Friday, June 11, 2010

THE IMMACULATE HEART OF MARY


THE IMMACULATE HEART OF THE
BLESSED VIRGIN MARY MEMORIAL
(Saturday Following The Second Sunday
After Pentecost)

Information about the Immaculate Heart
of the Blessed Virgin Mary

Readings for the Memorial of the Immaculate Heart
of the Blessed Virgin Mary [1]

Readings and Commentary:
[2]

FIRST READING
Isaiah 61:9-11

Thus says the LORD:
The descendants of my people shall be renowned among the nations,
and their offspring among the peoples;
All who see them shall acknowledge them
as a race the LORD has blessed.
I rejoice heartily in the LORD,
in my God is the joy of my soul;
For he has clothed me with a robe of salvation,
and wrapped me in a mantle of justice,
Like a bridegroom adorned with a diadem,
like a bride bedecked with her jewels.
As the earth brings forth its plants,
and a garden makes its growth spring up,
So will the Lord GOD make justice and praise
spring up before all the nations.
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Commentary on
Is 61:9-11

This selection provides the last verses of “Glad Tidings to the Lowly”; one of the songs of those returning from exile. Jesus quoted from the first part of this song (not included) when he announced the messianic kingdom had come (
Luke 4:18-19). In these verses, the prophet sees the New Jerusalem coming forth as a light upon the world, bring salvation to the people and glory to God.

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RESPONSORIAL PSALM
1 Samuel 2:1, 4-5, 6-7, 8abcd

R. (see 1) My heart exults in the Lord, my Savior.

"My heart exults in the LORD,
my horn is exalted in my God.
I have swallowed up my enemies;
I rejoice in my victory."
R. My heart exults in the Lord, my Savior.

"The bows of the mighty are broken,
while the tottering gird on strength.
The well-fed hire themselves out for bread,
while the hungry batten on spoil.
The barren wife bears seven sons,
while the mother of many languishes."

R. My heart exults in the Lord, my Savior.

"The LORD puts to death and gives life;
he casts down to the nether world;
he raises up again.
The LORD makes poor and makes rich,
he humbles, and also exalts."
R. My heart exults in the Lord, my Savior.

"He raises the needy from the dust;
from the dung heap he lifts up the poor,
To seat them with nobles
and make a glorious throne their heritage."
R. My heart exults in the Lord, my Savior.
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Commentary on
1 Sm 2:1, 4-5, 6-7, 8abcd

This responsorial psalm is Hannah’s song of thanksgiving “A hymn attributed to Hannah, the mother of Samuel, as her thanksgiving to God because she has borne a son despite her previous sterility. She praises God as the helper of the weak (
1 Samuel 2:1-2), who casts down the mighty and raises up the lowly (1 Samuel 2:3-5), and who alone is the source of true strength (1 Samuel 2:8-10); the hymn ends with a prayer for the king (1 Samuel 2:10). This canticle has several points of resemblance with our Lady's Magnificat.” [3]

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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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Commentary on
Lk 2:41-51

This passage begins St. Luke's account of the presentation of Jesus in the Temple by his parents, in accordance with Jewish Law. It is significant from a number of perspectives. First the story breaks the scriptural silence regarding the “lost years” of Jesus’ growth from infancy to adulthood. This story says Jesus is twelve. That would be the time when he would have celebrated his bar miswah, after which he would have been considered a man.

St. Luke's description is at odds with the Apocryphal Gospels (such as the Gospel of St. Thomas) that attributed to Jesus many miracles during his early years. This account paints his childhood as fairly normal. The implication, based on Joseph's and Mary’s reaction, is that they, is at this point they do not completely understand their son’s mission.

CCC: Lk 2:41-52 534; Lk 2:41 583; Lk 2:46-49 583; Lk 2:48-49 503; Lk 2:49 2599; Lk 2:51-52 531; Lk 2:51 517, 2196, 2599
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Reflection:

Yesterday’s celebration of the Solemnity of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus is joined appropriately with today’s Memorial of the Immaculate Heart of Mary. Yesterday we rejoiced in the love our Savior has for us. Today, Jesus’ mother, our mother Mary, reminds us that he expects to be loved by us in return. Even as we know that we can never earn the love of Christ, that we can never receive it on our own merits, we know that our love of Jesus must be made clear to the world.


Today we reflect, not just in prayer but in a very pragmatic way, about how we can accede to Mother Mary’s fervent hope and example. She demonstrated for us how love of the Lord could be shown. She was the first to believe in him. Her actions most closely echoed his command to love one another. She clearly loved the Lord with such intensity and passion that her heart was pierced at his death, as Simeon had predicted (Luke 2:25-35).

We cannot hope to rival the love of the Theotokos, the Mother of God, in her love for her Son. We may have difficulty finding the intense emotional attachment to the Lord she showed us so naturally. But we can demonstrate our love for him through our actions. We can hope that at the end of our lives we can say, as St. Paul says to St. Timothy: “I have competed well; I have finished the race; I have kept the faith.”

Think for a moment about how others know we love our parents, our siblings, or even our close friends. We do things for them that please them. We spend time with them, and we behave in ways that make them happy, sharing our joy and our sorrow.

Using that simple model is how we show our love for Jesus. That is the beckoning call of the Immaculate Heart of Mary. We do things that please the Lord, we praise the Heavenly Father (he always enjoys that), and we act in ways that tell others: “Oh, they must be Christians.” We serve others, because the Lord’s life and his mother’s life were dedicated to serving others. And we spend time with the Lord, as much time as possible. We talk with him in prayer, not just to ask for things like a spoiled child or an ungrateful friend, but talking to him about the things we have been able to accomplish with his help, and about our joys and sorrows. Finally we spend time with him physically, receiving his gift of the Eucharist, and at Eucharistic Adoration. Is this not the way we act with those we love?

Scripture tells us that Mary, Most Holy, loved the Lord like no one else could, and in her Immaculate Heart we see that example, clear for us to follow. Let us today be revitalized by that plea and embrace the Lord with our actions.
Pax
[1] The picture is “The Immaculate Heart of Mary” Artist and Date are UNKNOWN
[2] The readings are taken from the New American Bible with the exception of the Psalm and its response which were developed by the International Committee for English in Liturgy (ICEL). This re-publication is not authorized by USCCB and is for private use only.
[3] See NAB footnote on 1 Samuel 2:1ff

1 comment:

Maria said...

May I leave a catholic prayer (with Imprimatur):
Jesus, Mary! I love You, be appeased, save all souls. Amen.
O Hearts of Love! O Hearts ever united in Love! Make me to love you always, and help me to make others to love you. Take my poor sinful heart to Thyself, and do not give it back to me, until it becomes a flaming fire of your love. I know that I am unworthy to come to you, but take me to Thyself, and cleanse me by the flames of your love. Take me to Thyself, and use me as it pleases you, for I am entirely yours, Amen.
O pure Love! O holy Love! Pierce me with your arrows and send my blood flowing into the wounds of the Immaculate Heart. O Immaculate Heart! Unite with the Sacred Heart to give life, to comfort, to glorify and to love, Amen.
O Jesus, O Mary! You are the Hearts of Love. I love you! Consume me. I am your victim of Love! Amen.
O Hearts of Love, consume me! I am your victim of Love. Amen.