We have come to greet the Virgin Mary on her beautiful feast of the Immaculate Conception. And that’s why we think together like this. Today’s holiday readings present two women before our eyes. The Old Testament reading will tell us about Eve, and the New Testament will tell us about Mary. Eve was created in such a way that God gave her a soul adorned with sanctifying grace. And let us remember what sanctifying grace is. It is the beauty of the soul that God bestows on man, firstly so that he can adopt him as a child of God, secondly so that he can dwell in him, and thirdly so that he can receive him into heaven. Eve, the mother of all men, lost this sanctifying grace when she was led into pride and disobedience to the heavenly Father. And she lost this beauty of soul for herself and all her offspring, that is, all people.
And you, like in English history, the king who was guilty of treason was deprived of the royal crown and banished from the royal palace. But he lost the royal crown and palace for himself and all his offspring. So all his sons, grandsons, great-grandsons, and great-great-grandsons, all his descendants, were born into the world without the right to a royal crown and a royal palace. And so also all the descendants of the first woman, Eve, coming into the world without sanctifying grace, that is, without the beauty of the soul and the right to heaven. The only being that God chose as a mother for His Son was conceived without the stain of original sin, so from the moment of her conception, she was adorned with the beauty of sanctifying grace so that the Son of God would have the most beautiful mother in the world. And because God created her immaculate and beautiful, the angel Gabriel greeted her with the words: Hail full of grace. You honored her so much. But the Virgin Mary predicted about herself that people would also worship her in this way. She expected it with these biblical words: All generations will bless me because he who is mighty has done great things for me.
And we all belong to those prophesied generations when we warmly honor the Virgin Mary. Our respect for the Virgin Mary is warmest when, following her example and with her help, we listen to God’s word and keep it. And if someone asks what we will get from this, the Lord Jesus gives us the following answer: Blessed are those who listen to God’s word and keep it. Whereas blessed means blessed, happy. And who among us would not desire bliss and happiness? But at this moment, when we talk about bliss and happiness, today’s misguided world comes to mind.
WITH Lava painter Francis Urban depicted today’s world in a large painting in the Vyšehrad Cathedral in Prague as follows: In the left half of the painting, the devil sits on a throne and holds a massive lump of gold in his hands, which shines with a fantastic luster. Crowds of people flock to the gold. People push each other to get to the gold. Even one man reaches for gold over the bodies of trampled people. He wants to grab gold for himself, even through the corpses of others. In the right half of the picture, the Virgin Mary is sitting on a throne and is holding her baby Jesus close to her heart as if she wanted to say: You are my darling, Jesus. You’re my Everything. You are my true happiness and the world’s treasures, above all.
People do not flock to the Virgin Mary and her Son. Only a few children raise their hands to her. Everyone else is eager for the devil’s gold. And the Virgin Mary from the picture seems to say to everyone: People, come to me. With my Son, you will find true happiness and the first joy. Tell me, doesn’t that picture represent the painful situation of our world? After all, consumerism, indulgence, crime, wars, murders, assassinations, and sex attract more and more people. And can these vices bring happiness to people? Therefore, do not be surprised that our heavenly Mother appears more often worldwide and pleads: Turn to God, repent, and pray, and you will be happy. And so let’s celebrate today’s feast of the Immaculate Conception of the Virgin Mary by listening to her loving calls to repentance so that, following her example and with her help, we experience true joy and true happiness in God.