Friday, December 8th, is the Feast of the Immaculate Conception -- a holy day of obligation. The title "the Immaculate Conception" was bestowed upon the Blessed Virgin Mary because of the Church's belief that Mary was conceived without original sin since she was destined to be the Mother of God. Mary, the Immaculate Conception, is also the patron saint of the United States. The Masses scheduled for this holy day of obligation are 8:30 a.m. and 7:00 p.m.
The Blessed Virgin Mary, conceived without sin, stands before us today as an example and inspiration. Her unique place in salvation history was announced to her by the angel Gabriel: "Hail, full of grace! The Lord is with you... Do not be afraid." These words helped Mary embrace her unique mission. They can also help us. God's grace, his presence, is within each one of us. God is with us! There is no need to fear, especially those things that are not within our control. In the end, all things are possible with God. We, like Mary, need to trust.