“When Jesus saw his mother, and the disciple whom he loved standing near, he said to his mother, ‘Woman, behold, your son!’ Then he said to the disciple, ‘Behold, your mother!’” (John 19:26-27)
Every year, on the day just after Pentecost Sunday, the church celebrates a very special memorial called Mary, the Mother of the Church. Having completed the seven weeks of Easter, today is a day for us to pause a while and remember the special role of Mary in the course of the whole Easter festivities and in particular, to examine the full weight of the words Jesus spoke the foot of the cross: “Behold, Your Mother.”
In our first reading today, we are reminded of the words God spoke just after Adam and Eve had eaten from the forbidden tree. In cursing the serpent who tempted them, God said: “I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your seed and her seed…” Who was God referring to as “the woman”? The Blessed Virgin Mary and her seed? Jesus Christ.
Mary holds the title of the Mother of the Church because she was present as a Mother throughout all the events that marked the beginnings of the church. When Jesus appeared to his disciples after rising from the dead, Mary was there. On the day of Pentecost, the day the church was born, Mary was there. Like a very responsible and caring mother, Mary has never abandoned the church. All the apostles addressed her as Mother and treated her with respect and dignity.
Just as John took her home upon hearing the words, “Behold Your Mother” we also take Mary home through our devotional practices. One may ask, does Mary deserve this title? What makes her mother of the church? Mary, together with Joseph raised Jesus. She was with him throughout his hidden years of formation and remained with him all through his public ministry. Mary instigated Jesus’ first public miracle for the good of the couple in Cana.
Through Mary’s intercession, the church has recorded and continues to record countless testimonies. Mary has proven beyond every doubt that she is more than just an envelope, she is a woman we can talk to, a woman we can rely upon to help her talk to her Son, Jesus Christ.
Let us pray: Lord Jesus, may your Mother intercede for us both now and at the hour of our death. Amen.
Bible Study: Genesis 3:9-15,20, Psalm 87 and John 19:25-34).