June 1, 2020
Memorial of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of the Church
Monday after Pentecost
When Jesus saw his mother and the disciple there whom he loved, he said to his mother, “Woman, behold, your son.” Then he said to the disciple, “Behold, your mother.” And from that hour the disciple took her into his home. John 19:26-27
On March 3, 2018, Pope Francis announced that a new memorial would be celebrated on the Monday after Pentecost Sunday, entitled “The Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of the Church.” Henceforth, this memorial is added to the General Roman Calendar and is to be universally celebrated throughout the Church.
In instituting this memorial, Cardinal Robert Sarah, Prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship, said:
This celebration will help us to remember that growth in the Christian life must be anchored to the Mystery of the Cross, to the oblation of Christ in the Eucharistic Banquet and to the Mother of the Redeemer and Mother of the Redeemed, the Virgin who makes her offering to God.
“Anchored” to the Cross, the Eucharist, and the Blessed Virgin Mary who is both “Mother of the Redeemer” and “Mother of the Redeemed.” What beautiful insights and inspiring words from this holy Cardinal of the Church.
The Gospel chosen for this memorial presents to us the holy image of the Blessed Mother standing before the Cross of her Son. While standing there, she heard Jesus say the words, “I thirst.” He was given some wine on a sponge and then declared, “It is finished.” Jesus’ Blessed Mother, the Mother of the Redeemer, stood as a witness as the Cross of her Son became the source of the the redemption of the World. As He took that last drink of wine, He completed the institution of the New and Eternal Passover Meal, the Holy Eucharist.
Additionally, just prior to Jesus expiring, Jesus declared to His mother that she would now be the “Mother of the Redeemed,” that is, the mother of each member of the Church. This gift of Jesus’ mother to the Church was symbolized by Him saying, “Behold, your son…Behold, your mother.”
As we celebrate this new and beautiful universal memorial within the Church, ponder your relationship to the Cross, to the Eucharist and to your heavenly mother. If you are willing to stand by the Cross, gaze at it with our Blessed Mother, and witness Jesus pour forth His precious blood for the salvation of the world, then you are also privileged to hear Him say to you, “Behold, your mother.” Stay close to your heavenly mother. Seek her maternal care and protection and allow her prayers to daily draw you closer to her Son.
Dearest Mother Mary, Mother of God, my mother, and Mother of the Church, pray for me and for all your children who are so deeply in need of the mercy of your Son as it was poured out from the Cross for the redemption of the world. May all your children draw ever closer to you and to your Son, as we gaze upon the glory of the Cross, and as we consume the Most Holy Eucharist. Mother Mary, pray for us. Jesus, I trust in You!
NEW – Watch video in Portuguese
Saint of the Day – Saint Justin Martyr
Not celebrated as a liturgical memorial this year since it falls on Memorial of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of the Church
Further Reading – Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of the Church