The Immaculate Heart of Mary
Following upon yesterday’s feast of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, we today honor the Immaculate Heart of Mary, Mother of Jesus. What a privilege to have these two feasts in the month of June when many men and women pledge their love and their hearts to one another in the Sacrament of Matrimony. Truly these two feasts encourage all of us to share in the love of the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary.
The Gospel selection from St. Luke recalls the story of the young Jesus staying behind in Jerusalem after the feast of Passover. As they journeyed home Mary and Joseph realized that Jesus was not in the caravan with them; after a search among their relatives and acquaintances, they returned to Jerusalem and found the young Jesus in the Temple, interacting with the teachers and astounding them with his insights and questions. One can almost sense the deep emotion in Mary’s question to Jesus: “Son, why have you done this to us? Your father and I have been looking for you with great anxiety.” Jesus’ response, “…why are you worrying…” didn’t sufficiently clear up the picture for Mary and Joseph, but Jesus went home to Nazareth, was obedient to them…while Mary “kept all these things in her heart.” Definitely!
Mary’s heart is a mother’s heart. Full of love and understanding, even in the midst of the many joys and challenges and suffering of parenthood…a mystical love. A love and understanding – and courage, no doubt! – that enabled her to walk with Jesus throughout his life, to support Him even to standing at the foot of his Cross and be with him as he died on Calvary. What a loving heart!! A great example for women and men of all ages!
The mystical love in Mary’s Immaculate Heart reaches across time and space to you and I in the opportunities and challenges of the 21st Century. Whatever our vocation, wherever we live, Mary helps us truly love…our spouses and children, our neighbors, those we serve in ministry, the “least and lost” of our world – all of creation. With Mary and St. Paul, may we treasure the Life of Jesus shared with us, along with the many men and women who have helped that faith grow; may we run the race and be true evangelists in our daily lives!
Fr. John Schork, C.P. is a member of the Passionist community in Chicago, Illinois.