June 1, 2020
Genesis 3:9-15, 20
Today we celebrate the Memorial of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of the Church. In 2018, Pope Francis decreed that the ancient devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary, under the title of Mother of the Church, be inserted into the Roman Calendar on the Monday after Penetcost Sunday.
Scripture, the decree said, depicts Mary at the foot of the Cross (cf. Jn 19:25). There she became the Mother of the Church when she “accepted her Son’s testament of love and welcomed all people in the person of the beloved disciple as sons and daughters to be reborn unto life eternal.” The Holy Father wishes to promote this devotion in order to “encourage the growth of the maternal sense of the Church in the pastors, religious and faithful, as well as a growth of genuine Marian piety”.
My own devotion the our Blessed Mother has come really only recently in my faith life, influenced much by Father Dan, whose devotion runs so deep into what make him the great priest and shepherd he is. During this time in my life there have been occasions when I prayed fervantly to Mary, looking for help, guidence, comfort, answers and a mother’s love. So much of this came about after my own mother passed away and I was looking for answers that I would have turned to her for. I must say, I was surprised as prayers were answered, comfort was received and hope was restored. I don’t know what I was expecting, but certainly not all that I was blessed to receive. My devotion to Mary was cultivated through the love I received, which didn’t replace the love of my own mother, but reinforced it and helped me to see more clearly the profound act of Jesus we hear about in today’s gospel. Being able to look at Mary as my mother and not reserved as Jesus’ mother opened up a whole new spiritual demension for me.
I believe we can be blessed with so many women in our lives whom we can look up to as mother figures: aunts, mothers-in-law, teachers, neighbors (I can see examples of each of these in my head) who love us and nurture us and guide us that the time will come when we have an army of “Moms” in heaven backing us up. How awesome it is to realize that Our Blessed Mother Mary is there for us, really there for us. I pray that as we honor and celebrate Mary today, that she has a strong influence in your life and we all know in our hearts that we can turn to her in any instance and she will always be there to help us. We are truly all her sons and daughters.