“Do not be afraid Mary, for you have found favor with God.” Today’s feast has nothing to do with the virgin birth. Rather, it honors Mary as the only human being (outside of Jesus) who was never scarred by original sin. Like every Marian feast, today’s celebration points to God, because it was to God that Mary’s attention was always turned. And, like every Marian feast, this celebration is good news for all of us. Most of us were baptized as infants. With Mary, we came to grace as the result of God’s vast and merciful love. Mary did nothing to “earn” the honor of the Immaculate Conception. We did nothing to earn the graces of the sacrament of baptism.