Daily Gospel Reflection – Memorial of the Immaculate Heart of Mary
Bishop Robert Barron
Memorial of the Immaculate Heart of Mary
Gospel: Lk 2:41-51
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.
*United States Conference of Catholic
Bishop Robert Barron
Friends, today we celebrate the Memorial of the Immaculate Heart of the Blessed Virgin Mary. In 1854, Pope Pius IX declared the dogma of the Immaculate Conception—the truth that Mary, through a special grace, was preserved free from original sin from the first moment of her conception.
Were this not the case, the angel would not have referred to her at the Annunciation as Kecharitomene (full of grace). Why would God do such a thing? And wouldn’t this imply that Mary does not need to be redeemed?
The traditional answer is that God wanted to prepare a worthy vessel for the reception of his Word. Just as the holy of holies in the temple was kept pure and inviolate, so the definitive Temple, the true Ark of the Covenant, which is Mary herself, should all the more be untrammeled.
Bl. John Duns Scotus explained that Mary is indeed redeemed by the grace of her Son, but since that grace exists outside of time, it can be applied in a way that transcends the ordinary rhythms of time. Therefore, Mary, by a kind of preemptive strike, was delivered by Christ’s grace from original sin.