I just read an article on the Immaculate Conception that said something like what I wanted to say yesterday in my homily. So in case the homily did not make much sense, go here. I like the point that this doctrine is more understandable if one works back to it from the Incarnation.
Well, tomorrow is the last day of classes here. Then exam begin. This is a very stressful time for the students. I have been having lots of conversations as well about plans for the future with students preparing to graduate and move beyond the predictable path of academic life.
Also, I have been receiving more requests than usual for prayer from students about deaths and sicknesses in their families. I received a request for prayer from a new Navy Ensign, a graduate from last year, about the serious troubles of one of her sailors. Life gets more complicated, not less so. The darkness of this world seems pretty dark at times. It does not help that here it is literally dark at about 4:30 p.m. at this time of year and that it was deeply gloomy and rainy yesterday.
The Immaculate Conception is a sign pointing to the hope of this world, which is precisely the Incarnation -- the fact that God has come into this very world in human flesh to give human flesh a new beginning. The Immaculate Conception shows us what God can and will do for us: perfection not outside but in our humanity. He thought it was worth dying for. Let's say "fiat" to that: be it done unto me...