmas…I ask this in Jesus’ Name…Amen.

  • Thank you for such an interesting presentation. Too often we read the bible literally, without taking in what the words meant at the time they were written and also at the time when they were translated. It is helpful to reflect on phrases such as “full of grace” to avoid falling into the trap of applying our understanding of the words and losing the profound meaning of the words. Today, the word grace seems to be limited to the way a person moves and not to the fullness of the word.

  • Thank you for a beautiful explanation which helps us to explain effectively to others whom God places in our path.

  • My priest delivered a beautiful homily today, this Holy Day of the Immaculate Conception and Feast Day of Our Lady of Guadalupe, Patroness of the Americas. He spoke of a discussion he had one time with a fellow seminarian about the Blessed Mother. Fr. Jack asked his friend, “What if Mary said ‘no’? Do you think God had a Plan B? His friend said he didn’t know. Fr. Jack then told us, “What if God DID have a Plan B? What if He knew that Adam and Eve would sin, and Mary was his Plan B from the very beginning?

    I’d like to share with you a picture that I took last week. I had the travelling image of Our Lady of Guadalupe during the week of Thanksgiving. On the last morning, I took the image off the wall and placed it near the front window so I could look directly at her as I prayed. I decided to take a picture of the image. When I looked at the photo, I saw what looks like rays of light pouring out from her Immaculate Heart. What a blessing it was for me!

    Mary, conceived without sin, pray for us!

  • I’m not a Catholic, but I do know what the doctrine of the Immaculate Conception states. Whenever I find people using ‘Immaculate Conception’ to mean ‘conceived without sexual intercourse’, which is not uncommon in popular usage, I try to correct them.

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