STEP #1: LECTIO / READ
Luke 2: 41-51
Memorial of the Immaculate Heart of Mary
Each year Jesus’ parents went to Jerusalem for the feast of Passover,
and when he was twelve years old,
they went up according to festival custom.
After they had completed its days, as they were returning,
the boy Jesus remained behind in Jerusalem,
but his parents did not know it.
Thinking that he was in the caravan,
they journeyed for a day
and looked for him among their relatives and acquaintances,
but not finding him,
they returned to Jerusalem to look for him.
After three days they found him in the temple,
sitting in the midst of the teachers,
listening to them and asking them questions,
and all who heard him were astounded
at his understanding and his answers.
When his parents saw him,
they were astonished,
and his mother said to him,
“Son, why have you done this to us?
Your father and I have been looking for you with great anxiety.”
And he said to them,
“Why were you looking for me?
Did you not know that I must be in my Father’s house?”
But they did not understand what he said to them.
He went down with them and came to Nazareth,
and was obedient to them;
and his mother kept all these things in her heart.
STEP #2: MEDITATIO / MEDITATE
His mother kept all these things in her heart.
This is one of my favorite lines in all of scripture. It is so simple, yet says so much about Mary, her love of her Son and her love of God.
Mary said her yes to God many years ago, but as a young mother she was still called to say yes every single day. The day she lost Jesus in the temple must have been one of the scariest for her before Jesus started his mission. (I say that because it is the only one that is recorded in the Gospels). But at the end of the day she wasn't mad at Jesus, angry or annoyed even though He had wandered from her. Instead at the end of the day she was overcome with love for Him and her love filled her entire heart as she thought about His message. She carried His message in her heart, fully embracing it, even though it meant the death of her son.
I've heard before that when Jesus and Mary meet in the stations of the cross, though their meeting was filled with sorrow, when their eyes met both of their eyes were filled with joy. They were filled joy because they knew God’s work was being fulfilled. They were both following God’s plan and they were filled with joy because of their love for God’s people.
Today, the Church celebrated the feast of the Immaculate Heart of Mary. It is a day celebrating Mary’s love not only for her son but for each of us. Mary love us. Mary loves you. Mary loves you so much that she said yes to having her son die for you. She said yes to carrying Him in her womb, to giving birth, to raising Him and to watching Him suffer and die on the cross so that you may have eternal life.
When I go into our adoration chapel I sit in from of Mary and her Immaculate Heart. Looking towards her as I look to Jesus in the Eucharist is a reminder that Mary has my back. She is there for me. She loves me. And she wants me to enter into a deeper relationship with her son.
Mary loves you as her own child. That total, complete love of a mother is what we are celebrating today. Mary’s arms are open, waiting for you to run into them.
STEP #3: ORATIO / PRAY
"His mother kept all these things in her heart."
Lord, how can I be more like Mary?
How am I called to say yes today?
How does Mary want me to grow my faith in you, Jesus?
STEP #4: CONTEMPLATIO / CONTEMPLATE
"Help me ponder these things in my heart."
"Help me say yes, as Mary said yes."
"Jesus, I trust in you."
FOR THE REST OF YOUR DAY...
Try to love others as Mary did. Use her as your role model today in saying yes to God's plan, being caring and compassionate.
SMARTPHONE LOCK SCREEN
Today's prayer was prepared by Lisa Kendzior.