The memorial of the Immaculate Heart of Mary is celebrated a day after the Solemnity of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. This twin celebration points to the close relationship between the mother and the Son. The secret of Mary’s faithful collaboration with Jesus’ work of salvation is outlined in the Gospel: her pondering heart.
Several times the Gospel narratives highlight the movements of Mary’s heart. She meditated on the events of the nativity in her heart (Lk 2:19); when she and Joseph presented Jesus in the temple, Simeon prophesied that a sword of sorrow would pierce her heart (Lk 2:35); on finding Jesus in the temple, Mary kept the meaning of this instance in her heart (Lk 2:51).
Mary was faithful to Jesus to the end. The image of her sorrowfully beholding her Son on the cross has always struck us deeply. Through her identification of mind and heart with the crucified Jesus, Mary, as it were, effectively died with him. Mary’s closeness to Jesus does not only come from her being a mother but most of all from her being a faithful disciple to her own Son.
GOSPEL • LUKE 2:41-51
Each year Jesus’ parents went to Jerusalem for the feast of Passover, and when he was twelve years old, they went up according to festival custom. After they had completed its days, as they were returning, the boy Jesus remained behind in Jerusalem, but his parents did not know it. Thinking that he was in the caravan, they journeyed for a day and looked for him among their relatives and acquaintances, but not finding him, they returned to Jerusalem to look for him. After three days they found him in the temple, sitting in the midst of the teachers, listening to them and asking them questions, and all who heard him were astounded at his understanding and his answers. When his parents saw him, they were astonished, and his mother said to him, “Son, why have you done this to us? Your father and I have been looking for you with great anxiety.” And he said to them, “Why were you looking 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. He went down with them and came to Nazareth, and was obedient to them; and his mother kept all these things in her heart.
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