The Immaculate Heart of Mary is Our Hope


       

The celebration in honor of the Immaculate Heart of Mary is closely linked to the solemnity of the Sacred Heart, which it follows by one day. This is not by accident. When we honor the Sacred Heart of Jesus we simply celebrate our Lord’s great love which he showed by dying for us and which he continues to give us day after day. Mary was close to her Son, not only because she was his Mother but because she loves everyone for whom her Son lived, died, and rose from the dead. Her heart is large enough to include us all in her love. She is with us in our sorrows and joys.

In order that there be devotion to the heart of Mary, our attention and homage must acknowledge all that her heart suggests. Her heart is the symbol and living reminder of Mary’s interior life, her joys and sorrows, her virtues and her hidden perfections. Above all, we venerate her virginal love for God, her maternal love for her divine Son, and her motherly and compassionate love for us all.

What seems to attract us above all else is the love in Mary’s heart for Jesus and for God. She kept all the sayings and doings of Jesus in her heart, so that she might ponder upon them and live by them. Thus the object of our devotion is to love God and Jesus better, by uniting ourselves to Mary for this purpose and by imitating her virtues, in our devotion to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.

For some people, today’s Gospel might seem a bit strange. How could Mary and Joseph travel for three days before realizing that Jesus was missing? And, why would Jesus subject His parents to such seemingly preventable distress? It certainly wasn’t that Mary and Joseph were irresponsible or negligent parents or even that Jesus was inconsiderate and deliberately caused His parents to worry, but that misunderstandings, even among holy people, can occur and need to be dealt with. The Holy Family teaches us how. Respectfully state your position and feelings, and then resume the behavior proper to your state. Parents, deal lovingly with the authority given to you by God. Children, be respectful and obedient to your parents, as the law demands.

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