The grace of Mary, grace to the world
Gospel: Lk 2: 41 - 51
As we celebrate the memorial of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, I am reminded of the main message of the readings - grace.
Isaiah talks about the unfolding of the world of grace because God has blessed his people. Notice also the wide scope of the power of grace.
In the New Testament, Jesus himself is the grace that unites us to the Father.
As we are about to offer the entire nation to the Immaculate Heart, recognize the grace that comes from God and that has wrapped us up in the secure arms of the Father.
"We wish to do this as truly one people, “from Aparri to Jolo”: formally re-affirming that our country is indeed“pueblo amante de Maria” – bayang sumisinta kay Maria: a people truly loving Mary the Mother of Jesus the Lord, a people in a true sense “made one” by this love and devotion which we bear, by God’s great gift, to the Mother of God."(CBCP Pastoral Exhortation on the Celebration of the National Consecration).
Secondly, we believe that this consecration will help us free ourselves from the shackles of sin and danger: "freely and firmly offered,
would bring grace for conversion from sin and of sinners, protection
from the “menace of evil and war; from sins against life and the dignity
of God’s children; from every kind of injustice and trampling of God’s
commandments; from “the sin of the world, sin in all its manifestations
…” (John Paul II’s prayer, 1984)
Thirdly, there is a need for us to reflect on the spiritual growth of Filipinos' faith: "Deeper than all the foregoing, a genuine “return to God and turning truly to the Gospel” and
the more authentic living of our faith, these call us and challenge us,
in pursuing our vocation to be truly God’s People, to be Christ’s Body
in our land."
Our love for the Blessed Mother inspires us to respond to the call of the New Evangelization and renewed faith among our people. The CBCP urges us to to do the following to complement the Act of Consecration: "As part of our Consecration to the Immaculate Heart, there are also the
adjoint practices of (1) the Mass and Communion of Reparation on the
First Saturday of each month, and (2) Prayer and Penance, in our daily
lives offered also by us, in union with Our Lady’s Immaculate Heart. As
much as possible, the daily recitation of the Rosary will be the
ongoing-practice of prayer asked of us. We are reminded that the Fatima
message teaches the “immense power of the Rosary” for faith-life in the
world of grace."
May Jesus be our guide in this endeavor!