Memorial of the Immaculate Heart of the Blessed Virgin Mary

Lectionary: 358/573


He went down with them and came to Nazareth, and was obedient to them;
and his mother kept all these things in her heart.



The Gospels are understandably focussed upon Jesus, but there is in the margins a fascination with his Blessed Mother. 
In today's gospel we hear of her initial reaction to Jesus' foolish indifference to the anxiety of his parents, and of her response. 

First, she expresses exasperation, "Son, why have you done this to us? Your father and I have been looking for you with great anxiety.”

Two of my cousins decided to go camping in the wooded backyard of one of their homes. In their eagerness they neglected to mention the plan to either set of parents. Half the city was alerted before they turned up three days later.  

Kids do that sort of thing. Only recently are researchers telling us why, the adolescent brain is not so well developed as to consider long-term consequences, especially how their actions might affect the adults responsible for their care. 

The 12-year-old Son of God, despite his Infinite Wisdom, had much to learn about being a human being. You just can't do whatever you want to do whenever you feel like doing it! 

Fortunately, the boy did learn obedience. The Letter to the Hebrews says he learned obedience from what he suffered; but he also surely learned it from what Mary and Joseph suffered. There probably came a day when all three of them could laugh about it, as my uncles, aunts and cousins did, but it might not have been on the way back to Nazareth. 

There Mary continued to ponder, keeping "all these things in her heart." Did she finally understand his words, “Why were you looking for me? Did you not know that I must be in my Father’s house?”

One time I went with a Poor Clare sister to a bishop's ordination. When I met her a few weeks later she told me how she had enjoyed the evening so much, and how she had been enthrall of the ceremony for so many days afterward. 

I was stunned. I had not given the ritual a second thought. I could hardly remember it! 

The Immaculate Heart of Mary, gladdened by the gift of Jesus, broken by his crucifixion, revived by his resurrection, teaches us to pause and ponder What was from the beginning, what we have heard, what we have seen with our eyes, what we looked upon and touched with our hands concerns the Word of life— for the life was made visible; we have seen it and testify to it and proclaim to you the eternal life that was with the Father and was made visible to us, 



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I love to write. This blog helps me to meditate on the Word of God, and I hope to make some contribution to our contemplations of God's Mighty Works.

Ordinarily, I write these reflections two or three weeks in advance of their publication. I do not intend to comment on current events.

I understand many people prefer gender-neutral references to "God." I don't disagree with them but find that language impersonal, unappealing and tasteless. When I refer to "God" I think of the One whom Jesus called "Abba" and "Father", and I would not attempt to improve on Jesus' language.

You're welcome to add a thought or raise a question.