My parish church growing up was named after the Immaculate Heart
of Mary, the feast the church celebrates today. Though I don’t
recall a single sermon based on our parish name, I did receive the
welcome and wisdom of a mother’s love from this suburban Milwaukee
parish that welcomed my immigrant family. Through youth retreats
and daily Mass reflections on the readings in small summer gatherings,
adult education evenings on the early roots of the sacraments, hunger
awareness and advocacy workshops, the love of Christ for me and
for the world became real through this Immaculate Heart of Mary.
“The love of Christ impels us,” Paul tells the Corinthians
in today’s first reading, and calls us all to the ministry
of reconciliation. It is quite the mission Paul describes, “God
appealing through us” to communicate the invitation to others
and to the world to be reconciled to God.
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