Homily - Monday, June 1, 2020
Memorial of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of the Church (Mc 12, 1-12)
Mary, Mother of the Church! Mary our Mother!
Mary is the Mother of the Church! Mary is our Mother! This is not a made-up title! Jesus himself used it when He was on the cross. “Woman, this is your Son. Son, this is your mother.”
“Woman, this is your Son.” These words were spoken to John and to a few others who were with Mary at the foot of the cross, but also extend to the entire Church. The words “this is your mother,” spoken by Jesus to the disciples and to us through the Gospel, present the entire Church to Mary. In a way, this expanded Mary’s mission.
We are first introduced to Mary as a daughter of Israel who is shaped by faith. She is the hope and charity of the people of Israel, the one who says “yes” to the Lord. In that sense, she was faithful to her first vocation, to be a child of God and a daughter of the Father.
Her mission grew as she continued to be a faithful child of God. She was called to become the mother of Jesus, true God and true man. Her life was a pilgrimage of faith. Then, at the foot of the cross, Jesus himself expanded her mission. She was the daughter of the Father, the mother of Jesus, and then, she became the mother of the Church. For this reason, we as a baptised people can truly pray to Mary as our Mother. We pray the Rosary often and with good reason, because we pray to Mary, our mother.
What does Mary, our mother do? As our mother, what does Mary do for us? Mary is the one who gives us Jesus. Her first desire is to give us Jesus!
If, on her part, Mary is a mother who gives life, our part is to receive Jesus who is our life.
Mary also prays for us, she intercedes for us so that we may open our hearts to Jesus.
Mary is the one who best received Jesus! Saint Augustin said that before receiving Him in the flesh, she received Him in her heart.
Among all people across history, she is the one who best received Jesus. But at the same time, she is also the one who best gave Jesus to the world, by bringing Him into the world. She is the one who gives Jesus to all humanity and who brings Jesus into the world as the mother of Jesus. In being the mother of Jesus, and in being faithful to Jesus, she becomes our mother.
Mary is the one who gives Jesus to all humanity and who brings Jesus into the world as the mother of Jesus.
In being the mother of Jesus, and in being faithful to Jesus, she becomes our mother.
Let us not stop praying to Mary because Mary leads us to Jesus. Saint Louis-Marie Grignion de Montfort used to say, “We can go to Jesus without Mary, but it is faster with Mary!” Let us not fear to pass by Mary to go to Jesus. That is her vocation, given to her by Jesus himself.
And let us pray to the Father. Through her “yes”, Jesus came into our lives. Through the prayer of Mary, let our heart be more open to Jesus. Through the prayer of Mary, let the Church be born and continue to grow. Through the prayer of Mary, let us grow as children of God.