On this day we show our reverence for the Immaculate Heart of Mary...
Reflections on the readings for the Memorial of the Immaculate Heart of the Blessed Virgin Mary (June 25, 2022): LAM 2:2,10-14,18-19; PS 74:1-2,3-5,6-7,20-21; 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.
IIt reminds us of our Lord’s great blessing in giving His mother to His people and His people to her.
As we celebrate the Mass for this Memorial of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, the Gospel according to St. Luke describes the finding of the twelve-year-old Jesus in the Temple at Jerusalem. It is easy to imagine the fear and worry that consumed Mary and Joseph as they looked for Him. When they finally discover Him, His mother asks, “‘Son, why have you done this to us? Your father and I have been looking for you with great anxiety.’ And He said to them, ‘Why were you looking for Me? Did you not know that I must be in My Father’s house?’ But they did not understand what He said to them. He went down with them and came to Nazareth, and was obedient to them; and His mother kept all these things in her heart” (Luke 2:48-51). The Blessed Virgin had so much to keep in her heart. From the day of the Annunciation of Christ’s birth through His death, Resurrection, and beyond, her faith and love for God as well as her profound devotion to His will, grew. It was surely nurtured by divine grace, but her own suffering in His service united them most closely. Indeed, the first time Mary and Joseph brought Jesus to the temple for His Presentation, the holy man Simeon proclaimed Jesus the Messiah and said that a sword would pierce her. The traditional image of Mary’s Immaculate Heart shows a burning heart surrounded by flowers and pierced by a sword.
While the veneration of Mary’s heart has existed in various way since at least the Middle Ages, it was not until the mid-20th century that the Church instituted a feast day. In 1969, it was moved to the Saturday right after the Solemnity of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. Moreover, at the appearance of Our Lady of Fatima in 1917, she requested that the world be dedicated to her Immaculate Heart and several popes have done this. Recently, in March 2022, Pope Francis consecrated Russia and Ukraine to the Immaculate Heart of Mary, praying for an end to the war. The Blessed Virgin Mary, as revered through her Immaculate Heart, calls on us to model ourselves on her loving and persevering fidelity to her Son. She also asks that we serve our Lord through merciful care for our brothers and sisters.