Homily - Saturday, June 20, 2020
Memorial of the Immaculate Heart of the Blessed Virgin Mary (Lk 2, 41-51)
What do you ask of Mary when you pray to her?
What do you ask of Mary when you pray to her? In recent months, people have asked for protection against the pandemic. But if one focuses on Mary’s heart, is there something else for which we can seek her intercession when praying the Hail Mary? Mary’s heart is truly a humble heart. Humility is the first quality found in Mary’s heart. The second trait is faithful-ness. Her heart is humble before God, faithful to God.
Mary is humble of heart, a legacy of her Immaculate Conception. Original sin is the sin of pride, the desire to determine good from evil without God’s help. But Mary was protected from original sin through the grace that flows from the Cross, in expectation of the crucifixion on the Cross. She was shielded from original sin, and in that sense, from birth, she was inherently humble. She was protected from pride the moment she was conceived. She was conceived in humility; she was born humble; she grew in humility. Mary remained humble her entire life.
And one could even say that Mary is the humblest of human beings in the history of humanity, because she is the only one who was not marked by original sin.
When seeking Mary’s intercession with the Lord while reciting the Hail Mary, this is certainly one virtue for which to ask: to have a humble heart. Humbleness before God is fundamental, and Mary can intercede for us. To be humble before God is to recognize that we are God’s creatures. Lord God, my Creator and Saviour! I am a creature of God. In all humility, I stand before God as his creature, ready to welcome his plan, to welcome his never-ending desire to love. Being humble means being open to God and relying on Him.
So let us pray to Mary, so that our hearts may truly be humble.
A faithful heart perseveres in love to the end. It is a persevering heart like Mary’s, which remained faithful to God’s plan, to God himself and to his loving ways throughout her entire life. Mary was at the foot of the Cross; she remained at the foot of the Cross until the very end; her heart was pierced. She was faithful to the end! She literally gave her heart so as to remain faithful.
To have a humble heart, to have a faithful heart: let us pray to Mary, asking her to intercede with the Saviour, so that humility and faithfulness permeate our heart as well.