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Immaculate Heart of Mary - Jun 20th


The Immaculate Heart of Mary, Saturday, Jun 20th
Isaiah 61:9-11 / Luke 2:41-51

The feast of the Immaculate Heart of Mary is closely connected to the feast of the Sacred Heart of Jesus which was celebrated yesterday. This feast highlights the joys and sorrows of Mary in doing the will of God, her virtues of obedience and humility, her love for God and for Jesus, and not least, her love for all people.
In Christian art, the Immaculate Heart of Mary is depicted with a sword pierced through the heart, and wrapped with roses or lilies.

In the gospel of Luke, Simeon prophesied that a sword will pierce through her heart (Lk 2:35) because of the sorrows and sufferings she will have to go through with Jesus. Hence, closely connected to the devotion of the Immaculate Heart of Mary is the seven sorrows of Mary :


1. The prophecy of Simeon (Lk 2:35)
2. The flight to Egypt (Mt 2:13-14)
3. The finding of Jesus in the Temple (Lk 2:43-45)
4. The meeting of Jesus and Mary on the way of the cross
5. The crucifixion
6. The taking down of the body of Jesus from the cross
7. The burial of Jesus (Jn 19:38-42)

Usually seven Hail Marys are also said while meditating upon the seven sorrows of Mary. Furthermore, the devotion to the Immaculate Heart would also include going for Confession before or after the first Saturday of every month, receive Communion and the praying of the Rosary.
All this is in reparation for the sins committed against her Immaculate Heart, which are also the sins committed against the Sacred Heart of Jesus, because the two Hearts are closely and intimately connected. It is also a way of expressing our union with the Hearts of Jesus and Mary and sharing in their love for all people and praying for the conversion and salvation of sinners.
Yes, we and all peoples are in the Hearts of Jesus and Mary. May Jesus and Mary be in our hearts and in the hearts of all peoples too so that all will be saved.
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Today’s feast day of the Immaculate Heart of Mary falls on the day after the feast of the Sacred Heart of Jesus because devotion to these two hearts was promoted together as a means of entering more deeply into the mystery of God’s love.

In 1944, in the midst of World War II, Pope Pius XII dedicated the entire world to the patronage and protection of the Immaculate Heart of Mary—the intention expressed in his decree was "peace among nations, freedom for the Church, the conversion of sinners, the love of purity and the practice of virtue.”

Though it found prominence in the 20th century, devotion to Mary’s Immaculate Heart is not new. Early Christians revered the movements of Mary’s heart in the Gospels—she pondered the events of the nativity in her heart (Lk 2:19); and when she and Joseph presented Jesus in the temple, Simeon prophesied that a sword of sorrow would pierce her heart (Lk 2:35). Of course, Mary was faithful to Jesus to the end, and the image of her sorrowfully beholding her Son on the cross has always struck a deep chord with the faithful.

Devotion to Mary’s heart was taken up by theologians and saints from many ages, but it was the 17th century French preacher, St. John Eudes, who formalized this devotion into liturgical practice that we observe today. John’s spirituality focused on the love of Jesus and Mary, symbolized in their sacred hearts. He began a feast day for parishes in France to encourage people to honor the heart of Mary and the Sacred Heart of Jesus; these feast days spread quickly and were taken up around the Church.
Devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus focuses on God’s immense love for humanity, even though it was repulsed, scorned, and crucified. Devotion to the Immaculate Heart of Mary points us towards her love for Jesus and for God as an example.

Though the Basilica on campus was built before St. John Eudes was canonized, it includes a stained glass window that shows him honoring the Immaculate Heart of Mary. The Basilica also contains this mural of the Immaculate Heart of Mary; the statue comes from the retirement and nursing home for aging Holy Cross priests, Holy Cross House.

While the Sacred Heart of Jesus is the patron of Holy Cross priests, the community of sisters founded by Blessed Basil Moreau were entrusted to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. Relics of Mary rest in the reliquary chapel in the Basilica, including strands of her hair and parts of her clothes.

On this feast of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, let us imitate Mary’s heart by sharing her faithfulness to Jesus!
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Saturday June 20 
IMMACULATE HEART OF MARY 

Introduction 
The celebration in honour of the Immaculate Heart of Mary is closely linked to the solemnity of the Sacred Heart, which it follows by one day. This is not by accident. When we honor the Sacred Heart of Jesus we simply celebrate our Lord’s great love which he showed by dying for us and which he continues to give us day after day. Mary was close to her Son, not only because she was his Mother but because she loves everyone for whom her Son lived, died, and rose from the dead. Her heart is large enough to include us all in her love. She is with us in our sorrows and joys. 

