"I turn to Mary and ask her to obtain for me the grace to imitate Our Lord’s Heart. I saw how perfectly her Heart copied His." - St. Claude de la Colombiere: (1641 – 1682: was a Jesuit priest and the confessor of St. Margaret Mary Alacoque. He was a missionary and ascetical writer.)
Gospel Text: (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.
Mary faced a number of situations she did not understand. We are told explicitly this much at the Nativity and in the episode narrated in today’s gospel reading. Implicitly we are told the same when she hears Simeon’s prediction, when her Son appears to be telling her at the Cana wedding this is none of our business, when she hears Jesus say who is my mother?, and most of all at the foot of the cross. But Mary kept moving on without understanding, pondering in her heart.
Her steadfastness, her single-heartedness was not based on external evidence, but on trust. Her pondering in her heart without understanding had led her to not needing to understand –how could a mother understand that her innocent Son is being cruelly executed? Being sure and being assured are not the same thing. Being sure speaks of understanding, which rests on evidence. Being assured speaks of an inner stance, which rests on trust. Mary was assured, even when she could not be sure.
Mary was steeped in a trust born of her pondering heart, her immaculate undivided heart.