Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord, May it be done to me according to your word. (Luke 1:38)
In Mary's "yes" to God, Luke gives us a glimpse into her immaculate heart. He shows us a heart that trusted God, loved him, and wanted more than anything else to please him. Favored by God, Mary freely embraced his plan of salvation and was willing to make any personal sacrifice to advance it.
It is right, especially on a day like today, to honor Mary's immaculate heart. But it is also right to recall that the very same thing that preserved Mary from the effects of sin at her conception-the merits of Jesus' death and resurrection-is given to us in baptism. When we are baptized, we are washed clean of the stain of sin, and heaven is opened to us. The Holy Spirit overshadows us, and Jesus comes to live in our hearts. We become capable of the same disposition of trust and love toward God that Mary had. We can have immaculate hearts!
Of course, this doesn't happen automatically. A disposition like Mary's must be formed is us over time as we turn from sin and place ourselves at the service of God. It's nourished every time we meet Jesus in the sacraments and in prayer. It's strengthened every time we meet Jesus in the poor and needy among us.
Yes, we must make the effort to put off our sinful thoughts and inclinations, but look at the reward! Like Mary and all the saints, we can hear God's voice and actually see his plan of salvation come to pass, both within us and around us. The more we walk on the path that Jesus gives us, the more we too can have the intimacy with God and Mary enjoyed.
Never forget what happened to you when you were baptized! Never forget the restored innocence, the purity of heart, the pwoer of the God within you. A heart like Mary's is within our grasp. As we desire and pursue that purity, God the Father will accomplish it in us.
by: Joe Difato
5 minutes with the Word