Today is the memorial of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of the Church, and the readings help us to see the correspondence between her role in the incarnation of the Word and the birth of the early Church.
In the Acts of the Apostles, following the ascent of Jesus into heaven, we see the nucleus of the nascent Church, Eleven Disciples are named along with Mary, the mother of Jesus. Following the instructions of Jesus, they returned to Jerusalem and gathered in the Upper Room and were united in prayer.
This community witnessed the public life of Jesus, His ministry, death, resurrection, and ascension, while Mary was also the witness of the infancy, and hidden life, of Jesus. They were well qualified to be the bearer of the good News of Christ to the world, to form His Church in the presence of, and with the prayer of the Mother of Jesus.
Tradition has it that the mention of Mary, here, is significant and is evidence of her role as the Mother of the Church, from its very beginning, and forever more. The power of the Holy Spirit came upon Mary at the Incarnation, and she was there, again as it came upon the apostles, gathered at the birth of the Church. Her quiet presence in Nazareth and her presence in the Upper Room signify her continued maternal presence in the Church. (John Paul II Redemptoris Mater, 24)
At the foot of the cross, the women, Mary and John were with Jesus to the last. In His agony, Jesus tells Mary that John is her son, and tells John that Mary is his mother. The Lord was placing Mary in the care of John and at the same time, giving her to us as our mother. He refers to her as ‘Woman’, reminding us that she is the New Eve, the mother of all the living.
We are blessed to have Mary, as our mother. She who was chosen by God to conceive His Son, who suffered at the foot of the cross, accompanied the Apostles in the early days of the Church and was united with them in prayer.
Imagine how comforting her presence would have been for the Disciples, as they awaited the Holy Spirit, by whom she had already been overshadowed! Maybe spend sometime today, becoming more aware of Mary’s presence, close to you. Give thanks to God for this gift and unite with her in prayer, for your needs and the needs of the Church.