A reflection in honor of Our Lady of Immaculate Conception
In the 1978 Superman movie, the Man of Steel arrives too late to stop Lois Lane, the woman he loves, from being hit by a boulder occasioned by a massive earthquake. The boulder crushes Lois dead even before he comes to her rescue.
Gently placing Lois’s body on the ground, he flies around the planet Earth so fast—opposite its natural spinning—that he reverses the Earth’s rotation in order to turn back time up until the point where he could buy more time to prevent the boulder from falling on Lois.
His estimation worked. She regained her life. Better yet, he prevented her from getting killed.
I am not here to argue for the plausibility of that scene. It would be a futile exercise. After all, Superman is just a mere figment of our imagination.
What is interesting is that in this novena, we are preparing ourselves to understand an event which is not just fictional. In fact, it is not just something factual for it embodies a profound truth which is bigger than life itself.
But if we think about it, its story line can surpass the literary genius behind the most enduring fairy tale or a bio-epic of a legendary hero.
The Father, who is the Divine Author, must have known this from the very start. Hence, instead of inspiring theologians to assemble a theological treatise that will explain the inexplicable, He Himself crafted a superb story, nay, a reality.
The basic plot of this history of salvation is this: In order for the Son of Man to have a foothold in a place dominated by sin, a woman free from sin has to be conceived in order to become a worthy vessel of His spotless Son.
Some might want to call it fantasy. How on earth can someone escape the grip of the devil and clutches of sin?
God did it. Not only because He had the Power. But more importantly because His love is eternal.
Our Homiletics professor conceded that if the shortest distance between two points is a straight line, the shortest distance between a truth and our hearts is, a story.
That must be the reason why we don’t only have a single account of Jesus’ life, we have four different versions of it.
That must be the reason why St. John Bosco neatly packaged his the call he received from Above to save the young souls through a story he called “Dream at nine.”
That must be the reason why we love reading the life stories of how ordinary people could readily say yes to the challenge of holiness.
I can go on and on and on. But my point is this: knowing the story of Mary should challenge us not just to tell her story.
God, who has revealed Himself to us and has made His presence so intimately felt, should lead us, like the Blessed Mother, to weave our lives into the beautiful story of God’s intervention in the history of mankind.