THE IMMACULATE HEART OF MARY
Devotion to the Immaculate Heart of Mary began as early as the twelfth century. During the seventeenth century in France, St John Eudes popularised this devotion along with that to the Sacred Heart. St Luke’s Gospel twice mentions that Mary ‘kept all these things in her heart’, pondering the word of God. Mary shows us how to listen to the words the Holy Spirit speaks to us in the depths of our hearts, and how to respond in faith.
Entrance Antiphon: Ps 12: 6
My heart will rejoice in your salvation. I will sing to the Lord, who has been bountiful with me.
O God, who prepared a fit dwelling place for the Holy Spirit in the Heart of the Blessed Virgin Mary, graciously grant that through her intercession we may be a worthy temple of your glory. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.
First reading: 2 Corinthians 5: 14-21
The love of Christ overwhelms us when we reflect that if one man has died for all, then all men should be dead; and the reason he died for all was so that living men should live no longer for themselves, but for him who died and was raised to life for them. From now onwards, therefore, we do not judge anyone by the standards of the flesh. Even if we did once know Christ in the flesh, that is not how we know him now. And for anyone who is in Christ, there is a new creation; the old creation has gone, and now the new one is here. It is all God’s work. It was God who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the work of handing on this reconciliation. In other words, God in Christ was reconciling the world to himself, not holding men’s faults against them, and he has entrusted to us the news that they are reconciled. So we are ambassadors for Christ; it is as though God were appealing through us, and the appeal that we make in Christ’s name is: be reconciled to God. For our sake God made the sinless one into sin, so that in him we might become the goodness of God.
Psalm 102 (103): 1-4, 9-12
R/ The Lord is compassion and love, slow to anger and rich in mercy.
My soul, give thanks to the Lord all my being, bless his holy name. My soul, give thanks to the Lord and never forget all his blessings.
It is he who forgives all your guilt, who heals every one of your ills, who redeems your life from the grave, who crowns you with love and compassion.
His wrath will come to an end; he will not be angry for ever. He does not treat us according to our sins nor repay us according to our faults.
For as the heavens are high above the earth so strong is his love for those who fear him. As far as the east is from the west so far does he remove our sins.
Gospel Acclamation: cf. Lk 2: 19
Alleluia, alleluia! Blessed is the Virgin Mary, who treasured the word of God and pondered it in her heart. Alleluia!
Gospel: Luke 2: 41-51
Every year the parents of Jesus used to go to Jerusalem for the feast of the Passover. When he was twelve years old, they went up for the feast as usual. When they were on their way home after the feast, the boy Jesus stayed behind in Jerusalem without his parents knowing it. They assumed he was with the caravan, and it was only after a day’s journey that they went to look for him among their relations and acquaintances. When they failed to find him, they went back to Jerusalem looking for him everywhere. Three days later, they found him in the Temple, sitting among the doctors, listening to them, and asking them questions; and all those who heard him were astounded at his intelligence and his replies. They were overcome when they saw him, and his mother said to him, “My child, why have you done this to us? See how worried your father and I have been, looking for you.” “Why were you looking for me?” he replied. “Did you not know that I must be busy with my Father’s affairs?” But they did not understand what he meant. He then went down with them and came to Nazareth and lived under their authority. His mother stored up all these things in her heart.
Prayer over the Offerings
Look, O Lord, upon the prayers and offerings of your faithful, presented in commemoration of Blessed Mary, the Mother of God, that they may be pleasing to you and may confer on us your help and forgiveness. Through Christ our Lord.
Communion Antiphon: Lk 2: 19
Mary treasured all these words, reflecting on them in her heart.
Prayer after Communion
Having been made partakers of eternal redemption, we pray, O Lord, that we, who commemorate the Mother of your Son, may glory in the fullness of your grace and experience its continued increase for our salvation. Through Christ our Lord.
God found in Mary a heart pure of all selfishness, always attentive to his Word, totally given over to his Spirit. He was able to reveal his plan of salvation to her and to give her the opportunity to cooperate in it as the mother of the Saviour. The disposition of Mary’s Heart is admirable. This heart is already living the instructions of Jesus, which are both paradoxical and terribly realistic. Jesus upholds the morality of voluntary gentleness and Mary is the human being who accomplishes this in an admirable way. “My child, why have you done this to us?” God knows those hearts that he created so to fill them with his presence and communicate his life to them. Like Mary, let us arm ourselves with gentleness so we can dispose our hearts to receive God’s gifts.