Memorial of the Immaculate Heart of Mary | June 12, 2021

If you are a fan of the “Star Trek” series of shows, specifically “Star Trek: The Next Generation,” you will know that one of Captain Picard’s favorite sayings when asking the crew to carry out his orders or an important activity is “Make it so!”

That phrase is really just a fancy way of saying, “do it!”

“Make it so” is what we are being invited to do on this Memorial of the Immaculate Heart of Mary. And it is a message we hear several times in our readings for today’s liturgy.

St. Paul is reminding us what it is like to live as the People of God – the things we need to do to “make it so” in our lives. We are a new creation thanks to the saving work of Jesus. The old way of doing things and thinking about things is gone forever, because God has reconciled us to himself in Jesus. Old ways of division are done away with. Things need to change!

Is it possible that some of the divisions we experience in our lives and our society today stem from our failure to be good ambassadors of Christ’s message? Christ overcomes our divisions, but we are the ones who often have a hard time living the implications of being one with each other. We are blocked by fear, anger, intransigence, even carelessness. St. Paul is telling us to put all of that aside and work for reconciliation, healing, and justice, – “make it so” – even – and perhaps especially – when it seems most difficult.

In the Gospel from Luke, the image of Jesus at twelve years old at the heart of the Temple engaged in conversation with the Temple teachers is a powerful one. It is as if St. Luke wants to remind us that even at a young age, Jesus was already doing the work of the Father to change things, even in the Temple itself!

Maybe this incident was a preview of coming attractions. Remember that it is to this very Temple that the adult Jesus returned over 20 years later, pushing over tables of moneychangers and saying God’s house was for everyone. Perhaps he took that drastic action because they hadn’t heeded his call to draw in all those seeking God with a sincere heart.

And of course, the Gospel reading features the reunion between Jesus, and his parents who had been beside themselves with anxiety searching for him. While the text says they didn’t understand Jesus’ actions yet, it does say that Mary kept all these things in her heart.

In his recent book Let Us Dream, Pope Francis refers to this as el pensamiento incompleto –unfinished thinking, in which we experience or encounter a new aspect of truth in our lives and have to spend time reflecting on it rather than trying to quickly fit it into existing ways of thinking or dismiss it.

Sometimes we experience things in life that we don’t understand – at least right away. We may even be taken aback by these things. Rather than dismiss them, we are invited to follow Mary’s example – hold onto them in our hearts with a trust that God will reveal the unfolding plan for our lives. Sometimes we must hold onto our experiences until God helps us make sense of them.

Then we will be in a position to see God’s plan and to “make it so,” – just like our Blessed Mother herself did – she who was, of course, her Son’s best disciple!

Let us reflect on these things, as Mary did, and pray for the wisdom of God to help us live into the newness that God has planned for our lives and our world.

Make it so!