Solemnity of Immaculate Conception of Mary


Genesis 3:9-15,20
Ephesians 1:3-6,11-12
Luke 1:26-38


This Feast of the Immaculate Conception can suggest we stick to the tried and true. But, somehow that takes the mystery and experience from it.

What underlies this for me is the generosity and wisdom of a God who is love. The call to Adam and Eve is the encounter of humanity with the divine. We are given ‘choice’. The choice to see the alternatives within and around us. To see what takes us away from ourselves and what takes us away from God.

Our hearts are restless and seeking and along the way, we can trip and fall in our search to be our best. Fear, temptation for power, and pleasure tease our senses. Yet, we can learn a way, and this is the lesson from Paul. To believe everything is blessed by God…all creation is calling us to shout out in gratitude and with a practical faith believe in Emmanuel …God with us on our journey not judging us but inviting us to re-choose and center ourselves on love and compassion building common bonds.

Then there is the leadership and example of Mary. Her faithfulness, her choice and acceptance, finds a path to seeing and believing in her centre, which is God. A God who can love us despite our failings and through forgiveness leads us back. Mary shows the paths of humility and being able to ‘choose’ – “let what you ask be done in me”.

It’s not easy to get to this place but through faith, gratitude, love, friendship, family and community we can get there.

So, let us pray that we can turn our choices into a path where love, justice, compassion and forgiveness steers us into the arms and heart of our God, the creator.

“He must increase and I must decrease”.

Paul Traynor is married to Clare and has two children Sam and Lucy. He lives in Greytown which is in the Wairarapa Region on the North Island of New Zealand. Paul is currently working as the National Passionist Family Groups Coordinator for Aotearoa, New Zealand.