Last week we celebrated the feast of Pope Saint Paul VI, which is listed as a memorial ad lib- which means we can celebrate it if we want, or not. But for us this Pope had a significant influence on our foundation to the
in the 1940s, so we celebrated it as a full memorial. In 1960 he gave us Lumen Gentium
(Light of the Nations), one of the principal documents of the Second Vatican Council. It is not coincidental that we celebrate his
feast so close to the new feast of MARY,
MOTHER OF THE CHURCH. USA
“At once virgin and mother, Mary is the symbol and the most perfect realization of the Church: ‘the Church indeed… by receiving the word of God in faith becomes herself a mother. By preaching and Baptism she brings forth sons, who are conceived by the Holy Spirit and born of God, to a new and immortal life. She herself is a virgin, who keeps in its entirety and purity the faith she pledged to her spouse”.
So why has the Church put this new feast the day after Pentecost? Mary was with the Apostles when the Holy Spirit descended upon them on that very first Pentecost! Christ gave His Mother to us as our Mother, so she is the spiritual mother of the Church.
“The hope is that the extension of this celebration to the whole Church will remind all Christ’s disciples that, if we want to grow and to be filled with the love of God, it is necessary to plant our life firmly on three great realities: the Cross, the Eucharist, and the Mother of God. These are three mysteries that God gave to the world in order to structure, fructify, and sanctify our interior life and lead us to Jesus. These three mysteries are to be contemplated in silence.”
Cardinal Robert Sarah
“God’s plan included providing a Savior who entered this world through a dual choice: God chose Mary and Mary chose God. The Church honors Mary because she is the beloved Mother of Jesus. Mary was part of God’s plan for salvation. As the Mother of God and as the Mother of the Redeemer, she maintains a place of honor in both the earthly Church and in the heavenly.
Her relationship is distinct from all other humankind, because she was born sinless. Mary was completely human, born without sin and remained sinless. By nature of her humanity she required salvation. Mary’s role was not forced on her; she was completely free to say yes or not. Jesus restored grace to the world. Mary participated in this by her loving cooperation with God. Mary played an integral part in God’s plan to save the world.
She was present and devoted to Jesus as his mother and supported him in his ministry from Cana to
Calvary. After his death she
remained present in prayer and faith. Our devotion to Mary is out of love and
respect to God and His plan. It does not and is not intended to diminish the
truth that Christ alone is our mediator. Mary is a great helper to us as we
seek the road to holiness. She was human and as such was forced to face
temptation. She did not cave in to temptation but endured in all things.
She is the model of virtue. By meditating on her, we grow more like her Son. We honor and have piety toward Mary for no other reason than to better know Christ and to open the whole world up to receiving the graces of Christ. The Second Vatican Council encouraged people to cultivate a loving devotion to Mary and strongly urged theologians and pastors to abstain from gross exaggerations and or neglectful omission in considering the dignity of Mary.
Mary’s place is with God in heaven. Christians are called to understand as Mary did, that in the end truth will prevail, as all things are restored in Christ. The Fathers of the Second Vatican Council provide us with a great.” (Lumen Gentium)