“Today’s feast of the Immaculate Conception makes us contemplate Virgin Mary who, due to a unique privilege, was preserved free from the original sin since the very moment of her conception. While living in the world marked by sin, she is not touched: she is our sister in suffering, but not in evil and sin. Indeed, evil in her was defeated before even slightly touching her, because God filled her with grace (cf. Lk 1.28). The Immaculate Conception means that Mary is the first one saved by the infinite mercy of the Father, as the first fruits of the salvation that God wants to give to every man and woman in Christ. Therefore, the Immaculate became a sublime icon of divine mercy that has won over sin. And we, today, at the beginning of the Jubilee of Mercy, want to look at this icon with trusting love and contemplate it in all its splendor, imitating her faith.
In Mary’s Immaculate Conception we are invited to recognize the dawn of the new world, transformed by the saving work of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. The dawn of the new creation implemented by divine mercy. Therefore, Virgin Mary, who has been never infected by sin, is always brimming with God, and mother of a new humanity. Celebrating this feast involves two things: fully accepting God and His merciful grace in our life; becoming, in our turn, builders of mercy through a genuine evangelic path. The feast of the Immaculate becomes the feast of us all, with our daily “yes”, we manage to overcome our selfishness and make happier the lives of our brothers, to give them hope, wiping a few tears and giving a little joy. In Mary’s imitation, we are called to become bearers of Christ and witnesses of His love, looking first at those who are privileged in Jesus’ eyes. They are the ones He himself has shown us: “I was hungry and you gave me to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me to drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you dressed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me” (Mt 25: 35-36).
Today’s feast of the Immaculate Conception has a specific message to communicate: it reminds us that in our life everything is a gift, everything is mercy. May the Blessed Virgin, the model of the Church, holy and immaculate Bride, loved by the Lord, help us rediscover the mercy of God more and more like a Christian distinctive trait. She is the word-synthesis of the Gospel. And the fundamental feature of Christ’s face: the face we recognize in the different aspects of His life: when He goes out towards everyone, heals the sick, when he sits at the same table with sinners, and especially when, nailed to the cross, He forgives; there we see the face of God’s mercy. Through the intercession of Immaculate Mary, may mercy take possession of our hearts and transform our whole life”.