Monday after Pentecost (Memorial of Mary, Mother of the Church). Reflection by Rev Fr Oselumhense Anetor (Uromi Diocese)

Gen.3:9-15,20; John 19:25-34

Mater Ecclesiae (Mother of the Church) is not a new title for Mary in Catholic Mariology. It was officially given to Mary during the Second Vatican Council by Pope Paul VI, though it had been earlier used by Pope Benedict XIV in 1748 and Pope Leo XIII in 1885. However, this year marks the third time “Mary Mother of the Church” is celebrated as an obligatory memorial, following Pope Francis’ March 3rd, 2018 decree, that every Monday after Pentecost Sunday shall be thus celebrated.

Friends, Mary is not only Mother of God (Theotokus), she is the New Eve, mother of the Church, and mother of us all. Just as Eve was so called because she was the mother of all the living, so also Jesus gave his mother to his beloved disciple to be our mother. By God’s grace, she has become the new Eve, and co-mediatrix of all graces. This same woman, who stood by the foot of the cross of her son, as he suffered and died for our sakes, continues to stand by the Church even today. May we, through her intercession, find strength for every trial, Amen.

Good morning dear. God bless your week ahead. Holy Mary, Mother of the Church, pray for us sinners who have recourse to you.

N.B: The obligatory Memorial of St Justin the Martyr is not celebrated this year because the obligatory Memorial of today takes precedence.

See readings below:

First reading Genesis 3:9-15,20 ‘The offspring of the woman will crush your head’

After Adam had eaten of the tree the Lord God called to him. ‘Where are you?’ he asked. ‘I heard the sound of you in the garden;’ he replied ‘I was afraid because I was naked, so I hid.’ ‘Who told you that you were naked?’ he asked ‘Have you been eating of the tree I forbade you to eat?’ The man replied, ‘It was the woman you put with me; she gave me the fruit, and I ate it.’ Then the Lord God asked the woman, ‘What is this you have done?’ The woman replied, ‘The serpent tempted me and I ate.’
Then the Lord God said to the serpent, ‘Because you have done this, ‘Be accursed beyond all cattle, all wild beasts. You shall crawl on your belly and eat dust every day of your life. I will make you enemies of each other: you and the woman, your offspring and her offspring. It will crush your head and you will strike its heel.’ The man named his wife ‘Eve’ because she was the mother of all those who live.

The word of the Lord.

Responsorial Psalm – Psalm 86(87)

Of you are told glorious things, O city of God!

On the holy mountain is his city
cherished by the Lord. The Lord prefers the gates of Zion to all Jacob’s dwellings.

Of you are told glorious things, O city of God!

Of you are told glorious things, O city of God!
‘Zion shall be called “Mother”
for all shall be her children.’

Of you are told glorious things, O city of God!

It is he, the Lord Most High, who gives each his place.
In his register of peoples he writes: ‘These are her children,’ and while they dance they will sing:
‘In you all find their home.’

Of you are told glorious things, O city of God!

Gospel Acclamation Alleluia, alleluia!
Happy are you, holy Virgin Mary, and most worthy of all praise, for from you arose the sun of justice, Christ our God. Alleluia!

Gospel John 19:25-34 ‘Behold your son. Behold your mother.’

Near the cross of Jesus stood his mother and his mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary of Magdala. Seeing his mother and the disciple he loved standing near her, Jesus said to his mother, ‘Woman, this is your son.’ Then to the disciple he said, ‘This is your mother.’ And from that moment the disciple made a place for her in his home. After this, Jesus knew that everything had now been completed, and to fulfil the scripture perfectly he said, ‘I am thirsty.’ A jar full of vinegar stood there, so putting a sponge soaked in the vinegar on a hyssop stick they held it up to his mouth. After Jesus had taken the vinegar he said, ‘It is accomplished’; and bowing his head he gave up his spirit. It was Preparation Day, and to prevent the bodies remaining on the cross during the Sabbath – since that Sabbath was a day of special solemnity – the Jews asked Pilate to have the legs broken and the bodies taken away. Consequently, the soldiers came and broke the legs of the first man who had been crucified with him and then of the other. When they came to Jesus, they found he was already dead, and so instead of breaking his legs one of the soldiers pierced his side with a lance; and immediately there came out blood and water.

The Gospel of the Lord.

Image Credit@PIXABAY