ISAIAH 61:9-11; PSALM 1SAMUEL 2:1-8; LUKE 2:41-51
Today we celebrate the memorial of the Immaculate Heart of Mary – a celebration of the faithfulness and love of her heart for Jesus. To be immaculate is to be pure. Mary’s heart is pure; for that reason God found her worthy of divine habitation. The ‘pure in heart’ attracts divine presence and habitation; Matt.5:8 says “Blessed are the Pure in heart, for they shall see God.” Today’s celebration draws us to the interior life of the Blessed Virgin Mary, her humility and patience, her meditative heart, her joys and sorrows, her virtues and perfections, and, above all, her love expressed in the roles she played in the economy of salvation.
Today’s gospel expressed part of these roles in the maternal affection and care shown to Jesus. In the finding of Jesus in the Temple, Mary manifested a caring and loving heart. Mary and Joseph engaged in a frantic search for Jesus. A missing child is a parent’s worst nightmare. So, we could imagine what it was for them. Through the Immaculate heart of Mary, we pray that all missing children either through modern slavery, child abuse, or human trafficking. May they and many others who have strayed far from home be restored to family life and beauty.
Lastly, the Gospel shows that Mary and Joseph never understood Jesus’ response when they came to him in the Temple. Today, the parents of many teenagers do not understand their children’s response and reaction to issues. Parents do not understand how their children follow trends without judging their moral and life-long implications. We pray that through the immaculate heart of Mary, parents will find the grace to believe their children and the counsel to discern God’s mandates in their lives. Through her immaculate heart we pray for a better Nigeria especially as we mark our democracy day today.
Act of Consecration to the Immaculate Heart of Mary
O Mary, Virgin most powerful and Mother of mercy, Queen of Heaven and Refuge of sinners, we consecrate ourselves to thine Immaculate Heart. We consecrate to thee our very being and our whole life; all that we have, all that we love, all that we are. To thee we give our bodies, our hearts and our souls; to thee we give our homes, our families, our country. We desire that all that is in us and around us may belong to thee, and may share in the benefits of thy motherly benediction. And that this act of consecration may be truly efficacious and lasting, we renew this day at thy feet the promises of our Baptism and our first Holy Communion. We pledge ourselves to profess courageously and at all times the truths of our holy Faith, and to live as befits Catholics who are duly submissive to all the directions of the Pope and the Bishops in communion with him. We pledge ourselves to keep the commandments of God and His Church, in particular to keep holy the Lord’s Day. We likewise pledge ourselves to make the consoling practices of the Christian religion, and above all, Holy Communion, an integral part of our lives, in so far as we shall be able so to do. Finally, we promise thee, O glorious Mother of God and loving Mother of men, to devote ourselves whole-heartedly to the service of thy blessed cult, in order to hasten and assure, through the sovereignty of thine Immaculate Heart, the coming of the kingdom of the Sacred Heart of thine adorable Son, in our own hearts and in those of all men, in our country and in all the world. As in heaven, so on earth. Amen.