Mary was the second, and last, woman born without sin. The first, of course, was Eve. In today’s first reading from the Book of Genesis, we hear what the first woman did with the freedom that God had given her.
After the man, Adam, had eaten of the tree,
the LORD God called to the man and asked him, “Where are you?”
He answered, “I heard you in the garden;
but I was afraid, because I was naked,
so I hid myself.”
Then he asked, “Who told you that you were naked?
You have eaten, then,
from the tree of which I had forbidden you to eat!”
The man replied, “The woman whom you put here with meC
she gave me fruit from the tree, and so I ate it.”
The LORD God then asked the woman,
“Why did you do such a thing?”
The woman answered, “The serpent tricked me into it, so I ate it.”
Eve decided to say no to the will of God, which was simply to obey him and reside forever in the Garden.
By contrast, Mary said yes to God despite the fact that her yes meant that she would likely be shamed, disbelieved and cast out. After her submission to his will, God softened the heart of Joseph as a comfort and help for her and Jesus.
Hail, full of grace!