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Genesis 3:9-15,20; Psalm 98; Ephesians 1:3-6,11-12; Luke 1:26-38

Less than two weeks into Mark’s year, we depart from Mark’s gospel to speak of the Annunciation, an event recorded by Luke but not by Mark. The Annunciation, though, comes many years after the Immaculate Conception we celebrate today.

Today we note Mary’s own conception in her mother’s womb, an immaculate conception that will come to fruition in exactly nine months with the celebration of the Nativity of Mary on September 8. Mary’s own immaculate conception is in preparation for a different kind of immaculate conception that will bring forth Christ, the Sun of Justice. If she is to house the Holy One of Israel during his formative months, she must be a worthy dwelling place. When the Annunciation comes, celebrated liturgically on March 25, she is ready with her unqualified “Yes” – a yes which comes to fruition in exactly nine months with the birth of Jesus on December 25.

The dates themselves are not accurate nor are they important. What matters is that human mother gave birth to human child, a child who is also child of God. And nothing has been quite the same since.