Memorial of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of the Church
In 2018, Pope Francis decreed that the Memorial of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of the Church be inserted into the Roman Calendar on the Monday after Pentecost. The Holy Father wished to promote this devotion to Mary, Mother of the Church in order to “encourage the growth of the maternal sense of the Church in the pastors, religious and faithful, as well as a growth of genuine Marian piety.”
On the cross, Jesus’ dying gift to the beloved disciple, and to the entire Church, was the gift of His Mother—“Behold, your mother.” There is still the tendency not to embrace fully the gift that Jesus has given us, and we can still fall into the trap of acting like spiritual teenagers who are somehow “too good” for our Mother, or we think we are somehow far too sophisticated for a sentimental devotion to the Mother of God. Thankfully, our Catholic tradition and faith has always reverenced the person and role of the Blessed Virgin Mary and taught of her powerful intercession in leading souls to her Son.
Mothers are some of the most self-sacrificing, generous, and caring people I know, and whatever qualities we admire in mothers in general, are certainly true of Mary, who is the model of maternal care. She is Mother of God and also the handmaid who shows us what it looks like to say “yes” without reservation and to follow God’s will perfectly. And, she wants to assist us in every way possible in giving ourselves over to God and having the courage to proclaim our “yes.”
As we celebrate this Memorial, let’s go to Mary, that she may lead us to authentic growth in holiness and knowledge of Jesus Christ. Mary will be your companion, intercessor, caretaker, and support on your journey. She will love you with a love that only a Mother can give.
Reflection Question: How can you turn to Mary, Mother of the Church to watch over the Church and her ministers to guide all in the way of holiness?
Reflection by Fr. Paul Sheller, OSB