Allocutio – June 2023

Yesterday was the Feast of the Immaculate Heart of Mary. In the Gospel, after Mary and Joseph found Jesus at the temple, Jesus said to them: “Why were you searching for me? Didn’t you not know I had to be in my Father’s house?” (Luke 2:49)

This demonstrated the significance of Jesus’ recognition of His mission with God and of His status of being God’s son. This was also an important conversation between Jesus, Mary and Joseph. They accompanied and educated Jesus as He grew up: on one hand as a Jew, and on the other hand, they also understood Jesus’ other mission. Therefore, Mary treasured everything silently in her heart and pondered upon it. How was she to cooperate with God’s plan? At the same time, Jesus was about to start His cause, that is, His mission in being born to the world.

In the Gospel description, we can experience that Mary had taken an important role. She was the mother of Jesus, and His most intimate companion. On one hand, Mary expressed her concern and worried as a mother, but on the other hand, she had to respond positively to angel Gabriel when she said: “I am the Lord’s servant, may your word to me be fulfilled.”

The Feast of the “Immaculate Heart of Mary” emphasized on Blessed Mary’s position in the ecclesiastical mystery. The Immaculate Heart of Mary stressed the importance that Mary was full of grace and the moment of her conception of Jesus, she was honoured as the Mother of Jesus protected from the original sin under the condition of pre-redemption. Pope Pius IX issued an edict announcing that the Immaculate Heart of Mary was an orthodoxy of the Catholic church, emphasizing on Mary’s uniqueness and perfection, reminding us to pursue perfection through following Mary as an example. Hence, in our spiritual life, devotion to the Immaculate Heart of Mary is the best method, learning her faith and obedience. Her greatest love is in embracing the world with a motherly love. We should bear the same faith and obedience, with reference to the Gospel, and present Jesus’ face to the contemporary world which is under numerous challenges today.

The world today is in a bipolar situation, goodness and evil are in a constantly competing situation: on one hand, we want to pursue an advancement in life and stability; but on the other hand, in achieving these external, worldly demands, one will abandon going after intangible values. Hence, social problems appear in different parts of the world. As Christians, how can we face and react to these problems?

What is the best way to devote to Our Blessed Mary? The late Pope Benedict XVI pointed out: Hail Mary, the Rosary, and the Angelus are the best prayers in Marian devotion. The whole salvation happened upon the affirmation of Mary: “Look! Handmaid of the Lord, let it be done to me according to your word!” However, the road for Mary was not easy, “there must be a sharp sword piercing your heart“. But, Mary “Keep everything silent in the heart and ponder upon it”. The devotion to the Immaculate Heart of Mary is a way to help us imitate the rites of Our Lady in our lives, and also explains why on the cross, Jesus handover the Church to His mother! Confronted by the numerous challenges of the world today: monetary benefits, power and material desire, enclosed hearts …… we are more in need of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, her inclusiveness, her motherly love towards each and every one of her child. We should imitate Our Lady in our lives and establish a close relationship with Jesus Christ.

Spiritual Director
Fr. Francis Tam
18 June 2023