Homily (Reflection) for Memorial of the Immaculate Heart of Mary (4th June, 2016) on the Gospel and the Memorial
2Tim 4:1-8;Ps 70:8-9.14-17.22. (R. cf. v. 15);
This memorial is based on one of the controversial issues between Catholics and other brothers and sister of the same Father. As a result, it can easily put one off. Based on these facts, I plead with you to open your heart and also implore the Holy Spirit to direct us. This reflection is not to fault anybody or church but just to help everyone to understand the true relationship between every child of God and the Blessed Virgin Mary; how inextricably all children of God are linked to her.
The memorial of the Immaculate Heart of Mary is celebrated on Saturday after the Solemnity of Sacred Heart of Jesus. It calls to mind a lot of things which include:
Mary’s interior life, her joys and sorrows, her virtues and hidden perfections, and above all, her virginal love for her God, and her maternal love for her Divine Son, and her motherly and compassionate love for her sinful and miserable children here below.
It is one’s love for Jesus and for God that draws him/her to the Heart of Mary.
Topic: Children of Mary defined.
Today’s gospel recounts how Mary and Joseph searched for Jesus. When they found Him in the temple after three days, this conversation and action took place:
...his mother said to him, ‘Child why have you treated us like this? Look, your father and I have been searching for you in great anxiety.’ He said to them, ‘Why were you searching for me? Did you not know that I must be in my Father’s house?’ Then he went down with them and came to Nazareth, and was obedient to them....
Jesus was in His Father’s house as He ought to, “Zeal for thy house will consume me” (Jn 2:17; cf. Ps 69:9; Zech 14:21), but He went down with Mary and Joseph to Nazareth and was obedient to them. Why? God commands, “Honour your father and your mother...” (Ex 20:12; cf. Deut 5:16; Matt 15:4; 19:19; Mk 10:19; Lk 18:20; Eph 6:2). Again, we also read: “... Honour your father and your mother'; and, ‘He who speaks evil of father or mother, let him [or her] surely die’” (Mk 7:10).
Based on the scriptures, we rightly refer to ourselves as the children of God, (cf. Mal 2:10; Matt 23:9). And the question is: Who then is our mother or are we motherless? We often behave like the Jews who although rightly say that they are the children of Abraham and that God is their Father but their lives and utterances contradict their claims, cf. Jn 8: 31-59.
In the gospel according to Saint John while hanging on the cross,
When Jesus saw his mother and the disciple whom he loved standing beside her, he said to his mother, ‘Woman, here is your son.’ Then he said to the disciple, ‘Here is your mother.’ And from that hour the disciple took her into his own home (Jn 19:26-27).
It is worth noting that the beloved disciple was standing next to or very close to the Blessed Virgin Mary. Again, just as Mary and Joseph took Jesus to their home, the beloved disciple took the Blessed Virgin Mary to his home. Do you think that these are just mere coincidence?
In the book of Revelation, we read: “And the dragon was angry at the woman and declared war against the rest of her children – all who keep God’s commandments and maintain their testimony for Jesus” (Rev 12:17, NLT). Do you truly keep God’s commandments and maintain your testimony for Jesus? If the answer is yes, then who is that woman whose other children after the first born child (Jesus) the bible defined as “all who keep God’s commandments and maintain their testimony for Jesus” as we just cited? My dear child of God, it is that woman we call Blessed Virgin Mary whose Immaculate Heart we celebrate today, cf. Rev 12:1-6. So, the bible did not only tell us that God is our Father, it also tells us that Mary is the mother of every child of God. Children of God ought to keep God’s word, cf. Jn 14:23. But sometimes because of wrong information we seem to honour our Father and dishonour our mother.
Finally, Saint Ignatius prayed in his letter to the Romans: “The only petition I would have you put forward on my behalf is that I may be ... a Christian in reality instead of only in repute.” Again, “Christianity lies in achieving greatness in the face of a world’s hatred” My dear brothers and sisters in the Lord, Listen to God and not to humans. We have seen and I repeat, Every Child of God is a Child of Mary. I pray we accept the privilege of being the children of the Blessed Virgin Mary despite our gross unworthiness. Despite the hatred one might encounter, the truth remains that Mary is our mother. It is left for each person to either follow God (the creator) or to follow creatures. God has given us Mary as our mother and He expects us to honour her.
Bible Reading: Rev 12:13-17; Jn 8:31-59.
Thought for today: Child of God, who is your mother?
Let us pray: Blessed Virgin Mary, protect us in your Immaculate Heart as your children. And may God give us all the graces that will enable us imitate your immaculateness – Amen.
Immaculate Heart of Mary – Pray for us (your children) –AMEN!
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