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Memorial of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of the Church

Scripture Readings: Genesis 3:9-15, 20; Psalms 87:1-2, 3 and 5, 6-7; John 19:25-34

My dear encountered couples:

On Saturday, 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.

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’s finished.” Jesus’ Blessed Mother, the Mother of the Redeemer, stood as a witness as the Cross of her Son became the source of 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 our relationship to the Cross, to the Eucharist and to our heavenly mother. If we 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 we are also privileged to hear Him say to you, “Behold, your mother.” Let us stay close to our heavenly mother. Let us seek her maternal care and protection and allow her prayers to daily draw us closer to her Son.


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