Some may wonder why the Pope would choose the day on which we celebrate the Immaculate Conception of Mary as the day to begin the Jubilee Year. To me it makes perfect sense. After all if someone asked you where does the gospel story begin where would you pick?
Some might say that the gospel story begins with the birth of Jesus. Others might go back a bit further and say the annunciation when the angel appeared to Mary and Jesus was conceived. Others might go back six months further to the conception of John, the precursor of Jesus.
To me it makes sense to go back to the moment we celebrate today, the moment Mary was conceived. With that first miraculous step God showed his plan for the restoration and elevation of the human race. I say elevation because the plan was to raise us from mere image and likeness to true sons and daughters. He would undo the damage done by original sin. And so his first act in the forging of this new and eternal covenant would be to conceive a child without original sin, the prototype of what was to come.
And so for me it makes perfect sense that today as we celebrate that new beginning we make a new beginning of our own, the Jubilee Year of Mercy. Today as Pope Francis opens the Holy Door of St. Peter's Basilica let each of us throw open the doors of our hearts.