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    Fr. Joseph Jenkins

  • The blog header depicts an important and yet mis-understood New Testament scene, Jesus flogging the money-changers out of the temple. I selected it because the faith that gives us consolation can also make us very uncomfortable. Both Divine Mercy and Divine Justice meet in Jesus. Priests are ministers of reconciliation, but never at the cost of truth. In or out of season, we must be courageous in preaching and living out the Gospel of Life. The title of my blog is a play on words, not Flogger Priest but Blogger Priest.

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The Pastor’s/Chaplain’s Reflection: Immaculate Conception

The Mystery of our Lady as the Immaculate Conception is one that speaks to the Church about the identity of Christ and the sanctity of life. Things are not preserved from sin or forgiven, only persons. This dogma reminds us that human life and personhood begins at conception!

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Mary is preserved from sin from the very first moment of her existence in the womb of St. Ann. This honor was shown her since the All Holy One would enter our world through her. It would not be fitting that the one who is the source of holiness should be touched by sin in the womb. Therefore, our Lord comes into the world through a sinless vessel. Mary calls the Lord her Savior, not in future tense, but present. The saving work of Jesus on the Cross reached backward into human history and embraced this precious daughter of Israel. That same saving power touches us, forward in time, through faith and baptism. Mary remains the Immaculate Virgin and Mother who intercedes for her spiritual children, we who are still so caught up in their weaknesses and sins. Mary is always about bringing others to her Son.

This appreciation of Mary as the Immaculate Conception is intimately linked to another title of Mary— that she is the NEW EVE. She cooperates in a unique manner with the work of her Son. Just as sin entered the world through a man and woman; now in Jesus and Mary we have a new Adam and a new Eve who are ever faithful. Mary utterly cooperates with the grace that fills her. She never sins but as the faithful handmaid at the Annunciation, always says YES to God.

The image we venerate acknowledges this role and the symbolism in the Book of Revelation. She stamps upon the head of the ancient serpent. This past week Pope Francis consecrated the world to her Immaculate Heart. We pray for peace. We pray for the conversion of hearts and minds.

May we also consecrate ourselves as loving children of Mary— brothers and sisters to Jesus— adopted sons and daughters of our heavenly Father.

Father Joseph Jenkins