This week we celebrate the feast of the Immaculate Conception, a doctrine promulgated in 1854, which teaches that Mary was conceived without original sin. This is a sin not committed by us but passed on to us. It teaches not only about Mary, but also about the brokenness of the world we live in.
There’s no doubt that we live in a broken world. But there is hope. The example of Mary in today’s feast shows us that this does not have to be way things are, that we are called to reclaim the gift of goodness given to us at our creation.
I think that this celebration of Mary helps us to understand that our starting point for looking at our life should not be original sin, but original goodness—that we are made in the image and likeness of God, and that we are good and loved by God, as the Bible teaches. I think that we are more like Mary than we realize.
Our life’s journey is to reclaim that original goodness we have from being made in the image and likeness of God. Mary shows us that it is possible to live out our original goodness. In my photography I try to capture the goodness of things, whether in nature or human-made. All creation is ultimately a reflection of the goodness of God.
“Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord. May it be done to me according to your word.” (Luke 1:38)