This fullness marks the moment when, with the entrance of the eternal into time, time itself is redeemed, and being filled with the mystery of Christ becomes definitively “salvation time.” And this fullness manifests the hidden beginning of the Church’s journey. So in the liturgy the Church celebrates the feast of the Immaculate Conception as the first solemn feast according to the Liturgical calendar. Mary appeared on the horizon of salvation history before Christ. The fact that she preceded the coming of Christ is reflected every year in the Liturgy of Advent.
In this present season of Advent we wish to turn in a special way to Mary, the one who in the “night “of the Advent expectation began to shine like a true “Morning Star”. For just as this star, together with the “dawn,” precedes the rising of the sun, so Mary from the time of her Immaculate Conception preceded the coming of the Savior, the rising of the “Sun of Justice” in the history of the human race. Her presence in the midst of Israel - a presence so discreet as to pass almost unnoticed by the eyes of her contemporaries- shone very clearly before the Eternal Father, who had associated this hidden “daughter of Sion” with the plan of salvation embracing the whole history of humanity.
As the Church teaches, only in the mystery of the Incarnate Word does the mystery of man take on light, so only in the mystery of Christ is her mystery fully made clear. Thus the Council of Ephesus (431) was of decisive importance in clarifying this for during that Council, the truth of the divine motherhood of Mary was solemnly confirmed as a the truth of the Church’s Faith. Mary is the Mother of God, since by the power of the Holy spirit she conceived in her virginal womb and brought into the world Jesus Christ, the Son of God, who is of one being with the Father.
In the pilgrimage of faith the Blessed Virgin advanced, fully preserving her union with Christ. Thus Mary has gone before, becoming a model of the Church in the matter of faith, charity and perfect union with Christ. We are still striving on earth to increase in holiness by conquering sin, so we should raise our eyes to Mary, who shines forth to the whole Church as a model of the virtues. Mary does not cease to be the Star of the Sea for those who are still on the journey of the faith. O Mary conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to thee!
Canon Raphael Ueda - ICKSP