We celebrate our birthdays, but not the days on which we were conceived, for we probably don’t know those exact days. Today’s feast is a commemoration of the conception of Jesus in Mary’s womb. This first flicker of human life would eventually become the Savior of the World. Did Mary understand all that she was consenting to? Most likely not. Did she realize this was God? Most likely not. Did she truly put flesh on the invisible God so we could see him? Yes. Mary began today to prepare for us the Way, the Truth and the Life.
Jesus bestowed incredible dignity on the people of this earth by his willingness to become human. This day causes us to think of our origins: how and when we came to be. Were we wanted and planned for? Who was the first person your mother told that she was pregnant with you? In which season of the year were you conceived and what were some of the events that happened in your mother’s life when she carried you? Mary began her pregnancy with a strenuous journey to Elizabeth. There must have followed long quiet days of prayer and thought about her developing baby. Finally, there came the long trip to Bethlehem and those precious events of the first Christmas. This is an excellent day to pray the Angelus, in honor of Mary, and to offer a heartfelt prayer for our own mothers.
(source: James McKarns, “Give us this Day”, vol 3: Saints and Seasons)