Memorial of the Immaculate Heart of the Blessed Virgin Mary

Each year Jesus’ parents went to Jerusalem for the feast of Passover,
and when he was twelve years old,
they went up according to festival custom.
After they had completed its days, as they were returning,
the boy Jesus remained behind in Jerusalem,
but his parents did not know it.
Thinking that he was in the caravan,
they journeyed for a day
and looked for him among their relatives and acquaintances,
but not finding him,
they returned to Jerusalem to look for him.
After three days they found him in the temple,
sitting in the midst of the teachers,
listening to them and asking them questions,
and all who heard him were astounded
at his understanding and his answers.
When his parents saw him,
they were astonished,
and his mother said to him,

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 2:41-51

The peace of the Lord be with you. Yesterday we celebrated the Sacred of Jesus and today we are called to celebrate the Immaculate Heart of Mary. Another pierced heart that is God’s very special creation that carried, gave birth, to and mothered our Lord.

Tradition tells us she was not touched by original sin but she still had free will with the freedom to choose right or wrong. Out of love for God, she was obedient. That is the word that stood out for me this morning, that Jesus was obedient.

Obedient is not a word we hear or appreciate in our time. Sadly in my own mind I find myself associating obedience with being limited or constrained. The dictionary defines obedient as:

complying or willing to comply with orders or requests; submissive to another’s will.

Words similar to obedient include: compliant, dutiful, amenable, law abiding, and good.

What is the Christian view of obedience? Here is a quote I found on the Ascension Press website from a reflection on obedience.

A saint closer to our own times, St. Josemaria Escriva, helps us begin to answer this very pertinent question for the world we live in today:

God does not impose a blind obedience on us. He wants us to obey intelligently, and we have to feel responsible for helping others with the intelligence we do have. But let’s be sincere with ourselves: let’s examine, in every case, whether it is love for the truth which moves us or selfishness and attachment to our own judgment. When our ideas separate us from other people, when they weaken our communion, our unity with our brothers, it is a sure sign that we are not doing what God wants.

Obedience then from a Christian viewpoint is not something limiting, but an asset that helps draw us more deeply into God’s love which simultaneously draws us into a closer union with each other. Both Jesus and Mary embody these ideals and demonstrate how obedience is a source of healing for our individual and communal souls. Please Lord give me the grace to live this out. In the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Amen.

Readings for Saturday, June 20, 2020