< <  

Monday, May 24, 2021

  > >

Mary, Mother of the Church

Genesis 3:9-15, 20 or
Acts 1:12-14
Psalm 87:1-3, 5-7
John 19:25-34

View Readings
Similar Reflections

accept your mother

“Seeing His mother there with the disciple whom He loved, Jesus said to His mother, ‘Woman, there is your son.’ In turn He said to the disciple, ‘There is your mother.’ ” —John 19:26-27

I once heard a homily on the above Scripture passage. The priest noted that the order of Jesus’ words on the cross is important. Jesus first talked to Mary. This does not mean He was providing for her future, but that He was giving her a commission for the future. Jesus is handing over to His mother Mary the Church and all His disciples whom He has been forming for three years. He is commissioning her to be the mother of the new Church.

After this commission, Jesus next talks to the beloved disciple, telling him that his new mother is standing next to him. In essence, Jesus is telling the Church, through the beloved disciple, to accept Mary as mother and discipler. Jesus “thirsts” for us to accept her (see Jn 19:28). The homilist went on to note that had Jesus addressed Mary and the beloved disciple in the reverse order, he would have been commissioning the disciple to watch over Mary, and advising Mary to accept his care.

Will we accept Mary as our model discipler and mother? Many Catholics, Protestants, and other Christians have not accepted her motherly care. Mary, like her Son, yearns to gather all her children under her wings, but many will not allow that (see Lk 13:34). Mary possesses the grace to unify disciples through her Spouse, the Holy Spirit (see Acts 1:14ff; Eph 4:3ff). Do we want unity enough to receive Mary’s ministry as Mother of the Church?

Prayer:  Father, together with Mary, may I devote myself to constant prayer (Acts 1:14).

Promise:  “He Who has established her is the Most High Lord.” —Ps 87:5

Praise:  Mary is the mother of “those who keep God’s commandments and give witness to Jesus” (see Rv 12:17).

Reference:  (This teaching was submitted by a member of our editorial team.)

Rescript:  "In accord with the Code of Canon Law, I hereby grant the Nihil Obstat for One Bread, One Body covering the period from April 1,2021 through May 31, 2021 Reverend Steve J. Angi, Chancellor, Vicar General, Archdiocese of Cincinnati, Cincinnati, Ohio August 5,2020"

The Nihil Obstat ("Permission to Publish") is a declaration that a book or pamphlet is considered to be free of doctrinal or moral error. It is not implied that those who have granted the Nihil Obstat agree with the contents, opinions, or statements expressed.