jtemplate.ru - free extensions for joomla

June 9, 2018 - Immaculate Hearts

Memorial of the Immaculate Heart of the Blessed Virgin Mary

Scripture Readings

As Catholics, we profess that Mary was Immaculate and today we celebrate the Memorial of the Immaculate Heart of Mary.  There are many misconceptions surrounding this belief.  One such belief is that Mary was perfect.  That is not the case in the truest sense of the word. Only God is perfect, for only God has no need of another to exist.  Mary is professed to be sinless, but she was still utterly dependent on God.  So what does Immaculate mean?

Taken apart, immaculate means without the macula (or the dark spot).  Macula was a word used to describe the deprivation or dark spot we experience in Original Sin and any subsequent sins.  We believe that for His purposes and by His own designs, God acted to preserve Mary from the macula.  Mary still walked in that grace during her life and today’s gospel passage ends with the key to her walk, “His mother kept all these things in her heart.”

A few times in Luke this phrase appears.  My favorite rendering replaces 'kept' with 'pondered'.  Regardless of how you render it, though, there is a connection between Mary’s capacity to ponder and keep all these things in her heart and her walk.  That connection can intimidate some, leading to discouraged thoughts like “Well, Mary was Immaculate, there is no reason she shouldn’t fill her heart with the things of the Lord.”  Instead of intimidation we should find encouragement and renewal.

See, through Baptism and Reconciliation, we are made free of sin.  We are, in a sense, Immaculate.  We should fill our hearts with things of the Lord, carrying them with us and pondering them deeply.  To be born with an immaculate heart was a unique part of salvation for Mary.  However, we are all called to give God the real estate in our hearts and to pursue the Lord with Redeemed hearts.  This feast is not a chance to put Mary on a pedestal, but a call to be open to radical love consuming our heart and mind, coming from our absolute dependence on our perfect God.

- Spencer Hargadon