Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Homily for the Immaculate Conception "The Apple Doesn't Fall Far From the Tree."

The Apple Doesn’t Fall Far From the Tree

You’ve probably heard the phrases:

“The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree”

The idea is that we basically become our parents for good or for bad. Think about all the things about you that you have inherited from your parents: your looks, the color of your eyes and hair, your weight, your predisposition to a condition like heart disease or high blood pressure. And then on top of the physical think about the behaviors you’ve inherited, your personality, or your sense of humor, your impatience or your anger.

We spend our entire lives sorting through this, trying to nurture the good they have given to us and minimize the less than good qualities. We are more like our parents then we realize.

Now throw sin into the mix and it all becomes even a greater mystery. Sin is something that we are born into and can be traced to our original parents, Adam and Eve. The man called his wife Eve, because she became the mother of all the living.” Gen. 3:20

The idea is that over all these generations, along with our physical, emotional, and personality characteristics, we have also inherited the characteristic of sin. Think about the child who is raised in an alcoholic abusive home. He is going to have a rough life; he is going to struggle with a lot of sin. It’s not his fault, but it’s the reality of the sin of his parents. Think of an infant in the womb whose mother is on drugs, that child is going to experience the consequence of her sin. You can see it run deeply down the family line. I’ve witnessed it in families who have experienced sexual abuse or families that struggle with depression or addictions.

While it is true that “The Apple Doesn’t Fall Far From the Tree.” Something about the tree has radically changed with the Immaculate Conception. The catechism states that: 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. #491

By God’s grace Mary was freed from this lineage of bondage. God spared Mary from the repeated inheritance of sin that has been passed down from generation to generation. The chain that had kept mankind in slavery was broken at the moment of Mary’s conception in her mother’s womb. No longer would it be simply “like mother, like daughter.” From this moment on Mary inherited only the good and none of the sin. How does all this work and why, I am not sure. But I do acknowledge what a blessing this is that God began in Mary to free us all from the bondage of sin. That grace allowed Mary to bear the savior. That grace of freedom from original sin allowed her to give a full and total yes to brining Jesus into the world. God’s choosing Mary to be holy and without sin from the moment of her conception has been a part of God’s plan for our freedom from sin.

“God the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ… has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavens, as he chose us in him, before the foundation of the world, to be holy and without blemish before him. In love he destined us for adoption to himself through Jesus Christ”. Ephesians 1:3-6

Because we have been destined for adoption to the Father in heaven we are freed from the inheritance of sin from our human parents. Through our baptism in Christ we have become sons and daughters of our Father.

And so the phrase rings true, “The Apple Doesn’t Fall Far From the tree.” We, through the providence of God in the Immaculate Conception of our Mother Mary, are so much like our Father, a “Chip off the old Block”, “Like Father like Son.” We have been adopted by God the Father and inherit all of His qualities as children of God.

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