The Blessed Virgin who mothered our Savior, mothers us as well
Reflections on the readings for the Memorial of the Blessed Virgin Mary (June 1, 2020): GN 3:9-15,20; PS 87:1-2,3,5,6-7; JN 19:25-34
MISSIO offers “Preaching Mission,” as a homily help, providing connections to mission from the readings of Sundays, Feast Days and Holy Days.
Today we celebrate a rather new feast day. It was proclaimed by Pope Francis only two years ago and honors the Blessed Virgin Mary as Mother of the Church. He specifically wanted the Monday after Pentecost to be designated because it is the birthday of the Church. The Pope wanted the Mother of Jesus Christ, the Son of God, to be revered as Mother of the Church – His Mystical Body, that is, as our own Mother. Mary bore Jesus in her womb through the power of the Holy Spirit and cared for Him with the beautiful warmth and strength of maternal love. Mary also followed Christ to the cross where He entrusted His Mother and St. John to each other. “When Jesus saw His mother and the disciple there whom He loved, He said to His mother, ‘Woman, behold, your son.’ Then He said to the disciple, ‘Behold, your mother.’ And from that hour the disciple took her into his home” (John 19:26-27).
The Blessed Virgin was also with the Apostles at the coming of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost. Just as her Son had forgiven them for abandoning Him during His Passion, Mary surely did as well. And now, with the coming of the Spirit, she was able to see them transformed into the faithful, courageous disciples that Christ was sending out to change the world. She loved them because Jesus loved them. More than that, she loved them because they, and the other early followers of her Son, were His Body now. They were His Church, ready to go forth and share the news of His life, death and resurrection to others who would then do the same down through the generations. And she continues to look after every one of us who call Jesus our Lord though her unique role in the history of salvation. And, so, like Him, we joyfully call her “Mother.”