Mary, Mather of the Church


Genesis 3: 9 – 15,20  or  Acts 1:12 – 14
John 19: 25 – 34


:         Mary, Mother of the Church

     Today, the day after Pentecost Sunday, is appointed as a Memorial to Mary

Mother of the Church.

      This is quite a new ‘feast’ of Our Lady, as it was only proclaimed recently during the Second Vatican Council by Pope St. Paul VI on 21st Nov. 1964.  So it is no wonder that possibly we don’t “feel” or appreciate this feast as we do other titles of Our Lady.

       We have just celebrated the Coming of the Holy Spirit on Our Lady and the apostles at Pentecost. We acknowledge this as the birthday of the Church – the People of God. Now it is fitting that we give thanks to God for Mary’s role as Mother of the redeemed, as Mother of the Church.

       She was so obedient to the Holy Spirit when the Angel Gabriel asked her to be the Mother of the Saviour. Now too she co-operates with her whole heart and soul and spirit to nurture and mother the Family of God, the Church.

       From the Cross, “seeing his mother and the disciple he loved standing near her, Jesus said to his mother, ”Woman, this is your son.” Then to the disciple he said, “This is your mother.” And from that moment the disciple made a place for her in his home.” (John 19:26 –27)

      John seems to point out that the community of the New People of God are born into Life – from the power of the Crucified and Risen Christ. Mary and the beloved disciple symbolise the New Life of God’s People. Mary will now be Mother to the Community of the New Covenant sprung from his Death and Resurrection.

      Let us continue to embrace Mary as our Mother, the Mother of the domestic Church in our own families, and a much loved Mother of all the baptised in the Church at large. Perhaps today and this week we could pray:

                        “Hail Mary, full of grace . . . . .

                          Holy Mary, Mother of God, Mother of the Church, pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death. Amen”

Pat McIndoe CP, a Passionist at St. Gabriel’s Retreat, Boroko, Port Moresby