Monday, 29 May 2023 : 8th Week of Ordinary Time, Memorial of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of the Church (Homily and Scripture Reflections)

Liturgical Colour : White

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, today is the day after the Pentecost Sunday, and therefore mark the beginning of the second part of the Ordinary Time of this current liturgical year. And on this day the Church celebrates the Feast of Mary, the Mother of God herself in her aspect as the Mother of the Church or Mater Ecclesiae. We remember Mary in her constant guidance and protection for the Church that has been entrusted by her own Son to her care, so that all of us may always seek for her intercession and guidance, and do not easily give up the struggles and the trials that we may have to face in this world in becoming faithful disciples and followers of Our Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of our beloved Mother, who is also the Mother of the Church, the Mother of all of us.

In our first reading today, we heard from the Book of Genesis of the account of the downfall of mankind which happened because the first woman, Eve, was unable to resist the temptations of the devil who convinced her to disobey the Lord and succumb to the temptations of her desires, eating the forbidden fruit of the Tree of knowledge of good and evil in the Gardens of Eden. Through her therefore, disobedience and sin entered into the hearts of mankind, separating us from the grace and love of God. Mankind was cast out from the Gardens of Eden, and forced to wander off and suffer the consequences of our disobedience and evils, our sins and failure to listen to the words of God. And this was highlighted today because Mary is also known as the New Eve just as Christ is the New Adam.

That is because unlike and opposite that of the original Eve, Mary as the New Eve obeyed the Lord perfectly and wholeheartedly, saying yes to the Lord Who revealed to her through the Archangel Gabriel that she would be the Mother and bearer of the Messiah, the Son of God Himself, incarnate in the flesh. Such a task must have been very challenging and difficult, and yet, despite all the uncertainties, Mary chose to entrust herself to the Lord and to dedicate herself wholly to Him, answering His call with a resounding yes. Her obedience to God and her faith became therefore the source through which salvation entered into the world, coming through her Son, Who was in her womb for nine months, and afterwards, she continued to take care of her Son, Our Lord and Saviour, and followed Him throughout all His works and ministry.

And we heard of how the Lord entrusted her to His disciple St. John in our Gospel passage today, to be his Mother and hence, by extension, as the Mother of all the faithful and of the whole entire Church. Mary followed her Son all the way even throughout all of His Passion, His sufferings and crucifixion right up to the very foot of the Cross. She watched her own Son dying before her, and faithfully continued to dedicate herself to Him. That is all how Mary, as the New Eve, have shown us true obedience, love for God and faith in Him, an example and inspiration that all of us as Christians should be inspired to follow and emulate as well. Mary, as the Mother of the Church is also our Mother, loving and ever caring towards us, ever concerned about us falling again and again into sin and being separated from His Son.

That is why, today, all of us are reminded of our obligation and need to follow our Blessed Mother’s own examples in faith and do whatever we can so that we can be good role models and inspirations ourselves for our fellow brethren in faith, and for many others who have not yet known the Lord or those who have not yet understood His teachings and commandments. And it is through our own examples and actions, our worthy and exemplary way of life that just like Mary, our Mother herself had done, we can inspire others and be great missionaries and evangelisers of our Christian faith. Through Mary, the Mother of the Church, all of us are also led to follow her examples and to follow the path that she led us into, the most direct path to her Son, Our Lord and Saviour.

Brothers and sisters in Christ, today as we embark on this time post Easter, with this Ordinary Time and season, let us all remind ourselves that this time is not for us to slacken our faith life and our Christian obligations and duties. The word Ordinary here as we all ought to know does not refer to anything being ordinary or usual, but rather refers to the word ‘Ordinal’, which pertains to the numbered nature of the weekly observance of the Lord’s time and year, right up to the very last day of our current liturgical year. And all of us as Christians have the important calling and mission to lead a worthy and holy life, dedicated and committed to God much like Mary, our Mother and the Mother of the Church had done in her own life.

Let us all ask Our Blessed Mother to intercede for us and to lead us down the path of righteousness, to always inspire and remind us whenever we err or make any mistakes in life, so that we will not be easily be swayed by the many temptations all around us, all the evils and wickedness of the world. Let us all follow the Lord and His Mother, and do whatever it is that we have been called to do, to be worthy in all things and to commit our lives anew as Christians, those whom God had called and chosen to be His own beloved people. Let all of our actions, works and deeds from now on continue to inspire many others and help many of our fellow brethren to be able to come ever closer to God together with each one of us.

Mary, our loving Mother and the Mother of the Church, pray for us all sinners and pray for the Church that your Son, Our Lord and Saviour, had established in this world. Intercede for us all whenever we need your help, and be with us always in our journey towards your Son. May God be with us all and with His Church, now and always. Amen.

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