Saturday 17 June 2023 The Immaculate Heart of Mary Week 10 in Ordinary Time
2 Corinthians 5:14-21
The love of Christ overwhelms us when we reflect that if one man has died for all, then all men should be dead; and the reason he died for all was so that living men should live no longer for themselves, but for him who died and was raised to life for them.
From now onwards, therefore, we do not judge anyone by the standards of the flesh. Even if we did once know Christ in the flesh, that is not how we know him now. And for anyone who is in Christ, there is a new creation; the old creation has gone, and now the new one is here. It is all God’s work. It was God who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the work of handing on this reconciliation. In other words, God in Christ was reconciling the world to himself, not holding men’s faults against them, and he has entrusted to us the news that they are reconciled. So we are ambassadors for Christ; it is as though God were appealing through us, and the appeal that we make in Christ’s name is: be reconciled to God. For our sake God made the sinless one into sin, so that in him we might become the goodness of God.
Psalm 102 The Lord is compassion and love, slow to anger and rich in mercy.
Every year the parents of Jesus used to go to Jerusalem for the feast of the Passover. When he was twelve years old, they went up for the feast as usual. When they were on their way home after the feast, the boy Jesus stayed behind in Jerusalem without his parents knowing it. They assumed he was with the caravan, and it was only after a day’s journey that they went to look for him among their relations and acquaintances. When they failed to find him they went back to Jerusalem looking for him everywhere.
Three days later, they found him in the Temple, sitting among the doctors, listening to them, and asking them questions; and all those who heard him were astounded at his intelligence and his replies. They were overcome when they saw him, and his mother said to him, ‘My child, why have you done this to us? See how worried your father and I have been, looking for you.’
‘Why were you looking for me?’ he replied. ‘Did you not know that I must be busy with my Father’s affairs?’ But they did not understand what he meant.
He then went down with them and came to Nazareth and lived under their authority. His mother stored up all these things in her heart.
Today, we celebrate the Immaculate Heart of Mary. Immaculate means a spotless, clean, pure, ordered heart, full of God, willing to listen to God and obey God. Mary’s heart may be spotless but she is one with us. Her heart is untouched and unbroken but like us she knows suffering and grief.
In the Bible’s language, the heart refers to the persons, deepest essence, we are all thoughts, words, and deeds, emanate from. We can imagine what emanates from Mary’s heart? Faith, obedience, tenderness, availability, service, fortitude, humility, simplicity, gratitude, and countless other virtues.
His mother stored up all these things in her heart. Mary’s Heart is the place of contemplation. A place of gazing upon God and the wonders that God has done for her. She sees the ways in which God works among us. God is always present, always moving, always loving his people.
In contemplation, all hearts are connected. In her heart is Jesus’ heart. Their hearts are “oned” to each other. Just as a mother can often sense what is happening in her child, so too Mary must sense and know what is happening in the heart of Jesus, her son.
FAs she knows the heart of Jesus; she must know and see in his heart the heart of the Father. As we are reminded in the Gospel of John, Jesus says, ” to have seen me is to have seen the Father for the Father and I are one.”
The first reading, reminds us, “The love of Christ overwhelms us when we reflect that if one man has died for all”. We can imagine how overwhelmed was the heart of Mary, when she came to recognize the depths of God‘s love for us. The psalmist says, “The Lord is compassion and love, slow to anger and rich in mercy.” How awesome is that.