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Catholic Daily Liturgical Guide 17.06.2023

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Catholic Daily Liturgical Guide 17.06.2023


2 CORINTHIANS 5: 14 – 21

Brethren: The love of Christ urges us on, because we are convinced that one has died for all; therefore all have died. And he died for all, that those who live might live no longer for themselves but for him who for their sake died and was raised. From now on, therefore, we regard no one according to the flesh; even though we once regarded Christ according to the flesh, we regard him thus no longer. Therefore, if any one is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has passed away, behold, the new has come. All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation; that is, in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation. So we are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us. We beg you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God. For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.

The Word of the Lord.

Psalm 103: 1 – 2, 3 – 4, 8 – 9, 11 – 12 (R.) 8a

R/. The Lord is compassionate and gracious.

Bless the Lord, O my soul,
and all within me, his holy name.
Bless the Lord, O my soul,
and never forget all his benefits. R/.

It is the Lord who forgives all your sins,
who heals every one of your ills,
who redeems your life from the grave,
who crowns you with mercy and compassion. R/.

The Lord is compassionate and gracious,
slow to anger and rich in mercy.
He will not always find fault;
nor persist in his anger forever. R/.

For as the heavens are high above the earth,
so strong his mercy for those who fear him.
As far as the east is from the west,
so far from us does he remove our transgressions. R/.

Psalm 119: 36a, 29b

Bend my heart, O God, to your decrees, grant me mercy by your law.

LUKE 2: 41 – 52

The parents of Jesus went to Jerusalem every year at the feast of the Passover. And when he was twelve years old, they went up according to custom; and when the feast was ended, as they were returning, the boy Jesus stayed behind in Jerusalem. His parents did not know it, but supposing him to be in the company they went a day’s journey, and they sought him among their kinsfolk and acquaintances; and when they did not find him, they returned to Jerusalem, seeking him. After three days they found him 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. And when they saw him they were astonished; and his mother said to him, “Son, why have you treated us so? Behold, your father and I have been looking for you anxiously.” And he said to them, “How is it that you sought me? Did you not know that I must be in my father’s house?” and they did not understand the saying which he spoke to them. And he went down with them and came to Nazareth, and was obedient to them; and his mother kept all these things in her heart.

The Gospel of the Lord.
GOSPEL REFLECTION: The Heart of Perfect Love
Saturday, June 17, 2023

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 2:51)

Over and over, the Scriptures reveal to us that the Blessed Virgin Mary “kept all these things in her heart.” What things? She continually pondered the great mystery of the life of her Son as His sacred life unfolded before her eyes.

A mother’s love is strong. Many times, a mother is more aware of the details of her child’s life than even the child itself. She is attentive, consoling, present, tender and loving. This was who Mary was to her divine Son, Jesus.

Mother Mary did not have full knowledge of every divine reality. She did not gaze upon the Most Holy Trinity with her eyes as she walked the earth. She did not have the full knowledge of the plan of the Father. But she did walk through life with the perfection of faith. She also knew the many truths of Heaven and earth through her Immaculate Heart. Her heart was a heart filled with every virtue. She loved with a love that was indescribable. And what she especially pondered in her Immaculate Heart, over and over throughout life, was the pure and perfect love she had for her Son. To her, this love left her in amazement. She was continually in a state of holy awe as she interacted with her Son, gazed upon His sacred life, and watched Him advance in “wisdom and age and favor before God and man” (John 2:52). The love in her heart was a lesson to herself. She continually deepened her knowledge of God through the pondering of the perfect love placed in her heart by her God. And this God, her Savior, was her Son.

We celebrate today the Memorial of the Immaculate Heart of Mary. Though there are many feasts throughout the year in which we honor this holy daughter of God, this celebration is an opportunity for us all to ponder her pondering heart.

A human heart is not just physical, it is also spiritual. It is the spiritual source of our love of God and others. From our heart flows either virtue or vice, love or hate, generosity or selfishness. As we honor the Immaculate Heart today, we are called to look at the ideal of what should live within our own hearts and what should flow forth from them. The perfection of all virtue is what must ideally flow from every human heart throughout time. And it is the heart of our Blessed Mother that will teach us how to internalize those virtues so as to become an instrument of the love of God to others.

Reflect, today, upon the spiritual perfection of the Immaculate Heart of Mary. Perfection is difficult to comprehend in our fallen state. But the more we look to the ideal, the more we will desire that ideal. And the more we desire that ideal, the more we will obtain it. Allow yourself today to ponder the ideal heart as it resided in the Mother of God and ask for her to intercede for you so that you will more fully imitate her.

Most Immaculate Heart of Mother Mary, you reveal to us the perfect way to love your Son and to be devoted to Him. Fill me with the love you had for your Son by interceding for me. Thank you for the witness you gave to us all and help us to imitate the countless virtues that flowed from your heart. Immaculate Heart of Mary, pray for us. Jesus, I trust in You.

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