In the Chicago parish grammar school where I grew up there were two classroom wings which formed an “L”.  If you stood at the apex of that “L” (which Sr. Mary Grace, the principal, often did) you could monitor both wings at the same time. On the wall at the far end of the east wing was a painting of the Sacred Heart of Jesus; on the wall at the end of the north wing was a painting of the Immaculate Heart of Mary.  Our lives as children were marked by the loving gaze of both Jesus and Mary.  It was almost as if we all stood in the crossbeams of two amazing loves!

As we celebrate today’s feast of Mary’s Immaculate Heart, each of us knows just how Mary has kept the adventures and misadventures of our lives “in memory,” as today’s gospel reading says. This feast reminds us that our days and years are “stitched together” in God’s good grace.  Perhaps this is an appropriate day to examine those “stitches,” to thank God for all the growth and grace that have come our way, and to offer our lives once again to Jesus and his Mother.  Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners now and the hour of our death.  Amen!

—the Jesuit Prayer Team