I got rocked at Mass this morning while celebrating the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception. For the first time, God revealed to me that Jesus died on the cross for His Mother.
I thought Mary never sinned. Why would she need her Son Jesus to save her?
Let me explain.
“The most Blessed Virgin Mary was, from the first moment of her conception, by a singular grace and privilege of almighty God and by virtue of the merits of Jesus Christ, Savior of the human race, preserved immune from all stain of original sin.” (CCC 491)
Seriously. Let me explain.
Jesus Saves Mary
If you went to Mass today for the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception you would have heard the word “prevenient” in the prayer over the gifts.
Don’t worry I had to look it up too. Prevenient means preceding in time or order. Mary, the Immaculate Conception, was preserved from sin ahead of time. We receive grace and mercy from God even after we sin. Mary, by a unique grace, was preserved from sin by the grace of Jesus’ death and resurrection but ahead of time. God gave her this singular grace so she could be the perfect vessel to bring Jesus into the world.
Mary is saved from sin ahead of time through her Son Jesus – the child saved the parent!
“Just as through one transgression condemnation came upon all, so through one righteous act acquittal and life came to all. For just as through the disobedience of one person the many were made sinners, so through the obedience of one the many will be made righteous” (Romans 5:18-19).
Adam and Eve’s Children Save Them
Through the disobedience of Adam and Eve, sin entered the world. And in contrast, through Jesus and Mary’s obedience, salvation was won for the world. Since we’re all Adam and Eve’s descendants — their children — including Mary and Jesus, this is another example of when the children saved the parents.
Whether your parents are perfect like Mary or struggle like Adam and Eve, or more likely are somewhere in-between, God wants to use you, their child, to help Him save them.
You can inspire your parents
Children are capable of bringing out the best in parents. Sometimes adults (like all of us) can get lazy in their faith. We lack dedication to prayer and can even fall away from the Catholic Church. Then a baby comes along and parents are back in their parish and asking for Baptism. Just by being conceived and born you have already inspired your parents to be good examples for you.
However, there are also a lot of things that can cause a family to stop trusting in God and walk away from the Church. Maybe it’s the death of a loved one, or a serious illness, or the loss of a job, or just drifting away over time. It’s in these times of trial that the truth, goodness, and beauty of the Catholic faith can become hidden by a refusal to see meaning in suffering.
Whatever path your family has taken, what’s so awesome is that right now you are searching for God and pursuing a relationship with Him.
Jesus, the Son, died on the cross for Mary, His mother. The child helped to save the parent. Here is the good news for you. You can help God save your parents. Now hold on, don’t get a messiah complex here… We can’t forget that it’s God who accomplishes all the work of salvation, but He is so humble that He invites you to help.
What You Can Do
If your family is alive and active in their faith, sharing what you’ve learned about your faith will help your parents continue to grow. Tell them about any encounter you’ve had with God, or even talk to them about the struggles of your faith. It will bring them great joy to see how the good news of Jesus Christ is taking root in you.
If your family isn’t very active in their faith, and they don’t go to mass, that’s all the more reason to share your faith with them! Pray for your family. Look for the best opportunity to invite them back to Mass and closer to Christ.
I have seen it happen time and time again. Parents come to faith because of their children. Parents get involved at church because of their children. Never underestimate the power of the Holy Spirit working through you to draw your family closer to Christ.
Do not be afraid to share your faith at home. Imagine the joy you will have in heaven as you can see clearly the positive influence you had on your parents.
Jesus died on the cross to save His Mother. God can choose to save parents through their children. Are you willing to be His instrument of grace in your home?
Fr. Steve Flynn
Follow me @frsteveflynn