9th Saturday of Ordinary Time
Memorial of the Immaculate Heart of Mary
Isaiah 61: 9 – 11; Luke 2: 41 – 51
Mary’s Immaculate Heart is a symbol of her entire life – from the first we hear of her in St. Luke’s Gospel of the Annunciation until the scene recorded in the Acts when after the Ascension of the Lord, she is at prayer in the upper room with the Apostles and some women.
What does the Immaculate Heart of Mary signify, what does this holy title mean, what is the reality that is active in her person, in her depths? It is her total and complete receptivity to God’s will in all the circumstances of her life. It is a journey of call, a journey of response and certainly, a journey of mystery.
Some of that mystery is proclaimed in today’s Gospel in the dialog between Jesus and Mary and Joseph: “Son, Your father and I have been looking for you with great anxiety”…“Why were you looking for Me?” “Did you not know that I had to be in My Father’s house?”… “But they did not understand what He said to them.”
And then St. Luke reports: “…and His mother kept all these things in her heart” – in her Immaculate Heart – in her openness, receptivity she pondered this mystery. Her lacking of understanding was not an obstacle to her prayerful pondering – if anything, it was the impetus that fed her pondering and ultimately her deeper faith and trust in her God.
The Immaculate Heart of Mary is a symbol of her profound faith and trust in God. In her Magnificat it appears she borrowed the prayer of Isaiah to speak of her own totally open and completely receptive relationship with God: “I rejoice heartily in the Lord, in my God is the joy of my soul.”
In Psalm 111 there are two lines that speak of her pondering – words that she herself prayed: “Great are the works of the Lord to be pondered by all who love them” and “He makes us remember His wonders.”
We honor our Mother today under the title of her Immaculate Heart and the greatest honor we can give her is our imitation – that we, too, ponder God’s presence and work within and around us so that our devotion to Mary – so much a part of our monastic life is true, sincere and heartfelt. It is by our prayerful pondering that we too can pray: “I rejoice heartily in the Lord, in my God is the joy of my soul.”