Like mother. Like Son. Like Son. Like mother. The sacred, pure heart of Jesus. The immaculate, undefiled heart of Mary.
How does such a heart come to be? Clearly the initiative is God’s, who prepares the human heart to be his dwelling place. At the same time, the human heart must be receptive and cooperative with this work of God, open to the power of the Spirit at work within. Like Mary, who found favor with God.
Mary knew that a place must be readied, there must be room in her heart for God. It must be rid of all clutter, the kinds of things that Jesus said rendered the heart defiled: evil thoughts, greed, malice, deceit, envy, arrogance, anger, and hatred. Such things are not of God. They leave no room in the heart for the Word of God to speak.
A pure heart treasures the Word and ponders it. As did Mary, as did Jesus. How else could they have recognized it as a word for their own lives? Mary, when visiting Elizabeth or when hearing the words Jesus spoke to her in today’s Gospel. Jesus, so often at prayer, finding help for his temptations and for direction in his ministry.
A pure heart knows the power of the Word of God to reveal who we are and who we are to become. A pure heart knows the power of the Word of God to continually create anew.
Like mother. Like Son. So may the heart of each of us become.