REFLECTION/HOMILY FOR THE MEMORIAL OF THE IMMACULATE HEART OF MARY

THE TRANSFORMATIVE HEART OF A MOTHER THAT LEADS US TO HER SON

First Reading: Isaiah 61:9-11
Responsorial Psalm: 1 Samuel 2:1,4-8 
Gospel Reading: Luke 2:41-51
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In the vast landscape of Christian history, few hearts have captivated the imagination and stirred the souls of believers. Among these hearts are the Sacred Heart of Jesus (which was celebrated yesterday) and the Immaculate Heart of Mary. The Heart of Mary is called the “Immaculate Heart” because it represents her sinlessness and purity. The title “Immaculate” refers to the unique privilege bestowed upon Mary by God, which preserved her from the stain of original sin from the moment of her conception. Mary’s Immaculate Conception ensured that her heart remained free from the effects of sin, allowing her to fully respond to God’s grace and to carry within her the perfect love and devotion to God. Thus, the Immaculate Heart of Mary symbolizes her profound holiness, her complete openness to God’s will, and her intimate union with Him. It is a heart that is free from any attachment to sin or selfishness, a heart that is pure and receptive to the promptings of the Holy Spirit. Mary’s Immaculate Heart reflects her unwavering faith, her profound humility, and her perfect love for God and humanity. This title holds great significance because it emphasizes Mary’s unique role in salvation history and her close association with her Son, Jesus Christ. As the Mother of God, Mary played an essential part in God’s plan for the redemption of humanity. Her Immaculate Heart represents her total self-giving, her complete surrender to God’s will, and her unwavering trust in His providence. This is what we celebrate today.

The origins of the devotion to the Immaculate Heart of Mary can be traced back to the early centuries of Christianity. However, it was in the 17th century that the devotion began to gain more prominence. It was during this time that several mystics and saints, such as St. John Eudes and St. Margaret Mary Alacoque, played a pivotal role in spreading the devotion and fostering a deeper understanding of the Immaculate Heart. St. John Eudes, in particular, emphasized the Immaculate Heart of Mary as a source of maternal love and mercy, inviting believers to seek her intercession and entrust themselves to her care. St. Margaret Mary Alacoque, through her mystical experiences, received messages and visions from the Sacred Heart of Jesus, which also highlighted the significance of devotion to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. Over the centuries, the devotion to the Immaculate Heart of Mary has continued to grow in popularity and significance. It has been officially recognized and encouraged by the Church, with various popes promoting the consecration of individuals, families, and even nations to the Immaculate Heart. The devotion has also been closely associated with the apparitions of Our Lady of Fatima in the early 20th century, where Our Lady specifically asked for the consecration of Russia to her Immaculate Heart.

Dear friends, today’s feast holds immense importance as it invites us to reflect on the virtues and qualities of Mary’s heart. In the first reading from Isaiah (61:9-11), we are reminded of the rejoicing and gladness that the Lord’s servant will experience. This reading speaks to the joy and exultation that is found in the Immaculate Heart of Mary, as she responded with complete surrender and humility to God’s plan of salvation. The responsorial psalm (cf. 1 Samuel 2:1) further praises the Lord and acknowledges His power and authority. It echoes the sentiments of Mary’s Magnificat, where she proclaims the greatness of God and rejoices in His favor. This psalm invites us to recognize the role of Mary’s Immaculate Heart in magnifying the Lord’s glory and proclaiming His goodness. Similarly, the Gospel reading from Luke (2:41-51) recounts the episode of the finding of Jesus in the temple. It showcases Mary’s motherly love and concern for her Son, as well as her profound faith and obedience. This passage exemplifies the Immaculate Heart of Mary as a heart filled with love, trust, and fidelity to God’s will; as Luke puts it at the end of the reading: “His mother stored up all these things in her heart.”

Therefore, the celebration of the Immaculate Heart of Mary reminds us of the importance of embracing the Blessed Virgin Mary as our spiritual mother and seeking her intercession. It calls us to imitate her virtues of humility, purity, and obedience. Just as Mary’s heart was united with the heart of Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, so too are we called to unite our hearts with hers and grow in holiness, because hers is a heart that bears witness to the beauty of faith, the power of surrender, and the depth of love. The heart of the Blessed Mother stands as a testament to the profound mysteries of divine grace and the extraordinary role she played in the story of salvation. It is a heart that carried within it the weight of divine promise, the joys and sorrows of motherhood, and an unwavering commitment to the will of God. The heart of the Virgin Mary invites us to enter into the sacred chamber of her love, to be transformed by her example of humility, obedience, and unwavering trust. As we contemplate the heart of the Blessed Virgin Mary, we are drawn into a profound encounter with the boundless mercy and tender compassion that flowed through her. It is a heart that beats with an unbreakable bond to the heart of her Son, Jesus Christ, and a heart that continues to intercede for us, guiding us toward the eternal embrace of her Son’s love.

Above all, dear friends, as we celebrate and contemplate on the virtues and love found in the Immaculate Heart of the Blessed Virgin Mary today, we are invited to draw closer to Our Lady, seeking her guidance and intercession, make reparation for the offenses committed against her Immaculate Heart by wicked and ignorant souls, and allowing her Immaculate Heart to lead us to the Heart of her Son, Jesus Christ, bearing in mind that “in the end, her Immaculate Heart will triumph.”

(CLICK HERE FOR THE NEXT DAY’S REFLECTION: REFLECTION/HOMILY FOR THE ELEVENTH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME)

Shalom!
© By Fr. Chinaka Justin Mbaeri, OSJ
Paroquia Nossa Senhora de Loreto, Vila Medeiros, São Paulo.
nozickcjoe@gmail.com / fadacjay@gmail.com
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PS: Have you prayed your Rosary today?

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Chinaka Justin Mbaeri

A staunch Roman Catholic and an Apologist of the Christian faith. More about him here.

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Linda John Ojeyokan
Linda John Ojeyokan
10 months ago

Immaculate Heart of Mary, Pray for us.
Amen!!!

Phyllis Joseph Nweke
Phyllis Joseph Nweke
10 months ago

Amen!!!

Angela Uso
Angela Uso
10 months ago

Amen

Emeka Alu
Emeka Alu
10 months ago

Amen

Lawrence Okonofua
Lawrence Okonofua
10 months ago

To your maternal intercession we entrust ourselves and our family and all whom it has pleased God to put on our Salfivic train.

Stella Ogbakpah
Stella Ogbakpah
10 months ago

Immaculate heart of Mary, pray for us. Amen.

Nwabude Nwamaka
Nwabude Nwamaka
10 months ago

Amen.

Nneka
Nneka
10 months ago

Through Mary we succeed Amen . Thanks Padre

Olamide
Olamide
6 months ago

My Guardian Angel
Pray for me

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