- Because of their guilt, God’s anger fell on Judah and Jerusalem, because of Mary’s innocence and purity, God’s favour fell on the people, LHM
-Because you have deserted the Lord, now he deserts you, because of Mary’s obedience, the Lord was please with his people, CHM
-Because the Lord promised to keep his love for us always; with him the covenant shall last, LHM
  
Opening Prayer 
Lord our God, we thank you for the love with which you filled the heart of Mary, the Mother of your Son and our mother. In your great kindness you have given her to us to open our hearts to your word and to your love, so that we can seek your will in all we do. May she also let our hearts be touched by the needs of people with sorrows and cares. We ask this through Christ our Lord. 

Commentary 
Mary’s “pondering in her heart” is surely the headline for Christian contemplation. Therefore it may be appropriate to let Meister Eckhart interpret today’s gospel passage for us in his distinctive way. “They had lost the child Jesus in the crowd. And so they had to go back to where they had come from. And when they got back to their starting point, the Temple, they found him. And so in truth, if you would find this noble birth [of God in the soul] you must leave the crowd and return to the source and ground whence you came. All the powers of the soul, and all their works—these are the crowd. Memory, understanding and will, they all diversify you, and therefore you must leave them all: sense perceptions, imagination, or whatever it may be that in which you find or seek to find yourself. After that, you may find this birth but not otherwise—believe me! All must well up from within, out of God, if this birth is to shine forth truly and clearly, and all your activity must cease, and all your powers must serve His ends, not your own. If this work is to be done, God alone must do it, and you must just allow it to be. Where you truly go out from your will and your knowledge, God with His knowledge surely and willingly goes in and shines there clearly.” 

Intercessions 
Let us raise our hearts in prayer to God our Father, and ask him to fill our world and our communities with the warmth of his love. We say: R/ Lord, hear your people.  – For the Church of Jesus Christ on earth, which is a community of weak people, that the power of God’s goodness may become visible in our love for one another, we pray: R/ Lord, hear your people. – For our world with all its needs, that Mary may watch over it, pray for it and keep people from warring with one another and from making one another suffer, we pray: R/ Lord, hear your people. – For people in lowly jobs, that they may learn from our humble Mother that God values all work done with love, we pray: R/ Lord, hear your people. – For all missionaries, that like Mary, our dear Mother, we may give Christ to our world and have a heart loving all people and especially the poorest and the weakest, we pray: R/ Lord, hear your people. – For all of us united here, that our faith may produce in us, as in Mary, fruits of genuine love for one another, we pray: R/ Lord, hear your people.  Our loving God, these are the things we ask of you today. Let Mary enrich our prayers with hers and give us every good gift through Christ Jesus our Lord. R/ Amen. 

Prayer over the Gifts 
Generous and merciful God, we are sure you accept our prayers wholeheartedly when there is peace among us and when we try to the best of our ability to be one of heart and soul. Help us in our weak efforts on account of the prayers of Mary. With her we offer you all honor and praise through Jesus Christ our Lord.
 
Preface: The Immaculate Heart of Mary (ICEL) 
The heart of Mary is the heart of one who lives by the New Law. Father, all-powerful and ever-living God, we do well always and everywhere to give you thanks through Jesus Christ our Lord. You gave the Blessed Virgin Mary a wise and obedient heart, that she might perfectly carry out your will, a new and gentle heart, in which you were well pleased and on which you inscribed the law of the New Covenant. You gave her an undivided and pure heart, that she might be worthy to be the Virgin Mother of your Son and to rejoice to see you for ever. You gave her a steadfast and watchful heart, so that she could endure without fear the sword of sorrow and await in faith the resurrection of her Son. With the whole company of the angels we sing your praises in their canticle of joy: Holy, holy, holy Lord… 

Prayer after Communion 
Good and loving Father, in this Eucharist we have enjoyed the food of life and the drink of joy of your Son Jesus Christ. Fill us with his Spirit of love, that our love, like that of Mary, may be reliable and lasting, that no indifference may extinguish it, no flood of impatience nor hatred may sweep it away. Let it be a flame warming the hearts of people and a fire burning for you our living God, now and for ever. 

Blessing 

God has been very good to us. He has given us Jesus to save us from our inability to love God and neighbour. He has given us Mary to watch over us, to care for us, to pray with us and for us. Yes, Mary cares. Could our thanksgiving not be that we too learn to care for one another and to render all the service we can? May almighty God bless you, the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit. R/ Amen. Let us go and, like Mary, serve the Lord in one another. R/ Thanks be to God.