My dear Sisters and Brothers. Thinking about a scenario that air traffic controllers could be drunk can be more frightening than watching Air crush investigations. I’ve stimulated your imagination not to frighten you but to introduce you to the Solemnity we are observing in this parish church of ours, the Immaculate Heart of Mary.
An image of an air control tower is close to what we find in the Bible about the heart, even if the people of the Bible couldn’t imagine flying from one side of the world to another. The heart in the Bible is the ‘control centre’ of the person. It brings together mind, knowledge, thinking, reflection, memory, inclination, resolution, determination, conscience, emotions, passions, religiosity etc.
In our modern society the heart is understood very poorly. It is understood only biologically or romantically. There is even a saying: ‘the heart wants what it wants,’ which means that emotions are beyond any control. Although the modern appreciation of the heart is different to that of the Scriptures there are still some traces grounded in the Biblical faith which has been preserved even today. For example we have a saying: ‘to take something to heart.’ This saying indicates that the heart is larger than romance. At the same time this saying is a reflection of how St Luke wrote about Mary in the Gospel: ‘Mary stored up all these things in her heart.’ Mary kept in her heart everything that was about Jesus. But Mary’s heart wasn’t like a freezer. Her heart was of flesh and what she stored up in her heart was impacting her.
Her Immaculate Heart was the art of work of God himself. In our collect it was acknowledged that God ‘prepared’ her heart. That’s why her Immaculate Heart was freed from sin. That’s why her Immaculate Heart was not divided. In her Immaculate Heart mind, knowledge, thinking, reflection, memory, inclination, resolution, determination, conscience, emotions, passions, religiosity were united. They were not fighting each other but operating together. That’s why her Immaculate Heart was ‘a worthy dwelling for the Holy Spirit’ as we prayed in our Collect for this Mass.
I would like to recall now the words of our Blessed Mother from Fatima. On June 13, 1917 the Immaculate Virgin said to the three children: ‘Jesus wishes to establish in the world devotion to My Immaculate Heart. To those who embrace this devotion I promise salvation; these souls will be favoured by God, like flowers placed by me to adorn His throne.’
There is a photo of Sister Lucia who was one of the three children who spoke to Our Lady in Fatima. In the photo we see the aged nun who cuddles the Statue of the Immaculate Heart of Mary. At the same time it looks like the statue cuddles Sister Lucia too.
My dear Sisters and Brothers. Today as we glorify God for the great things he did in the Immaculate Heart of Mary I encourage you to devote yourself to this Immaculate Heart. Press your heart against hers so that the grace of a united heart may flow from her heart to yours and ‘the Lord will make both integrity and praise spring up in the sight of the nations.’ Her Immaculate Heart is the beginning of bringing unity in our hearts, so that all those things in our own hearts can work together and thus this interior control tower in us can direct our lives in the ways of the Lord.