John 19: 25-27
Yesterday, we celebrated the solemnity of the Pentecost; an event that led to the birth of the Church. While a day after it which is today, we celebrate the feast of Our Mother Mary the Mother of the Church.
The Church does this to remind us of the role our Mother Mary plays in our lives as Christians and our salvation history.
After the ascension of Jesus Christ into heaven, the apostles with Mary mother of Jesus joined in prayer waiting for the advent of the Holy Spirit. She was present when the Church was born.
About this St. Augustine says that Mary is the mother of the members of Christ because with ardent charity she cooperated in the rebirth of the faithful into the Church (Decree of the Sacred Congregation for Divine Worship).
Mary As the Mother of the Church.
The Church always has recourse to Mother Mary as the mother of all Christians, hence the mother of the Church.
In 1 Corinthians 12:22-27, Paul emphasizes that all Christians belong to one body in Christ. Christ is the head of this body the Church, we are the members. By being members, we belong to one body in Christ just as the body is one but membered.
Invariably by being the Mother of Jesus Christ who is the head of His body the Church, Virgin Mary is the Mother of the Church.
The body of Christ is the Church, and Virgin Mary gave birth to Christ, whose body is the Church, which means Mary is also the mother of the Church.
Here St Leo the Great says that the birth of the Head is also the birth of the body, thus indicating that Mary is at once Mother of Christ, the Son of God, and mother of the members of His Mystical Body, which is the Church’ ((Decree of the Sacred Congregation for Divine Worship).
- Secondly, as we see in the first reading, Adam named His woman ‘Eve’ because she was the mother of all those who lives. Eve is the mother of the old creation, whose disobedience led man into suffering.
Then the Blessed Virgin Mary whose obedience gave man salvation erases all the old Eve has done. By giving us Jesus, humanity was redeemed and new creation different from the old was born. Hence the Blessed Virgin Mary by this act become the mother of the New creation
- Thirdly, as we see in today’s gospel, Jesus willed to give Mary as a mother to the early Church, when, from the cross, He looked at his mother and said, “Woman, behold, your son” (John 19:26). And to the beloved disciple, “Behold, your mother” (John 19:27).
Jesus’ first statement is “woman” a reference to the role She would play in bringing salvation to mankind prefigured in the prophecy of Genesis 3:15 ” I will put enmity between you and the woman between your seed and her seed. He will crush your head “.
Here, God prophesies the victory of One who will crush the head of the serpent, a seed of a Woman. The only one who crushed the head of the serpent through His death and resurrection is Jesus and His mother is no other person than the Blessed Virgin Mary.
In referring to John, Jesus did not call Mary woman again but He said “behold your mother” which is an emphasis on the maternal role of the Blessed Virgin Mary.
Throughout the centuries, Christians have called upon and honoured Mary as their mother. People like St. John Paul II have asked Mary to be a mother in a very personal way, especially in times of grief.
- Fourthly, the event of yesterday provides a brief glimpse into Mary’s maternity of the Church. The apostles and Mary gathered in prayer after the ascension (Acts 1:14). Together, they prayed for the coming of the Holy Spirit.
Mary’s presence in the upper room emphasizes her role in those first days of Christianity. The Church, starting from the olden days does not joke with the maternal role of the Virgin Mary.
Many saints have recourse to her and took her as a mother personally. Today’s feast of Mary, Mother of the Church reminds us this.
In this role too, there are many apparitions of Her from one place to another trying to bring people close to God. Through Mary, we have the rosary, which is a very mighty weapon against the kingdom of darkness. Therefore, let us love her if we truly love Jesus.
To love me and hate my mother in whom I love so much sounds illogical. So, to love Jesus and hate His Mother for nothing sake sounds crazy. Beloved behold her as your mother. Even the early church never joked with her. Many saints love her beyond comparison. Some have many things they said about her:
“Let us run to Mary, and, as her little children, cast ourselves into her arms with a perfect confidence.”-Saint Francis de Sales
“To succeed in your intentions, entrust yourselves to the Blessed Virgin Mary always, but especially in moments of difficulty and darkness…” Pope John Paul 11.
Love our Lady. And she will obtain abundant grace to
help you conquer your daily struggle
–St. Josemaria Escriva
“If you invoke the Blessed Virgin when you are tempted, she will come at once to your help, and Satan will leave you.”
–St. John Vianney
” We may seek graces, but shall never find them without the intercession of Mary.”
–Saint Cajetan, Founder of the Theatines.
And many more.
May God through the intercession of Mary deliver you from everything that seems impossible in your life. Amen