The Blessed Virgin Mary is the ideal disciple and model follower of Jesus Christ for each and every one of us. She has been aptly called \"the first Christian\", and when you think about it - that is so true. \"Be it done to me according to your word.\" The Immaculate Conception tells us not only about Mary, who she is and what she represents, but it also tells us about each and every one of us, about ourselves and our own lives
HARRISBURG, PA. (Catholic online) - The Blessed Virgin Mary is the ideal disciple and model follower of Jesus Christ for each and every one of us. She has been aptly called "the first Christian", and when you think about it - that is so true. "Be it done to me according to your word."
The Immaculate Conception tells us not only about Mary, who she is and what she represents, but it also tells us about each and every one of us, about ourselves and our own lives. But first, what does the Immaculate Conception tell us about Mary?
It tells us that she was unique among all human beings. This should go without saying, but how often do we stop to think about it? No one else, in human history, would conceive of God as she did. She was uniquely prepared to bring forth God into the world! Just as the Incarnation was a once-forever event in the history of the universe, so Mary's giving birth to God was a once-forever event in salvation history. It had never happened before and will never happen again. No one else will know what Mary knew. This is why we can say -
I fly unto you, O Virgin of virgins, my Mother.
To you I come; before you I stand sinful and
sorrowful. O Mother of the Word Incarnate!
Despise not my petitions, but in your mercy
hear and answer me. Amen.
Because God is our Father, and Jesus Christ God in the flesh, and Mary was Jesus' Mother, so Mother of God, then each of us has Mary for our Mother. Mary: Mother of God, Mother of the Church, Mother of us all!
So what does this tell us about ourselves? It tells us that we are who God made us to be from the very first instant of our existence. In spite of what the Supreme Court ignorantly suggests, we are ourselves - unique, unrepeatable and irreplaceable from the first moment of our conception. There's no substitutes for you: God made you just who you are - and put you into the world to accomplish his ingenious plan. You must never suggest that God didn't know what He was doing when He made you in your mother's womb, carefully directed your development and brought you to birth. You were made to fulfill God's ingenious plan for the universe!
Scientists can now explain what makes each human being unique. Here are some amazing scientific facts easily available online these days:
Your body is made up of tiny units called cells - as many as 100 trillion of them! Within the nucleus of every one of these cells is a set of instructions which tell the cell what role it will play in your body. These instructions, essentially a blueprint or recipe for making different parts of the cell, come in the form of a molecule called DNA which consists of two thread-like strands that are linked together in the shape of a double helix (a winding staircase).
DNA is made up of four chemical bases combined in pairs that make up the "steps" of the DNA staircase. It has six billion "steps" which provide the instructions for building and maintaining a human being - this is the human genome. The exact order in which these base pairs are combined is called the DNA sequence. Much in the way letters of the alphabet are combined to form words and sentences, the sequence of these bases are the "letters" which spell out your unique genetic code. Nobody else, anytime or anywhere, shares your genetic code!
(The two paragraphs above are adapted from Genetic Basics published at genealogy.about.com/genetics)
Your DNA molecules are coiled around proteins into tiny structures called chromosomes. Humans have 23 pairs of chromosomes. One chromosome in each pair is inherited from your mother, and the other from your father. Twenty-two of these pairs are the same for boys and girls. But the 23rd pair is the one which differentiates males and females.
And this is just the beginning of what makes you - you. There's a whole invisible part of you. The Bible tells us that you have a nefesh - a living soul, made in God's image and likeness! Whoa! Saint Edith Stein, one of the most brilliant women in history - a philosopher, psychologist, university professor, author and Carmelite nun explained how your body (those 100 trillion cells, DNA and chromosomes, your Genome) follows the soul. Your soul is created first and your body follows - whoa! That's amazing! If your body is unique, your soul is unique: There's just nobody just like you!
And you know what? You've been you since your conception. You are unique and indispensable from the moment God breathed your soul into existence and your body followed.
We learn all this from Mary's Immaculate Conception: Mary was made unique and unrepeatable to bear God into the world. You were made unique and unrepeatable to bear God's image in the world. There are no accidental babies and no throw away people. You and everyone else, are unique and irreplaceable!
+ Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us.
Fr. Paul Schenck, a Priest of the Diocese of Harrisburg, PA., is the founding Director of the National Pro-Life Center (NPLC) on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC. The Center gives the Justices of the Supreme Court, their high level staff, members of the federal judiciary, members of the US Senate and other public policy makers the information, education and inspiration they need to better form their consciences so they will make better decisions. He is a Champion of the Pro-Life movement.
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