Saturday, June 08, 2013

Did You Not Know

Did You Not Know

June 8, 2013
Memorial of the Immaculate Heart of the Blessed Virgin Mary
Do good, and evil will not find its way to you.  Prayer and fasting are good, but better than either is alms-giving accompanied by righteousness.  A little with righteousness is better than abundance with wickedness.  It is better to give alms than to store up gold; for alms-giving saves one from death and expiates every sin.  Tobit 12:7b-9a
“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.  Luke 2:48b-51


Mama Mary, lead us to the kind of intimacy you had with God.  Make our path to unity faster and easier than it would be without your help.  Amen.  


im·mac·u·late  /iˈmakyəlit/:  Adjective. 
  1. (esp. of a person or their clothes) Perfectly clean, neat, or tidy.
  2. Free from flaws or mistakes; perfect.
Today’s Gospel recounts the second appearance of Jesus in the temple.  The first time, when he was presented to the Lord, Simeon warned Mary, “Behold, this child is destined for the fall and rise of many in Israel, and to be a sign that will be contradicted (and you yourself a sword will pierce) so that the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed.” (Luke 2:34-35)
An interesting choice of Gospel’s about what is contained in the tabernacle of Mary’s heart.  Once she got over the anxiety of finding her lost (prodigal?) son back in his “Father’s” house, she learned that his actions were deliberate.  The parent’s I had would probably have sent me to “time out” for a month if I had left home intentionally without telling them where I was going. 
Mary was not your typical parent.  Her heart was not to be overcome by her ego or by the stain of sin. Her ego was long since relegated to secondary status to her role as the handmaid of the Lord. Whether it was the warning of Simeon, the words of St. Luke or the sorrow at the foot of the cross, Mary’s heart remained immaculate despite what was and what was to be happening to the fruit of her heart.
Yesterday, the church celebrated the festival of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. Just as we celebrated the love of God in the heart of his Son, we celebrate today the perfect response of a human being to this love, the response of Mary.

Mary represents the most complete and affirmative response of a human being to the Lord -- summed up in her words to the angel Gabriel, “I am the Lord’s handmaid. May it be done to me as he wishes.” In other words, Mary’s attitude is obedience, surrender of her will to God’s.  No matter where her son wanders – whether he tells her or not.


Immaculate is the opposite of messy and flawed – better adjectives for use to describe our lives in and of the world.  Far from perfect little angels, we are soiled, spoiled little brats more likely to be about our own business than to be about the business of the Lord.
What can you set aside today in order to accomplish alms-giving accompanied by righteousness?

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