Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary – Saturday, December 8th, 2018
Tota pulchra es, Maria, et macula originalis non est in te. Tu gloria Jerusalem, tu laetitia Israel, tu honorificentia populi nostri; You are all beautiful, Mary, and the original stain (of sin) is not in you. You are the glory of Jerusalem, you are the joy of Israel, you give honor to our people.
On the eve of this Solemnity, exactly seventy-seven years ago, the Empire of Japan bombed Pearl Harbor. The next day, President Roosevelt announced that we were at war. He spoke of “the day that will live in infamy.” Thus began our participation in the sad events of World War II, which had already begun in Europe in 1939. We would be at war until the defeat of Japan on August 15, 1945. A whole generation, and indirectly those after, would be formed by these tragic years of war.
One commentator rightly described this age group as “the greatest generation”, because of the many sacrifices they were asked to make before, during, and after the war. Through it all we Catholics believed that Our Lady in her Immaculate Conception, patroness of the United States, intervened on our behalf to bring us victory over the powers of darkness. Many have remarked that for us the war began on the Feast of Mary’s Immaculate Conception and ended on the Feast of Mary’s Glorious Assumption. From its earliest days, our bishops have placed our nation in the loving embrace of Immaculate Mary, Mother of God. During these difficult times, let us renew our consecration to Jesus through Mary. The Immaculate Conception is always a holyday of obligation. The evening Mass on December 8th does not count for the holyday, but for the Second Sunday of Advent. Therefore, two Masses are required of us: one for the Immaculate Conception; and one for the Second Sunday of Advent.
Fr. Mark Mazza