December 8, 2016
Happy Feast of the Immaculate Conception!
As my family prepares for my sister's wedding this Saturday, I have been struck by how the Lord prepares the way for each of us to enter into our vocation. I have been blessed with time spent with my siblings, my parents, my grandparents, and with the siblings, parents, and grandparents of my sister's soon-to-be-husband. Each of the encounters I've had with my family members - individually and as a group - has shed light on an inherited quirk, a family resemblance, a shared interest or distaste, and other particulars that have shown me just how we (my siblings and I) became so very us.
The most poignant moment in the past few days was during mass on Monday with my mother and both of my grandmothers. After we had received the Eucharist, it dawned on me that these women, who had borne both of my parents, and my mother who had borne me, are one in Him. And that in the gift of the Eucharist, I am one in Him with them. The intimacy of our shared communion with the Lord echoes, transcends, and redeems the physical intimacy of our familial bond. I became so keenly aware that the person I am and the way in which He wants to love me has been slowly formed since the moment that my most distant ancestor came to be, and was overwhelmed with love for the equally long-prepared and eternally loved individuals from which He formed me.
Today, we celebrate the event most proximal to the Incarnation, which is the immaculate conception of Our Lady. Out of a very human love shown in a very fleshy way in the marital union of Sts Anne and Joachim, comes the perfect material from which the God-man would be fashioned and the purest vessel within which he would dwell. In that moment of conception, a moment of both creation of new life and linkage of one generation to the next, we can appreciate the whole family history leading up to the child Jesus and rejoice in sharing with the Redeemer our descent from a fleshy, tangible, lovable lineage. Today's readings (http://www.usccb.org/bible/readings/120913.cfm) highlight God's announcement of this bearer of new life both before and after Mary's birth. May our meditation on the scriptures help us grow in love for Christ and for His Mother during this Advent season.
I ask that you keep my sister Emilia and her fiancé Jorgie in your prayers over the next few days, especially on Saturday, as they enter into their marriage and begin a new life as a family of their own.