On our Christmas journey, we encounter this feast of Mary, which our Church calls "the Conception of the Holy Mother-of-God".
The Advent is not just a period of preparation for the Christmas celebrations. Christmas is rather the culmination of a long celebration that lasts 50 days, and which is the celebration of the coming of the Son of God in humanity, and in the history. Christmas, in fact, is not a birthday of the Little Jesus, but the celebration of the extraordinary reality that God came among us, and that he became one of us.
If God comes to us, if He gives Himself to us, it is proper to receive Him. That is why the Advent, from its first days, puts before our eyes the figure of the Virgin Mary, which is the one that was most completely open to this presence, to the point of becoming the Mother of God.
Mary represents the humanity who participates in the salvific act of God. Indeed, Mary represents human freedom. In Mary, we do not contemplate the ideal woman, nor a compassionate female divinity next to a masculine God. Mary embodies the humanity that welcomes the Word of God, according to the synergy of human freedom and divine grace.
I insist on freedom: this woman, this human being, is not a passive instrument in the hands of God, who wanted to need her to realize His plan of love. Her obedience, her “Yes” is that of a free woman, inspired by a perfect faith. It is with all her being, body, soul and intelligence that Mary participates in the divine mystery.
All too often, the physical motherhood is exalted depriving men of the symbolic richness that Mary offers them. We are all men and women called to bear Christ. Mary is the model of the true disciple, who accepts the Word of God, adheres with all her heart and submits to it.
English writer G. K. Chesterton once said: " Men are men, but Man is a woman." Men and women, we are all called to this attitude of welcome, wholeheartedly openness to the realities of God.
Thus, what we celebrate on this feast of the Conception of the Mother-of-God is precisely this total openness to God, this complete acceptance of His coming and His presence.
To carry God within us and to offer Him to the world is something extraordinary. There we find a joy that no one can take away from us.
God calls us, like He called Mary, to entrust us with a mission, responsibility. He counts on us in our parish, our family, our places of life and work to be the witnesses and the messengers of his love.
Will we accept the coming of Christ in us, and in our lives? If we say no, we stay in the night. If we answer yes, we become light bearers. The Lord needs our personal agreement. Let us not fear: this mission will lead us towards happiness, ours and that of men.
In this time of hope, through the intercession of the Holy Mother-of-God we ask our Heavenly Father to make us worthy to welcome the coming of His Son in our life and our world.