BLESSED VIRGIN MARY, MOTHER OF THE CHURCH (MEMORIAL)
The man called his wife Eve, because she became the mother of all the living.
Any guesses why the first reading today (Genesis 3:9 – 15, 20), on the feast of Mary, Mother of the Church, is the story of the fall of Adam and Eve? It all goes back to the Church’s ancient portrayal of Mary as the new Eve. For instance, the second-century bishop St. Irenaeus wrote that the knot of Eve’s disobedience was loosed by the obedience of Mary. Yes, Eve became mother of all the living, but by welcoming Jesus into her womb, Mary has become mother to all those born into eternal life through him. And that makes her mother of the entire Church.
As a good mother, Mary supports and guides us—both individually and as a Church—with tenderness and compassion. She is committed to teaching us and helping us grow into kind, faithful people who love the Lord and each other. So she urges us to obey and trust in God. And she doesn’t just tell us what to do; she sets the example for us as well. By her actions, she shows us how to “hear the word of God and act on it,” and she shows us how to do it in humility and surrender (Luke 8:21).
As any good mother does for her children, Mary also prays for us—constantly. She knows our challenges and our hopes and our fears, and she brings them to her Son and asks him to help us. And just as any good mother would do, she rushes to our side when we fall. She comes to comfort us but also to encourage us to stand up in faith and begin again.
Spend some time today pondering Mary’s role as your spiritual mother and as Mother of the Church. This is a good day to try to grow closer to her and to ask her to guide you on your journey of faith. Mary, the new Eve, is ready to hold you close to her heart.
“Father, thank you for making Mary the Mother of the Church. Help me to learn from her example and to receive the blessings of her intercession.”
Psalm 87:1-3, 5-7