FEAST OF THE IMMACULATE HEART OF MARY
DAILY HOLY MASS READINGS
Isaiah 61:9-11, 1 Samuel 2:1, 4-8, Luke 2:41-52
My Beloved, today the Church celebrates the feast of the Immaculate Heart of Your Mama, Mother of the God and Mother of the Church. We, the adopted children of God and children of Mary are known among all the nations because of what she has done in providing You with Your Body. In saying 'Yes" to the plan of God she became the instrument by which all who are grafted on to Your Body through baptism are saved. To do the will of God, was her delight and because she considered herself God's lowly little handmaid, He blessed this fair creature as no human being has been blessed.
She is privileged to enjoy the first fruits of Your redemption because through the merit won for her by You she was clothed in the garments of salvation and was born free from the stain of original sin. The Father adorned her richly with every brilliant jewel of virtue. She is the garden of the Lord in which the Eternal Word of God came into her womb as a Seed. From her has sprung the Son of Justice and Peace who redeemed the world and everything in it.
Thank You Mama!
1 Samuel 2:1, 4-8
My Beloved, when Hannah first expressed her joy in the Lord with the Magnificat it was prompted by great joy of what God had done for her as a person. She was barren, she was humiliated and though well-loved by her husband it was not enough, she longed for a child who would take away the stigma of being childless and the shame she suffered in public and in private. She pleased with God night and day with rivers of tears and great lamentation and God had pity on her and blessed with with a son whom she promptly offered in the service of the Lord as soon as he was weaned. God who cannot be outdone in generosity blessed him and Samuel became one of the greatest prophets of the time.
Mary too sang this extraordinary hymn of exultation but when she did it took on a whole new and extraordinary meaning because she was chosen by God to bring forth a Son who would not take away her shame for she was sinless but who would take away the sin of the world. He would destroy death and crush the head of evil. God invited this little virgin girl and raised her up as no human being ever was or ever will be raised.
She understood that God does not call the proud, the arrogant, the boastful, the self-sufficient, the self-willed, the self-indulgent. Rather, He chooses those who gladly and willingly embrace His will for their lives and are prepared to give up everything for Him ever their lives. And again, God in turn who cannot be outdone in generosity gives in full and measure, brimful, shaken together and running over. This is why the Church offers Mary the most extravagant praises because the more we praise the more we praise God for it was He who fashioned this beautiful Rose of Sharon, the pure Lily of the Valley and our bright Morning Star
My Beloved, the events described here are ordinary at first glance. The day began normally, as was the custom each Mary and Joseph were going up to Jerusalem to celebrate the Feast of the Passover. This year You were to go with them since You were 12 years of age and on the threshold of Manhood. Until then life in the little home of Nazareth was uneventful. You were known as the son of Mary and Joseph the Carpenter.
After the festival and after one day of journeying back home both Mary and Joseph who had assumed You were with the other discovered that You were not. Scripture says, " The boy Jesus remained in Jerusalem and His parents did not know it. This only proves how normal Your life was until this moment of time.
One can only imagine their anguish when they discovered that You were not to be found among their relatives and friends. In sorrow they spent three days looking for You only to find You still in the Temple where it seems You had calmly stayed behind. They found You in the middle of scholarly discourse with the Teachers listening to them and asking such astute questions that they were amazed.
Again Scripture records, "His parents were very surprised." They would be since You had never displayed anything that was out of the ordinary until then. Mary's cry of anguish and reproach was as much on her behalf and of St. Joseph's. You were His boy and he suffered as much as Mary did if not more for he was aware of the great responsibility and honor God had granted him to make him guardian of the Son of God. "Son, why have You done this to us?" Your reply pierced her heart as sharply and wounded her as truly as a real sword would have done. You gave her a little taste of what was to come so she would have time to prepare herself. "Why were you looking for Me? Do you not know that I must be in my Father's house?" I am certain dear St. Joseph knew that from that moment onwards this Boy whom he had cared for, protected and nurtured was a Man and from this time on like St. John the Baptist, he too would decrease. He was God's good, faithful and just servant. Neither Mary nor Joseph understood Your response. But Scripture goes on to say that You went down with them and continued to be subject to them. As for Your Mama, she kept all these things in her heart, while You increased in wisdom, age and in divine and human favor.