Solemnity of Immaculate Conception of Mary
Immaculate heart – a clean heart, a perfect heart, a heart that is open and receptive yet aware of its need. Mary is the model disciple, she shows us what we need to take up and what we need to let go of.
Mary, is the one who is open to what God can do and she is the one who shows us how to open our hearts and our lives to give birth to Jesus. What does that look like? One who is open, one who knows their feelings and can share these in a faithful way. One can be open but also feel afraid it’s what we do with it. Mary, listens knowing her fear and slowly allows her trust and belief to guide her ‘faith’.
We are called to act in this way and yes while it is not easy it is a call to have a servant’s heart. “I am a servant of the Lord” and then follows her attitude “Let what you have said, be done to me”. Here is faith, love and humility flowing in the direction of following with a service in mind. She gives over to be able to birth Jesus.
Our lives call us daily to deal with the risings and fallings we face with a heart focussed on Jesus and his attitude. Mary gives witness to how we can do this but at the end of the day each of us needs the courage, support and love from others to do this. This faith is a shared faith where God is central and all we do is to see God in everything around us and in this way out gratitude is a prayer as is our service to and for others. As St Francis says so well;
“Preach the Gospel at all times, and when necessary, use words.”
Paul Traynor is married to Clare and has two children Sam and Lucy. He lives in Greytown which is in the Wairarapa Region on the North Island of New Zealand. Paul is currently working as the National Passionist Family Groups Coordinator for Aotearoa, New Zealand.