While I’m not attempting to delve into a theological quagmire or deep discussion, I wanted to put forward a few concise thoughts on the topic of the immaculate conception. I find it amazing that our Lord was conceived by an act of the Holy Spirit, as described in Luke 1:35.
Our Lord Jesus was perfect and could not enter into this world by two fallible people. Matthew 1:18 (NLT) describes that Mary “became pregnant through the power of the Holy Spirit” (emphasis mine). This is very significant. Jesus was and is set apart—the Alpha and the Omega—the first and last (Rev. 22:13). He is above all things and in Him all things hold together (Col. 1:17). Christ allows me to accomplish all things he wants me to do (Phil. 4:13). But I can’t do anything apart from the strength He gives me (Jn. 15:5). I need to be a branch connected to the vine in everything that I do. Christ was not born by an act of man but by an act of God. Similarly, as His followers, we have made a choice, and we are to continually choose His ways if we are going to be obedient to Him. As John 1:13 describes our relationship as children of God, those who accepted Christ are people “who were born not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.”
Christians are now, mysteriously, united with Christ! Hallelujah. Our Saviour came into this world by the will of God the Father. He rescued us from our sins, and He has the final say on the Judgment Day—to Him be the glory forever and ever! What a beautiful, precious truth that those who believe in Him will not die in their sins but have eternal life (John 3:16).
Many Catholics, I believe, wrongly exalt the mother of God above all else. My wife and I just returned from Portugal, where there is a shrine at Fátima dedicated to what thousands believe to be an apparition of her in a field. Let’s have a balanced understanding of Mary: yes, important because she carried the Son of God, but also a human being who was sinful like the rest of us.