CATHOLICS SHOULD draw inspiration from the Blessed Virgin Mary’s commitment to God in overcoming human limitations and the challenge of sin, a Dominican priest said.
Santisimo Rosario parish priest Fr. Paul Reagan Talavera, O.P. said Mary’s immaculate conception was not solely her own doing but a result of God’s grace.
“We as human beings are limited. From the very beginning, we are born to sin [because of] original sin. And yet, because of God’s grace, nothing is impossible for God,” Talavera said in his homily during the mass in honor of the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary on Friday, Dec. 8.
According to Talavera, embracing God by “saying yes” to Him will empower believers to rise above their sins.
“There are so many things around us that lead us to sin, and yet it is not impossible. We have to ask for that grace so that we, like Mary, will not be deserted by original sin. May we be given the strength to fight against sin, to combat the evils in our surroundings,” he said.
“We are limited, but because of God’s grace, we are able to go beyond those limitations. That’s why that’s the call for us: draw inspiration from Mary. If only we say our yes to God; if only we commit ourselves to God.”
Drawing parallels to the warmth of returning home and visiting one’s mother, even in memory, Talavera urged individuals to connect with Mary.
“Just like her, we, too, as humans, seek the help of a mother so that we may also be able to go beyond these limitations, human limitations, as much as we can, particularly sin,” the Dominican priest said.
“For some, it is an obligation; it’s like we’re forced to attend [the mass]. But you have to see it not just as an obligation; it is actually coming home,” he added.
Talavera noted that Mary, as a maternal figure, not only links individuals to her but brings them closer to her son, Jesus Christ.
“As much as we are related to her, she brings us closer to Christ. She brings us to her son Jesus,” he said.
After the mass, a consecration for Mother Mary was held at the Santisimo Rosario Parish church.
The Immaculate Conception is one of the four Marian dogmas of the Church.
The solemnity is celebrated every Dec. 8, nine months before the Nativity of Mary on Sept. 8.
The feast was approved by Pope Sixtus IV in 1476 and later extended to the universal Church by Pope Clement XI in 1708. In 1942, Pope Pius XII declared the Immaculate Conception as the patroness of the Philippines. F — with reports from Barbra Althea Gavilan