Monday, 21 May 2018 : 7th Week of Ordinary Time, Memorial of Mary, Mother of the Church (Homily and Scripture Reflections)

Liturgical Colour : White

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, on this day we celebrate for the first time the feast of Mary, in her aspect as the Mother of the Church. This celebration was just promulgated earlier this year by our Pope, Francis, in the recognition of the title and honour which Mary, the Mother of our Lord and God, has been accorded since the most ancient of times.

Since the earliest days of the Church, Mary has been recognised as a very important person in the Church, and definitely, if she has been recognised as the Mother of God, then it makes just perfect sense that she is also the Mother of the Church, for Jesus Christ, is the Head of the Church, and hence, because she is His mother, she is also the mother of the whole entire Church.

Today, we recall Mary’s role in the history of our salvation and in the history of the Church. Mary is mother of Our Lord, Jesus Christ, and by that virtue she is the Mother of God, through the indwelling of the Holy Spirit at the moment of the Annunciation. Then, at the Pentecost, which we have just celebrated yesterday, Mary also received the Holy Spirit together with the other disciples of the Lord, at the moment when the Church was established.

And thus, Mary is a figure, by the virtue of her divine motherhood, and by the virtue of her pious and wholly dedicated life to God, is the mother of all of us, the mother of the Church of God. She is that perfect role model for all of us, as we look upon her examples in faith. She is, after all, the one who is the closest to her Son, the greatest one among all the saints, and our greatest intercessor.

This complements perfectly the role of St. Joseph, the foster father of Our Lord, who is known as the Protector of the Church. Just as St. Joseph protected the Holy Family and the young Jesus from harm, and thus, symbolically linked to his role as the Protector of the universal Church, then Mary, as the mother of the Lord and thus as the mother figure of the Holy Family, is the mother of the Church.

And how important is it for us to understand the role that Mary has as the mother of the Church? It is important, because by knowing her motherhood, we can be assured of her love, care and attention when we are in need and when we look to her for assistance. A mother will not abandon her child, no matter what sacrifices it may take her to do so. A mother who abandons her child or does not care about the child, is not worthy of being called a mother.

As such, she always looks upon us all, her beloved children, with great and tender care. In our Gospel passage today, we heard of how the Lord Jesus entrusted to her, St. John, His disciple, and then entrusted him to her care as well. Through this act, the Lord symbolically and in reality, entrusted to Mary, the whole Church, all the faithful to her care, and similarly, He entrusted her to us.

That is why, if we look throughout history of our faith, we can see just how many times Mary appeared to us, to the people, in Lourdes and Fatima, and in many other occasions, in order to remind us about the importance of being faithful to God, and how we need to have an interior conversion towards the Lord, and repent from our sins. Otherwise, because of our sins, it is likely that we will end up falling from our faith, and which mother wants to see her son or daughter lost from her?

That is again, why Mary is ever so active, at calling many of us to return to her Son, Our Lord Jesus and the salvation which He had promised all those who are faithful to Him. Now that we realise we have such a great ally on our side, a loving and caring mother, who is always rooting for us and caring for us, praying for us constantly at all times, then why should we not use this great opportunity given to us?

Brothers and sisters in Christ, let us all therefore ask Mary, our beloved mother and the mother of our Church, to pray for us and to continue to watch over us, that we will continue to be faithful to our calling as Christians, to be dedicated and to be committed in our faith, that we will not fall into temptation and into the path of sin. May the Lord bless us all, and may He continue to be with us, together with His blessed mother Mary, our loving mother. Amen.

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