Is 61:9-11/1Sm 2:1, 4-5, 6-7, 8; Lk 2:41-51
We celebrate today the Immaculate Heart of Mary. For your information, the Feast of the Immaculate Heart of Mary follows the day of the Solemnity of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus which was yesterday. Both devotions are closely linked with each other because “Mary’s role in the Church is inseparable from her union with Christ and flows directly from it….This union of the mother with the Son in the work of salvation is made manifest from the time of Christ’s virginal conception up to his death,” (CCC nos. 964, 1172).
Historically, this devotion to the Immaculate Heart of Mary grew up in parallel, but at a lesser intensity than that of devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, only starting to become more prominent during the time of St John Eudes. John Eudes was born in 1601 in Normandy, France. He died on August 19, 1680 and was canonized by Pope Pius XI on May 31, 1925.
The main difference between the devotions to the Two Hearts of Jesus and Mary is that the Sacred Heart of Jesus emphasizes His divine heart as being full of love for humankind, while devotion to Mary’s Immaculate Heart is essentially concerned with the love that her heart has for Jesus, our God and Savior. Therefore, Mary’s heart is meant to be a model for the way we should love God. She is the only human person who is able to fully and really love God in the way that He should be loved since her heart is immaculate which means sinless. It is because if Mary did not respond generously with a loving “yes” to God’s proposal of being the Mother of his Son, then we would not have had a Savior and we would not be saved. For us, our daily mantra should be also: “Thy will be done.”
Honoring Mary’s Immaculate Heart is our way of honoring her as being chosen to be the Mother of God, recognizing her extraordinary holiness, called to share in and co-operate in His redemptive sufferings, and the immense love she bestowed on Jesus as His mother.
When we talk about consecration to the Immaculate Heart of Mary, during second world war Pope Pius XII put the whole world under the special protection of our Savior’s Mother Mary by consecrating it to her Immaculate Heart, and in 1944 the Pope decreed that in the future the whole Church should celebrate the feast of the Immaculate Heart of Mary.
Today’s gospel is about the finding of Jesus in the temple. When Mary and Joseph find him, Mary says to Him: “Son, why have you done this to us?” (Lk 2:48). When Jesus answers her that He must be in his Father’s house, Mary does not just remember things; she ponders over the events and experiences in her life. And as she ponders, the mystery of God is slowly revealed to her, the will of God is slowly made known to her.
Therefore, the Feast of the Immaculate Heart of Mary invites us to have a contemplative heart. It is only with a contemplative heart, one priest says in his homily, that we can recall our past in retrospection and see the hand of God in our personal history. It is with a contemplative heart that we become more aware of the presence of God in the present, and that will deepen our hope and confidence in God to journey into the future.
In addition, what kind of heart do you have? Do you have a stony heart, a wooden heart, or perhaps a plastic heart? Another question is: What are the sins in your heart? There is no real peace in your heart as long as you hold in it the following sins of the heart: H – Hatred; E – Envy; A – Anger; R – Resentment; T – Timidity.
And let us reflect these words from the Book of Psalms: “Probe me, O God, and know my heart; try me and know my thoughts,” (Ps. 139:23).
See Today’s Readings: Memorial of the Immaculate Heart of the Blessed Virgin Mary
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