Daily Reflection
December 8th, 2006

Howie Kalb, S.J.

Jesuit Community
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Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary
Genesis 3:9-15, 20
Psalm 98:1, 2-3ab, 3cd-4
Ephesians 1:3-6, 11-12
Luke 1:26-38

…for nothing will be impossible for God.” (Luke 1:37)

In his book, “YOUR GOD IS TOO SMALL” the author J.B. Phillips makes an air-tight case for why so many people give up their religion. He is convinced that instead of maturing in their faith and growing in the understanding of God, fallen-away people hold onto a juvenile image of God ending up with a caricature of the Almighty.

A few of these immature caricatures described in detail in his book have the captions: “Resident Policeman”, “Parental Hangover”, “Grand Old Man”, “God-in-a-Box”, “Second Hand God”, etc. In the last half of the book he demonstrates how infinite and almighty God has to be. But the atheist refuses to accept a “greater power” with the attributes of God, so they deny he exists.

There was a person who understood there had to be one responsible for the world that exists today who is Infinite, Omnipotent, Omniscient, Immutable, etc. The quiet virgin, Mary, at Nazareth had questions but little doubt in believing the message the Angel brought to her from God. No matter how impossible it seemed she believed she had been chosen to bear the Messiah, the Son of God. Her faith had grown mature and so she was able to accept that “…nothing will be impossible for God.”

On this Feast of the Immaculate Conception we profess that Mary was conceived and born without the stain of original sin. “Mother! Whose virgin bosom was uncrost with the least shade of thought to sin allied;… Our tainted nature’s solitary boast.” Never did she fail to respond to God’s love. This is more than non-believers can comprehend. And why? Because their idea of God is too small. Since whatever faith they had atrophied, no way could they acknowledge a deity who must be omnipotent and infinite in order to explain reality.

May our faith continue to mature overcoming questions and doubts when appraising the words and actions of the Almighty. Whatever Jesus said or promised has to be true. He “can neither deceive nor be deceived”. He is so infinite and omnipotent “…nothing will be impossible for God”.

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