Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of the Church
We celebrate today the Memorial of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of the Church. This feast was celebrated for the first time only three years ago. In March 2018, Pope Francis published the decree Ecclesia Mater, Mother of the Church, instituting this feast to be celebrated on the Monday immediately following Pentecost. Pope Francis gave us the reason or purpose for this feast: “We celebrate the Memorial of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of the Church, in order to encourage that growth of the maternal sense of the Church in the pastors, religious, and faithful, as well as growth of genuine Marian piety.” “The Church, like Mary, is woman and mother.”
Mary’s motherliness is a quality that applies also to the Church.
Mary’s motherliness is a quality that applies also to the Church. The Church as a Mother, like the Blessed Virgin Mary, bears fruit… bears life… takes cares of her children… kumakalinga, nag-aalaga, at nagpapahusay sa buhay ng mga anak. She is one and she suffers with those who are afflicted… she continues to bring life to every situation where there is death or an experience of death. This what Pope Francis calls “fruitful attitudes of the Church as Mother.” And because we are Mary’s children and we are the Church, we must have these fruitful attitudes – and we must enrich in our everyday life.
According to the Holy Father, when we forget or set aside this feminine and motherly quality, the Church becomes “a church of old bachelors, who live in isolation, incapable of love, incapable of being fruitful.” It is the motherly quality that enables the Church to give life, to be fruitful, to love tenderly. “And this attitude of woman comes from Mary, because Jesus willed it so.”
Each of us must help in making our own parish church to become a communion of communities… an agent of communion, participation, and mission… able to carry on Christ’s mission, faithfully, and effectively… through its ministries and pastoral programs… supported and sustained by its mission partners, those who live out the spirituality of stewardship, who generously share their time, talents, and resources.
Mary, Mother of the Church, pray for us.