‘And His mother kept all these things in her heart’
Reflections on the readings for the Memorial of the Immaculate Heart of Mary (June 12, 2021): 2 COR 5:14-21; PS 103:1-2,3-4,9-10,11-12; LK 2:41-51
MISSIO offers “Preaching Mission,” as a homily help, providing connections to mission from the readings of Sundays, Feast Days and Holy Days.
This is a most appropriate time to recognize that Mary’s maternal heart embraces us and calls us to her so that she can bring us nearer to her Son.
On this Memorial of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, we honor the Blessed Virgin whose generous heart was filled with love and commitment to God first and always. She loved and served the Father from her own Immaculate Conception and on throughout her whole life. She loved and welcomed the Holy Spirit whose power enabled Jesus to be conceived in her. And Jesus, her own Son and the Son of God, was the focus of her existence as His Mother on earth and, ultimately, in heaven. Because of her complete dedication to God, Mary is also devoted to the well being of all His children – who are her children as well. In the 1600s, St. John Eudes, a French priest, developed a great reverence for both the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Immaculate Heart of Mary. He noted that, “After the most adorable Heart of Jesus, there is no heart in heaven or on earth which has so loved and honored God, or has rendered Him so much glory and love as the most worthy Heart of Mary, the Mother of the Savior.” This devotion spread in the Church over the next few centuries. Pope Pius XII instituted a feast for the Immaculate Heart of Mary in 1944, and in 1969 Pope Paul VI moved it to its current day, one that immediately follows the Solemnity of the Sacred Heart of Jesus.
This is a most appropriate time to recognize that Mary’s maternal heart embraces us and calls us to her so that she can bring us nearer to her Son. “Whoever is in Christ is a new creation: the old things have passed away; behold new things have come. And all this is from God, who has reconciled us to Himself through Christ” (2 Corinthians 5:17-18). Our Blessed Mother welcomes us into her own heart that is the model of loyal service and warm affection for our Lord. She also shows us how to care about and care for one another. Just as she suffered along with the sufferings that Christ accepted on our behalf, she shows us how to reach out to others and relieve their burdens as much as possible. Let us ask the Immaculate Heart of Mary to pray for us and keep us close to her.