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CHAPTER XV New Addition INCARNATION PART 1 Since I have distributed this book, some readers have brought to my attention that I should include more on the Virgin Mary and why Catholics refer to her as the Immaculate Conception. To begin this very sensitive subject, perhaps I should begin with Adam and Eve. When God created them, he did so in his image and they were in the fullness of grace, without sin. We all know the story of the fall of Adam and Eve, how they fell into sin, they were removed from the Garden of Eden and they eventually would die. Adam represented all mankind and he failed, of course, with the help of Eve. God held Adam responsible and they were no longer in the state of grace. From that Day, onward, mankind would be in need of a Redeemer. Jesus, sent by the Father came down from heaven as a baby born to a Virgin to redeem the world. He would, by His dying, destroy death; and in His rising, restore life. Jesus came to ‘undo’ what the first Adam did. Reference to this: (1 Corinthians 15:20-45) I also need to mention here the Immaculate Conception. I will write more further below, but to bring to mind that we hear this terminology about it and we question it. What does it mean? Many do not understand what the Immaculate Conception is and they get it confused with the Incarnation. The Immaculate Conception is not the conception of Jesus. His conception is called the INCARNATION. Following is the Catholic definition for the INCARNATION According to Catholic Dictionary ********************************************************* The union of the divine nature of the Son of God with human nature in the person of Jesus Christ. The Son of God assumed our flesh, body, and soul, and dwelled among us like one of us in order to redeem us. His divine nature was substantially united to our human nature. Formerly the Feast of the Annunciation was called the Feast of the Incarnation. In the Eastern Churches the mystery is commemorated by a special feast on December 26. (In Latin incarnato; From in-, in + caro, flesh: incarnare, to make flesh.)* ************************************************ Scripture that relates to Jesus as the new Adam 1 Corinthians 15:22-45. *Catholic Dictionary by John A.Hardon,S.J. Following is the Catholic definition for the IMMACULATE CONCEPTION According to Catholic Dictionary Part 2 *************************************** Title of the Blessed Virgin as sinless from her first moment of existence. In the words of Pope Pius IX’s solemn definition, made in 1854, “The most holy Virgin Mary was, in the first moment of her conception, by a unique gift of grace and privilege of almighty God, in view of the merits of Jesus Christ the Redeemer of mankind, preserved free from all stain of original sin.” This means that since the first moment of her human existence the mother of Jesus was preserved from the common defect of estrangement from God, which humanity in general inherits through the sin of Adam. Her freedom from sin was an unmerited gift of God or special grace, and an exception to the law; or privilege, which no other created person has received. Neither the Greek nor Latin Fathers explicitly taught the Immaculate Conception, but they professed it implicitly in two fundamental ways. Mary, they said, was most perfect in purity of morals and holiness of life. St. Ephrem (c.306-73) addressed Christ and Mary with the words “You and Your mother are the only ones who are totally beautiful in every way. For in You, O Lord, there is on stain, and in Your mother no stain.” Mary was described as the antithesis of Eve. Again in Ephrem, “Mary and Eve [were] two people without guilt. Later one became the cause of our death, the other cause of our life.” While implicit in the early writers, the Immaculate Conception had to be clarified before becoming explicit dogma. Main credit for this goes to the Franciscan John Duns Scotus (c.1264-1308), who introduced the idea of pre-redemption in order to reconcile Mary’s freedom from original sin with her conception before the coming of Christ. (Etym. Latin im-, not + maculare, to stain.)* ***************************************************************** End of Dictionary Explanation *Catholic Dictionary by John A.Hardon,S.J. In the Gospel of Luke it is written that the angel announces to Mary that she ‘is highly favored’. The Church refers to this state as ‘full of grace’. She was barely a teenager when the angel appeared to her and told her that she was found pleasing to God and that she would become the mother of Jesus. God found pleasure in all his creation and when he created man and woman, Adam and Eve, he created them in perfect state of grace and without sin. But then, they fell into sin and were in need of a Redeemer and in time God would send His Son, who would lay down His life and pay the price for the sins of man. Scripture says that when God set the time for His Son to come down from heaven to be born, that He would be born to a Virgin and Luke says in 1:28, that Mary was found ‘highly favored’. Without fully understanding all that the angel said to her, she gave her consent to give birth and be the mother of the Child Jesus. When Adam and Eve, our first parents, were disobedience and fell into sin, this was their downfall and the cause for them to fall from grace. Every person (except for Mary,) is born with the stain of original sin on their souls inherited from Adam and Eve. The Church believes that from the time of Mary’s Immaculate Conception that she was and always remained full of grace. She was the most perfect woman chosen to be the mother of Jesus and in, with and through Him, she is also the perfect mother to us all. She is blessed among women and all mankind. What do Eve and Mary have in common? God had gifted both of them with the fullness of grace. But, unlike Eve, who fell out of grace through her disobedience’ and was driven from the Garden of Eden. Mary, remained full of grace through her ‘obedience’ and she became as ‘the woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars.’ as it says in Revelations 12:1-2. It seems to be a clear picture and not too difficult to understand, to think of Mary as a second Eve, but this new Eve, The Virgin Mary, remained full of grace and was obedient in all things and is forever blessed. She is the Ark, the Mother and the ‘womb’ chosen to carry and bring forth Jesus. And, in and through her holiness, she truly became and is the Mother of God, our Lord Jesus Christ.