BY: Fr. Mike Lagrimas


HOMILY: Memorial of the Immaculate Heart of Mary

Lk 2:41-51
Each year his 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. And Jesus advanced [in] wisdom and age and favor before God and man.

Yesterday, we celebrated the Solemnity of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus. Today is the feast of the Immaculate Heart of Mary. Why do these celebrations come one after the other? This simply means two things: first, Jesus and Mary are intimately joined together, bound by perfect love. The classic theological expression is, indeed, true: “To Jesus, through Mary.” If we want to go to Jesus, Mary is the sure way since she is always with her Son. Mary is always with Jesus, and Jesus is always with her Mother Mary.

The true Jesus is always with Mary. That is what the Gospels tell us.
Second, the power and dignity of the Immaculate Heart comes from the Sacred Heart of Jesus. As the moon takes its light from the sun, so does Mary get her power and dignity from Jesus, the Immaculate Heart from the Sacred Heart. As Mary humbly said during the Annunciation, “I am the maidservant of the Lord, be it done unto me according to your word.”

In the Gospel today, the Heart of Mary is mentioned to express all the richness of the Blessed Mother’s interior life: she “kept all these things in her heart.” There are countless events in her life that are beyond her comprehension and understanding. But she never doubted the wisdom of God’s plan for her and for the entire humanity. She never complained nor questioned whatever is happening in her life. She just consistently believed and obeyed, her heart being so full of humility and love.

In the Preface of the Votive Mass of the Immaculate Heart of Mary (Collection of Masses of the Blessed Virgin Mary), there are several qualities of her Heart that are mentioned. The Heart of Mary is ‘wise’, because she understands fully the meaning of the Scriptures. It is ‘immaculate’, which means she is immune from any stain of sin. It is ‘docile’ because she submitted so faithfully to God’s will. It is ‘new’, for she is clothed in the newness of grace merited by Christ. It is ‘humble’ because she imitated the humility of her Son. It is ‘simple’, free from any duplicity and full of the Spirit of truth. It is ‘clean’ and thus able to see God according to the words of the Beatitudes. It is ‘firm’ in her acceptance of God’s will even in the face of persecution and death. It is ‘ready’, as she kept watch patiently for the resurrection of her Son from the grave.

But above all, the Immaculate Heart of Mary is called the ‘Temple of the Holy Spirit’ (Vat 2, LG 53), for she is, in fact, the Spouse of the Holy Spirit who dwells in her and by whose power she conceived the Incarnate Son of God.

Just as Mary loved her Son, Jesus, so also she loves each one of us as her children. And she invites us to place ourselves under her powerful maternal protection. That is why she urges us all to consecrate ourselves to her Immaculate Heart. St. Louis Marie de Montfort expresses this with this prayer: “I am all yours, and all that I have is yours, O most loving Jesus, through Mary, your most holy Mother” (“Tuus totus ego sum, et omnia mea tua sunt”). It is from the words of this prayer that Pope St. John Paul II took his motto, “Totus tuus” – two words that express total belonging to Jesus through Mary.

Today, we say together with St. Louis Marie de Montfort and St. John Paul II, “Praebe mihi cor tuum, O Maria!” – “Give me your heart, O Mary!”
Let me conclude with this beautiful prayer of entrustment to Our Blessed Mother:
Mary, I renounce my spirit, and I ask for your spirit;
Mary, take away my thoughts, and give me your thoughts;
Mary, take away my desires, and give me your desires;
Mary, take away my feelings, and give me your feelings;
Mary, take away my heart, and give me your heart.
I am totally yours, and everything I have I offer You,
O my beloved Jesus, through Mary, Your Most Holy Mother.

Fr. Mike Lagrimas
St. Michael the Archangel Parish
Diocese of Novaliches


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