In the middle of the Advent season, the Catholic Church celebrates a feast on which an important aspect of Christmas shows up. It is a feast that many people have little or nothing to do with:
the feast of Mary, the mother of God, conceived without original sin. If we have the dogma that Mary was conceived without original sin in view of Christ, translate it into our reality, then it is said that we too are without original sin in view of Christ. Where Christ is in us sin has no power. In the inner space within us where Christ dwells, sin and guilt have no entry; there sin is disempowered. In Mary we meditate on our own being, the mystery of our redemption through Jesus Christ. Just as we in Mary are pure people celebrate who is without intrigue and side intentions, who gets involved in God without ulterior motives, so we also believe that there is something pure and holy in us, is something Immaculate and intact. We shouldn’t feel like sinners all the time, but rather as people who God has transformed in Jesus Christ. It is an optimistic feast that the Church is celebrating. It corresponds to the shine of Christmas that goes out. It lets the light of Christmas into our brokenness to shine. Often enough, we don’t see ourselves as loud and flawless. Even if we do something good if we have secondary intentions, we want to be well received by others, we want to be seen. We know our tendency to present ourselves better than we are. Even in our Charity creeps in egotistical motives. In Mary we see the secret of our own salvation. In us there are not only defilements and falsifications, there is also a core in us pure and holy, something that is not infected by guilt and sin. The holy reading from the letter to the Ephesians expresses it in this way: “In Christ God chose us before the creation of the World, so that we may live holy and blameless (Immaculate) before God ”(Eph 1,4). Where Christ is in is us, we are flawless. Even if we know about our lies and deceitful tricks, so we can trust that something in us is very pure and holy. There is something in us healed, is completely permeable to God’s love. Where Christ is in us, our Feelings have no admission to guilt with which we often enough tear ourselves. There they have Self-devaluation and self-accusation no chance to occur. There we are in Harmony with ourselves. … And where Christ is born in us, sin has no entrance, we are clean and holy.
P. Anselm Grün (OSB)