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Sunday:       The Immaculate Heart of the Blessed Virgin Mary.
Date:         June 4, 2016
Year:         C
The readings: [Is. 61:9-11; Lk. 2:41-51]
The message:  A mother who favours her children.
Prepared by:  Catholic Doors Ministry
Total words:  782

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** The readings follow the sermon.

"His mother treasured all these things in her heart." [Lk. 2:51] My brothers and sisters in Christ, welcome to today's celebration of the Holy Mass that commemorate the Marian Feast of the Immaculate Heart of Mary."

On this special Feast, we are reminded of the flawless nature of Mary, the Mother of God. As the New Eve, Mary was created flawless, remained flawless throughout her life and was elevated to Heaven in her flawless state at the end of her earthly life. Consequently, the Holy Catholic Church proclaimed the dogmas of the Immaculate Conception and the Assumption of Mary in support of these truths.

The Immaculate Heart of Mary is the precious Pearl of God the Father, the greatest of all His creations, far surpassing the greatness that is found in all of the angels and the saints. As the Catechism of the Holy Catholic Church teaches us and as some of the Vicars of Rome have proclaimed over the years, the Blessed Virgin Mary is the new Eve. (C.C.C. # 411, 511, 726, 975, 2618, 2853)

Full of grace by the power of the Holy Spirit, preserved from sin as teaches the dogma of the Immaculate Conception and preserved from the corruption of death according to the dogma of the Assumption, (C.C.C. # 2853) the Feast of the Immaculate Heart of Mary culminates all what has been progressively revealed to the Holy Catholic Church regarding her beauty, her honours and her glories. To no other creations has the Lord God given so great honours and glories as He has bestowed upon Immaculate the Heart of Mary.

On the subject of the Heart of the Incarnate Word, the Catechism of the Catholic Church tells us, "Jesus knew and loved us each and all during his life, his agony and his Passion, and gave himself up for each one of us: 'The Son of God... loved me and gave himself for me.' He has loved us all with a human heart. For this reason, the Sacred Heart of Jesus, pierced by our sins and for our salvation, 'is quite rightly considered the chief sign and symbol of that... love with which the divine Redeemer continually loves the eternal Father and all human beings" without exception." (C.C.C. # 478)

In defining the meaning of the word "heart," the Catechism of the Catholic Church states, "The spiritual tradition of the Church also emphasizes the heart, in the biblical sense of the depths of one's being, where the person decides for or against God." (C.C.C. # 368)

In consideration of the aforementioned, while the heart of the Immaculate Heart of Mary is a symbol of human love that comes from the depth of her whole being, a love which cannot be classified as Divine love, it is the highest of the most pure love that can be found within a human being. Immaculate in nature, it is a self- giving love that humbly seeks to obey and serve in accordance with the righteousness of God.

Through her immeasurable self-giving love, the Immaculate Heart of Mary has never ceased to intercede for the children of God, seeking to direct every soul towards her beloved Son Jesus. What she could not do on earth as a mother of mankind who's love surpasses time and space, by the grace of the Heavenly Father, she has been granted the joy of doing it from Heaven.

Appearing to many blessed ones over the centuries, her motherly message of love has been to renounce Satan, to pray continuously, to do penance, and to go to Church. In return, she promised to intercede before her beloved Son Jesus on behalf of mankind for the grace of God to shine upon the world.

Next to Jesus, the Immaculate Heart of Mary is the Heavenly Father's greatest fountain of grace. From her heart flows countless physical and spiritual blessings and healings. Indeed there is truth to the word, "To Jesus, through Mary." To touch the heart of Jesus, you must first touch the heart of Mary. If the eyes of your heavenly mother favours you, how could the eyes of her Son not favour you? Surely, recognizing the Spirit filled wisdom of His Mother, the Lord will welcome you as a member of His family.

Today, let us be thankful to God for the priceless gift of the Immaculate Heart of Mary to the world, to the Catholic Church and to each and everyone of us. To many, the Immaculate Heart of Mary is the only comfort in these needy days of the Church and in times of personal needs.

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The readings...

[The readings were taken from the New Revised Standard Version of the Bible (C) 1989 Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Church of Christ in the United States of America.]

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First Reading...

"The descendants of the just shall be known among the nations, and their offspring among the peoples; all who see them shall acknowledge that they are a people whom the Lord has blessed.

I will greatly rejoice in the Lord, my whole being shall exult in my God; for he has clothed me with the garments of salvation, he has covered me with the robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom decks himself with a garland, and as a bride adorns herself with her jewels.

For as the earth brings forth its shoots, and as a garden causes what is sown in it to spring up, so the Lord God will cause righteousness and praise to spring up before all the nations." [Is. 61:9-11]

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Gospel Reading...

"Every year the parents of Jesus went to Jerusalem for the festival of the Passover. And when Jesus was twelve years old, they went up as usual for the festival.

When the festival was ended and the parents started to return, the boy Jesus stayed behind in Jerusalem, but his parents did not know it. Assuming that he was in the group of travellers, they went a day's journey. Then they started to look for him among their relatives and friends. When they did not find him, they returned to Jerusalem to search for him.

After three days they found Jesus in the temple, sitting among the teachers, listening to them and asking them questions. And all who heard him were amazed at his understanding and his answers.

When his parents saw him they were astonished; and his mother said to him, 'Child, why have you treated us like this? Look, your father and I have been searching for you in great anxiety.'

Jesus said to them, 'Why were you searching 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.

Then Jesus went down with them and came to Nazareth, and was obedient to Joseph and Mary. His mother treasured all these things in her heart." [Lk. 2:41-51]

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