Feast of the Immaculate Heart of the Blessed Virgin Mary
Luke 2: 41-51
Now every year his parents went to Jerusalem for the festival of the Passover. And when he was twelve years old, they went up as usual for the festival. When the festival was ended and they started to return, the boy Jesus stayed behind in Jerusalem, but his parents did not know it. Assuming that he was in the group of travelers, they went a day’s journey. Then they started to look for him among their relatives and friends.When they did not find him, they returned to Jerusalem to search for him.
After three days they found him in the temple, sitting among the teachers, listening to them and asking them questions. And all who heard him were amazed at his understanding and his answers.When his parents saw him they were astonished; and his mother said to him, “Child, why have you treated us like this? Look, your father and I have been searching for you in great anxiety.” He said to them, “Why were you searching 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. Then he went down with them and came to Nazareth, and was obedient to them. His mother treasured all these things in her heart.
New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved (http://www.usccb.org/bible/approved-translations/
Four Hearts Beat as One
It is natural that the feast in honor the Sacred Heart of Jesus should be followed by a feast in honor of His Mother’s Immaculate Heart. For without that Immaculate Heart, there would have been no Sacred Heart. The Son of God from all eternity would have existed, it’s true, but He could not have taken flesh and become human without Mary’s acceptance of God’s will into her Heart.
In honoring the Heart of Mary we commit ourselves to having hearts like hers. That means hearts which are free of sin, free of any obstacle to God’s grace, pure and totally committed to the will of the Father. It also means having hearts which ponder the events of Jesus’ life, keeping “all these things” in our hearts as today’s Gospel (Luke 2: 41-51) says Mary kept them in hers.
In the “Spiritual Exercises,” whenever there is a particularly important grace that St. Ignatius wants us to pray for, he invites us to use a Triple Colloquy or intimate, heart-to-heart conversation. He explains: “The first colloquy will be with our Blessed Lady, that she may Mother and ours, we go to Jesus Himself and ask for the grace. Thirdly, we go, as it were, with the Mother and the Son, to the Father and ask for the grace. Such conversations–with the Mother whose Heart was completely open to the will of the Father and with the Son who was obedient unto death to the will of the Father–will prepare us to approach God the Father with the same desires of the Sacred and the Immaculate Hearts. As their two Hearts which, in the words of the musical group U-2’s song, “beat as one,” so will our hearts beat in unison with their Hearts’ complete surrender to the will of God.
—Fr. James Kubicki, S.J.
Lord, the anxiety your Mother experienced when you remained in the temple and did not follow your parents home, gives us a deep sense of comeraderie with Mary. She knows the worry of a parent and, more importantly, she accompanies us through the highs and lows of raising children, through the years of mentoring our grandchildren, and in our outreach to children searching to belong. As much as we love the young people in our lives, your love is even more abundant than our own love. We pray that you bring people into our lives who can support our childrens’ journey, and we ask that you provide us with the wisdom to know when to hold on and when to let go.
—The Jesuit Prayer Team
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