On 8th December we celebrate the feast of the Immaculate Conception of Our Lady. Could you explain if someone asked you sincerely? See it this way.
The first time we do wrong is our original sin. We know there was a first time because we can remember other times. We are guilty of our own original sin. More, reason tells us there must have been a first time in the history of the world that someone did wrong. We don’t know any details. The Bible tells a story, a myth, of a man and woman (no names) who taste the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. They chose to know evil. The first sin had been committed. We are not guilty of that original sin.
Soon after that event Adam and Eve come into the story. Do understand: the first three chapters of the Bible are about man and woman, not Eve and Adam. They come later.
There are thus two original sins: the first in my life and the first in the history of humanity. St Paul writes (Romans 5:12) that our first (original) sin links us to the sins of the world going back to the very beginning. We all are guilty of sin and are in need of God’s loving forgiveness which we see given in the redeeming love of Jesus Christ.
We are not guilty of the first original sin, we are guilty of our own original sin and share in the guilt of the sin of our world. We are not born with original sin but in original sin.
“God saw everything he had made and it was good.” says the Bible, “God is the giver of all life, human and divine” says the baptism ceremony. We are made in the image and likeness of God. We are all good. Original sins soil the goodness in which we are created, all sin adds to that spoiling.
The mother of Jesus, says the Church, lived a life, untouched by sin. Although born in original sin, like all of us, she never shared in that sin by any personal wrong-doing. The Church calls that lovely truth “The Immaculate Conception”. Mary was untouched by the sin of the world, her life always beautiful: she suffered the sin, above all in seeing her son crucified and die, but she did not share in it. Her beautiful life was full of grace.
Jesus says he came that we might have life and have it to the full. As a consequence of that new life we are redeemed from our sins. The purpose of his coming was new life, the consequence of the new life is redemption. We live in God’s love and blessing, always.
(15th December 2019)