Monday, 6 June 2022 : 10th 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 on the day after Pentecost Sunday we enter once again into the season of Ordinary Time, which will continue until the end of this current liturgical year in November this year. And today, we also mark the celebration of Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of the Church, or Mater Ecclesiae. This celebration began in the recent years commemorating what had been widespread acknowledgement of the role of Mary as the Mother of the faithful people of God and hence, also the Mother of the Church. Just as St. Joseph was made the Protector of the Universal Church, it is only right then that Mary is officially accorded the honour of being the Mother of the Church.

As we listened in our Scripture passages today, Mary is the Woman who has been long awaited by the world, to be the one through whom the salvation of this world would come through. Mary is the New Eve just as Christ is represented as the New Adam, the New Man, through Whom the salvation of the world would come from. In our first reading today from the Book of Genesis we heard of the story of how mankind had fallen into sin because they chose to listen to the lies and false promises of Satan, disguised as a snake, and chose to follow him instead of keeping the commandments of God.

Our first ancestors, Adam and Eve fell into sin because they gave in to the temptations presented to them by Satan. Satan tempted them with the knowledge of good and evil that he said would make both of them to be like God. That desire and pride in our ancestors led them to be swayed to turn away from God and His righteous path. Hence, instead of obeying God, mankind instead chose to listen to Satan and his lies, committed sin against God and hence, were sundered off from the fullness of God’s grace and blessings, cast out from Heaven and forced to wander off in the wilderness of this world, to suffer the consequences of our sins.

However, God did not abandon us or cast us out into eternal damnation, as He could have done so if He wanted it. He could have crushed and destroyed us all by the power of His will alone. Yet, His love for us endured even though we had sinned against Him. He continued to love us, and just as He pronounced what man would have to endure for their sins and disobedience, He also rebuked Satan and proclaimed His triumph against the wicked one and the salvation of man which would come through the Woman. While Satan and his forces would have dominion and power over men for a while, this dominion and stranglehold they had over us would not last forever.

That was already foretold by the Lord Himself as He spoke of the coming of His salvation through the Woman, from whom the dominion of Satan and the forces of evil would be broken forever. This is the salvation that Mary had a role in bringing unto this world, that by the grace and will of God, Mary, as the New Eve, through her complete obedience to the will of God, as contrasted to the disobedience of the old and first Eve, would bring unto mankind, the salvation and new life, new existence in God that they truly needed. Christ, the Mediator of the New and Eternal Covenant between God and His people, was born through Mary, and through Him, God willed to reconcile us to Himself, once and for all.

And Mary committed herself thoroughly to the mission and calling entrusted to her, loving her Son wholeheartedly, following Him and being with Him even to the foot of the Cross. As we heard in our Gospel passage today, Mary followed her Son, Our Lord and Saviour, right up to the feet of the Cross, seeing her own Son suffering and dying for the salvation of the whole entire world. She saw it all, all of her sorrow and pain, sharing in the pain suffered by her Son on His Cross. She has always been with her Son, all the time, and the Lord entrusted her henceforth, to His beloved disciple, St. John the Apostle, while at the same time, also entrusting St. John to His own mother, Mary.

Through this act, we have to realise that the Lord was not only entrusting Mary, His mother to St. John the Apostle, and St. John to His mother. St. John was in fact representing the whole Universal Church, and all of us have been entrusted to Mary, to be our own Mother. We are all her children by this entrustment and adoption, and hence, Mary and her title of the Mother of the Church made truly perfect sense. Mary is truly our Mother, who cares for us and has always reached out to us, and through her many apparitions in the past centuries, Mary has always shown us her motherly love, always ever reminding us to turn away from our sinful path, and to return to her Son.

Brothers and sisters in Christ, let us all therefore seek the Lord with renewed heart, faith and commitment, following His own Mother, Mary, the Mother of the Church, who is also our own Mother. Let us all therefore also entrust ourselves to her, and remind ourselves to follow her good examples in faith, her dedication and love for God, in our own lives. Let us also continue to do the good works of the Church, in evangelisation of the whole world, revealing the truth that God has shown us, and guided by His Holy Spirit, to continue to spread the light and hope of God’s truth to more and more people. O Mother Mary, our mother and the Mother of the Church, pray for us sinners always, and guide us all towards your Son’s light and salvation. Amen.

Monday, 6 June 2022 : 10th Week of Ordinary Time, Memorial of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of the Church (Gospel Reading)

Liturgical Colour : White

John 19 : 25-34

At that time, near the cross of Jesus stood His mother, His mother’s sister Mary, who was the wife of Cleophas, and Mary of Magdala. When Jesus saw the mother, and the disciple whom He loved, He said to the mother, “Woman, this is your son.” Then He said to the disciple, “This is your mother.” And from that moment the disciple took her to his own home.

Jesus knew all was now finished and, in order to fulfil what was written in Scripture, He said, “I am thirsty.” A jar full of bitter wine stood there; so, putting a sponge soaked in the wine on a twig of hyssop, they raised it to His lips. Jesus took the wine and said, “It is accomplished.” Then He bowed His head and gave up the Spirit.

As it was Preparation Day, the Jews did not want the bodies to remain on the cross during the Sabbath, for this Sabbath was a very solemn day. They asked Pilate to have the legs of the condemned men broken, so that the bodies might be taken away. The soldiers came and broke the legs of the first man and of the other man, who had been crucified with Jesus.

When they came to Jesus, they saw that He was already dead, so they did not break His legs. One of the soldiers, however, pierced His side with a lance, and immediately there came out Blood and water.

Monday, 6 June 2022 : 10th Week of Ordinary Time, Memorial of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of the Church (Psalm)

Liturgical Colour : White

Psalm 86 : 1-2, 3 and 5, 6-7

He Himself has built it in His holy mountain; YHVH prefers the gates of Zion to all of Jacob’s towns.

Great things have been foretold of you, o city of God. But of Zion, it shall be said, “More and more are being born in her.” For the Most High Himself has founded her.

And YHVH notes in the people’s register : “All these were also born in Zion.” And all will dance and sing joyfully for you.

Monday, 6 June 2022 : 10th Week of Ordinary Time, Memorial of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of the Church (First Reading)

Liturgical Colour : White

Genesis 3 : 9-15, 20

YHVH God called the man saying to him, “Where are you?” He said, “I heard Your voice in the garden and I was afraid because I was naked, so I hid.” God said, “Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten of the tree I ordered you not to eat?”

The man answered, “The woman You put with me gave me fruit from the tree and I ate it.” God said to the woman, “What have you done?” The woman said, “The serpent deceived me and I ate.”

YHVH God said to the serpent, “Since you have done that, be cursed among all the cattle and wild beasts! You will crawl on your belly and eat dust all the days of your life. I will make you enemies, you and the woman, your offspring and her offspring. He will crush your head and you will strike his heel.”

The man called his wife by the name of Eve, because she was the mother of all the living.

Alternative reading

Acts 1 : 12-14

Then they returned to Jerusalem from the Mount called Olives, which is a fifteen minute walk away. On entering the city they went to the room upstairs where they were staying. Present there were Peter, John, James and Andrew; Philip and Thomas, Bartholomew and Matthew, James, son of Alpheus; Simon the Zealot and Judas son of James.

All of these, together, gave themselves to constant prayer. With them were some women, and also Mary, the mother of Jesus, and His brothers.