Immaculate Mary your praises we sing!
Yesterday, the Church focused in a special way on the Sacred Heart of Jesus. Today we reflect on the Immaculate Heart of Mary. In these hearts, I have found refuge, consolation, and peace. My own heart bursts with love for them.
As a woman, a wife, and a mother, I relate to Mary in a different way than when I was younger. In the same way that I used to look at my own mom as just that – my mom – so I also looked at Mary as my mother but also just as the mother of Jesus. That is what sets her apart from all women but still she is even more than just a mother. And in everything she did, she did it with love; pure, beautiful love.
“And she kept all these things in her heart.”
Under her own heart the heart of the Son of God – Jesus – beat along with hers.
She brought Jesus to Elizabeth and John, making her the first person, a woman, to bring Jesus to the world; the first disciple.
With Joseph, she brought him out from under her heart and out for others hearts to be filled with joy at his sight.
In the midst of fear and hiding in Egypt, the baby Jesus brought joy and comfort to Mary’s heart.
At the wedding at Cana, Mary’s motherly heart encouraged her son’s and He transformed the water into wine and we received our first orders: “Do whatever He tells you.”
Then, her heart had to let her son go, out into the world, amongst those who did not understand Him. She watched Him bring love to the world through His own heart of love. She watched as others came to love Him and she watched as others came to hate Him.
Then, when everyone else abandoned Him, even those who had pledged to the contrary, her heart broke with His as He gave Himself up to those who hated Him, alone though He was in His suffering, He still knew that there, with Him, was His mother.
Just three days later, that same heart that had endured so much pain was brought back to life by the resurrection of her Son and her Lord.
Once He was gone, to His place with His Father, Mary’s heart was there to comfort the ones who were left to wander and hide. And when it was time, she was there, with the men God had chosen, to share in their ecstasy when the Spirit filled their hearts as He had filled hers.
And from that day onwards, her heart has remained one for us all to turn to for love, comfort, and understanding. When even those who were chosen to lead in His name abandoned Jesus, Mary’s heart was there; always true. Always pure.
My own heart has pondered on all of these things. My faith was given to me as a baby and I grew up learning and hearing about it most of my life. The Church that Jesus founded through St. Peter has been a guide and an image of God’s love for me. Like a child, I’ve depended on the Church in this way. But even Jesus knew that the ones that He chose to lead on after Him were not perfect. And so as I grow in my faith, I realize that it’s not just about the Church. If Her members and leaders fail or abandon me, as sometimes they do, it’s not about them.
And I wouldn’t know and love Him the way that I do without the Immaculate Heart of Mary.