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Mary, Mother of the Church

As the Easter season draws to a close, the Church celebrates the Feast of Pentecost which is actually considered “the birthday of the Church.” Since Mary remained with the Apostles in the upper room awaiting the coming of the Holy Spirit (Acts 1:13-14), she is seen as an important participant in this birthing and as early as the 4th Century, was given the title, Mother of the Church. In 2018, Pope Francis added the Feast of Mary, Mother of the Church, to the universal calendar. This feast is the Monday after Pentecost.

Just as Mary gave birth physically to the body of Jesus, she gives birth spiritually to His Mystical Body on earth, the Church. According to the Catechism of the Catholic Church No. 843, the “Church” is the holy people of God. Mary is indeed a mother to this body.

As our mother, Mary is a model and inspiration for all followers of Jesus. He acclaimed her not only as mother, but also as a faithful disciple. “My mother and my brothers are those who hear the word of God and act upon it.” (Luke 8:21) As first among His disciples, she teaches us how to live a life of virtue.

Joys and Sorrows

Her life, like ours, was filled with joys and sorrows. She must have had happy times such as when she found Jesus after losing Him in the temple or when observing Him at the Wedding feast at Cana or watching Him gather the little children or seeing the crowds waving palms in His honor.

Certainly, Mary also experienced difficult times. At the Annunciation, she gave her consent to God’s incomprehensible request to become the mother of Jesus and face an unknown future. Then, as refugees, she and Joseph with the Child had to drop everything and go … flee into Egypt. As her son grew and entered into His public life, Mary experienced fear and puzzlement when she saw Jesus rejected by man. Finally, she stood helplessly at the foot of the cross as a faithful witness to His Passion and death. In all circumstances, she repeated her “yes” to what God asked of her.

Understanding Needs

May lived her whole life in union with the mysteries of her Son’s life. She was a redemptive collaborator in all the work He would accomplish as He established the Church. And now that she is eternally united with her Son in heaven, she is eternally available to us, the holy People of God, as our intercessor.

We can look to Mary to intercede for us. Because she herself experienced so many human trials, she understands our needs. When life confronts us with its difficulties, we, the People of God, can turn to Mary, Mother of the Church for help. In this maternal role, she nurtures us spiritually and helps us develop the divine life of God’s grace within us.

If all this is so wondrously true, we ought to remember what a current TV ad reminds us to do.

“Call your mother.”

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Sister Carol Meyers

Sister Carol Meyers volunteers as a Montessori consultant and as a tutor at The Dominican Literacy Center att St. Cyprian Parish in River Grove, Illinois. She also serves as lector and offers time to a Kindergarten class and the RCIA program.

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5 Comments

  1. Donna Butler on May 24, 2021 at 6:19 am

    Carol
    Thank you for this wonderful reflection on Mary.

  2. Bernadette Shonka '68 on May 24, 2021 at 11:49 am

    Thank you for the reflection. We often call on Mary, but do we than do what she has asked of us? Recall her apparitions at Fatima – Pray the rosary every day; keep the First Saturdays; prayer; penance; pray for the souls in purgatory; wear the brown scapular. WWII came because we did not heed her requests. All of her apparitions call for this and especially for purity. Our Lady of America (recent apparitions 1956-1959) again the call for purity and for our US Bishops to solemnly process her statue and enthrone it in our National Basilica – that is the statue described by Our Lady to Sr. Ephrem Neuzil. She appeared right here in NE Indiana. Many yet do not know of these apparitions. Learn more from Dan Lynch Apostolate, or http://www.ourladyofamericaUSA.org; or ourladyofamerica.org. Sign the petition to our bishops to fulfill her requests. If done, she promises more miracles of grace for the US than from Lourdes and Fatima combined. 🙂 I’m so glad that Pope Francis has put this Memorial on the calendar.

  3. S. Denise Wilkinson on May 24, 2021 at 1:27 pm

    Hey, Carol. I have to admit that this feast of Mary has ‘t yet become part of my “Mary feast days I know by heart..” So thank you for walking me through all the ways the feast makes perfect sense and why it comes after Pentecost.

  4. Stephen Modde on May 24, 2021 at 1:58 pm

    Well researched article showing Mary, mother, leading and inspiring us onward. The older I get the more I am aware of the communion of saints, here and gone before us. You point out that Mary is leading us all. Mother Mary in her maternal role, “nurtures us spiritually and helps us develop the divine life of God’s grace within us.”
    And I just made a “call” to her. She answered my call! 😇📞

  5. Marilyn Kofler on May 27, 2021 at 4:48 pm

    Thank you, Carol, for reminding me to call my Mother! I am giving my Mother an urgent call re one of my sisters who is in great need. May Mary, our Mother, respond as she did in Cana!

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