Good morning and many blessings to you all on this wonderful feast of the immaculate conception!

Mary as we know was conceived in the womb of saint Anne without sin and lived her entire life spotlessly!

She thus became the ‘new Eve’ by giving birth to Jesus, the ‘fruit of her womb’ who became the healing remedy for the effects taking the fruit of the tree of knowledge had on humanity.

To some calling Mary the ‘immaculate conception’ can feel very intimidating!

How could this perfect woman who never committed the smallest of sins even look at me and you, serial sinners, we may ask?

And more to the point, how can we look up to her knowing all our weaknesses and knowing her perfection!

The devil is great at provoking these seemingly holy and pious thoughts but we must be careful!

Firstly we must remember that Mary’s number one desire is to bring us closer to Jesus, not further away!

She does this by being our compassionate and tender mother!

She is fully aware that had she been conceived without this special grace that she too would be like us and so rather than lord her perfection over us she humbly and meekly shares it with us!

Mary understands us and so can help us beyond measure in ALL dimensions of our lives!

We can talk to her about everything from the most intimate and private things like sexuality to the more ordinary things like what we will eat tonight!!

And so let not this feast of the immaculate conception be the feast of the immaculate deception!

Let not Mary’s perfection discourage us or distance us from her and from God!

Let us on this feast give her our hearts and lives and make a new and giant leap of faith and trust in God’s mercy of which she is the greatest benefactor and so the greatest expert outside God Himself!

‘Our Lady, Immaculate Conception, Mam, take my hand today and teach me to love like you and Jesus’!