June 12, 2021 – Memorial of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, Philippine Independence Day
Click here for the readings (https://bible.usccb.org/bible/readings/061221.cfm)
“The love of Christ impels us.” Paul reminds us in his Second Letter to the Corinthians. This means that this love indeed urges and motivates us to go beyond and become the person God wants us to be. Hence, Paul also says, “whoever is in Christ is a new creation. The old things have passed away and new things have come.” This has been made possible because of God who came and initiated that we become reconciled with Him.
Certainly, reconciliation with God transforms us from old into new, from death to life. Such transformation urges, impels and moves us to become a reconciling presence in our communities, in our Church and in the world.
However, how does a reconciling presence influence others and bring change? Our Responsorial Psalm proclaims today of four main points.
- First, it gives pardon to all our iniquities.
- Second, it heals all our ills.
- Third, it redeems our life from destruction.
- And fourth, it crowns us with kindness and compassion.
This is the experience of the Hebrew Community of which the Psalm speaks about. God’s presence in the midst of His people is a reconciling presence because the “Lord is kind and merciful.”
Such confidence and faith in God must have filled the heart of Mary, whose Immaculate Heart we celebrate today. Her heart is immaculate because what we find there is the Lord who is kind of merciful made into man like us. Yes, the heart of Mary is filled with Jesus.
This is the reason why Mary remained calm and at peace despite the fear and confusion she felt at the announcement of the Angel Gabriel to her, during the arrival of the shepherds when Jesus was born and now of being baffled and anxious when Jesus was lost but finding him in the Temple.
Though she did not understand fully everything at an instant but Mary would always “keep everything in her heart.” With all the complexities, strangeness and difficulty to understand the situation, Mary keeps the Lord close to her heart. She keeps all those revelations from the Lord close to her heart that she may be able to understand them in the way God desires them to be understood.
This was how Mary would always find wisdom and strength because with the many events that happened in her life, she might not be able to bear them all. Mary will surely remain confused, afraid and unable to decide and do anything if she chose to distance herself from the Lord by reacting out of impulse or mere emotions.
Mary was able to do that because within her heart, God is already there. She has welcomed the Lord and allowed the Lord to be always in her heart. This led her into understanding from God’s perspective and so she responded to every invitation of God for her, willingly and lovingly.
This is how we find Mary’s presence reconciling in our Christian faith because her life is an example of a perfect communion with God. We now find comfort in her, as a mother, because her human heart is touched by the Lord who is kind and merciful. Mary, indeed, has become a reconciling presence to us because we find in heart Jesus, the Lord.
In the same way, we are called today that our hearts be also touched by the Lord, that we become more welcoming to the Lord and allow the Lord to be in our heart. Like Mary, as we allow the love of Christ to touch our hearts, it may impel us to become a reconciling presence in our homes, communities and in our beloved country, the Philippines. Hinaut pa.