Immaculate Conception of Mary 2021

PERSPECTIVE - Cherry Piquero Ballescas - The Freeman

Yesterday, December 8, we celebrated the Feast of the Immaculate Conception of Mama Mary, the Patroness of our country.

On December 8, 1854, Pope Pius IX issued a Papal encyclical, INEFFABILIS DEUS, which proclaimed that "from the first moment of her conception, the Blessed Virgin Mary was, by the singular grace and privilege of Almighty God, and in view of the merits of Jesus Christ, Savior of Mankind, kept free from all stain of original sin."

This Feast Day refers to “the conception of Mary in the womb of her mother, St. Anne” and believers are reminded in Luke 1:26-28 that:

“In the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God to a city of Galilee named Nazareth, to a virgin betrothed to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David; and the virgin’s name was Mary. And he came to her and said, “Hail, full of grace, the Lord is with you!”

Angel Gabriel reassures a troubled Mama Mary and reiterates that Mama Mary is God’s favored one in Luke 1: 29-31:

“But she was greatly troubled at the saying, and considered in her mind what sort of greeting this might be. And the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God.  And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus.”

In 1858, the Blessed Mother gave her name to St. Bernadette at Lourdes stating, "I am the Immaculate Conception."

As this year’s celebration comes within the campaign period, daily, the Prayer for 2022 elections ends calling for her intercession:

“ Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception, Patroness of the Philippines, pray for us.“

At the rate many politicians are flaunting their power, their wealth, their “greatness” during the campaign, there is really a need to ask Mama Mary to intercede for us to God to send the Holy Spirit to “fill our minds and hearts that we may see clearly the needs of our people and what candidates offer and their ability to deliver; choose rightly the leaders who will truly lead and serve, leaders after God’s own heart and spirit; and leaders who will unite and lead us to do what is for the greater good, and what is for God’s greater glory.”

The lures of campaign money and goods may very likely blind many Filipino voters to elect candidates more interested in their own personal agenda rather than the good of our people, rather than God’s glory.

Our nation urgently needs to rally behind a spiritual battle with God leading the campaign and election and with Mama Mary interceding for us to God.

Let our prayer be from now till May 2022: for God and His servant-leaders to come out the true victors, if this be His will.

We reiterate: although divided in our political choices, shall we pray together as one for God to guide us to choose His servant-leaders, for God to clearly open the eyes/hearts of all voters to discern and follow His will for our nation?

May Psalm 85:9-14 come true for our country and our people where “our God will come to save us! Where God proclaims peace to us, his people.”

“May His salvation be near to those who fear him, with glory dwelling in our land, where kindness and truth shall meet; justice and peace shall kiss, where Truth shall spring out of the earth, and justice shall look down from heaven.”

“And where the Lord Himself will give His benefits; our land shall yield its increase. And where justice shall walk before him, and salvation, along the way of his steps. “

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