Jun 16 – Memorial of the Blessed Virgin Mary
The Immaculate Heart of Mary is a devotional name used to refer to the interior life of the Blessed Virgin Mary, her joys and sorrows, her virtues and hidden perfections, and, above all, her virginal love for God the Father, her maternal love for her son Jesus, and her compassionate love for all people.
The Eastern Catholic Churches occasionally utilize the image, devotion, and theology associated with the Immaculate Heart of Mary. However, this is a cause of some controversy, some seeing it as a form of liturgical latinisation. The Roman Catholic view is based on Mariology, as exemplified by Pope John Paul II‘s Apostolic Letter Rosarium Virginis Mariae.
Traditionally, the heart is depicted pierced with seven wounds or swords, in homage to the seven dolors of Mary. Also, roses or another type of flower may be wrapped around the heart.
1 Kings 19:19-21
Leaving Mount Horeb, Elijah came on Elisha son of Shaphat as he was ploughing behind twelve yoke of oxen, he himself being with the twelfth. Elijah passed near to him and threw his cloak over him. Elisha left his oxen and ran after Elijah. ‘Let me kiss my father and mother, then I will follow you’ he said. Elijah answered, ‘Go, go back; for have I done anything to you?’ Elisha turned away, took the pair of oxen and slaughtered them. He used the plough for cooking the oxen, then gave to his men, who ate. He then rose, and followed Elijah and became his servant.
Jesus said to his disciples, ‘You have learnt how it was said to our ancestors: You must not break your oath, but must fulfil your oaths to the Lord. But I say this to you: do not swear at all, either by heaven, since that is God’s throne; or by the earth, since that is his footstool; or by Jerusalem, since that is the city of the great king. Do not swear by your own head either, since you cannot turn a single hair white or black. All you need say is “Yes” if you mean yes, “No” if you mean no; anything more than this comes from the evil one.’
All you need to say is “Yes” if you mean yes, “No” if you mean no…
“Yes” and “No” are committal words many of us hesitate to use. While they appear to be on opposite sides, I feel that they actually do the same thing. Saying “yes” to one thing means saying “no” to something else. Saying “no” to something is indirectly saying “yes” to something else. I guess that’s why we sometimes do not make a decision; perhaps it’s because we fear what we may lose.
Saying “yes” to a wedding proposal means saying “yes” to companionship and at the same time, some people see it as saying “no” to certain types of freedom. Saying “no” to a wedding proposal makes it possible for one to continue enjoying the ‘freedom’ one is enjoying at the moment while it says no to the companionship being offered. At the end of the day, I feel that the actual question is really which one is most important for you?
What, who or which one is most important for you? I think that is the essence of commitment. It’s choosing to prioritize someone or something over other things, and choosing the same when it gets tough. Unfortunately, our world now makes us believe that we can have it all. We can’t. We must choose and we must be committed to what we have chosen.
God said we can’t serve two masters. I feel that it’s the same as saying “yes” to one and “no” to another. There is just no compromise. It’s a commitment. It’s never half-way.
I know it’s really difficult to decide. Choosing God might cost us our jobs, our friends, our ‘happiness’, our family, our reputation and many more. Saying “yes” to God is prioritizing him over and above all these and doing it all the time. It’s a tough call and this is what adds value to our ‘yes’es. If our ‘yes’ to God is always easy, will it have any significance at all?
What is God asking you to commit to right now? Pray over it and, when the time to decide arrives, let your ‘yes’ be yes and your ‘no’ be no.
(Today’s OXYGEN by Stephanie Villa)
Prayer: Dear Lord, commitment is such a heavy word and yet, you are asking this of me every single time. Help me to make those commitments and especially help me to live up to those commitments.
Thanksgiving: Thank you, Lord, for making commitment difficult, because only our choice to struggle through the difficulty is what we can offer to you as gifts.