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Contemplating today's Gospel

Today's Gospel + homily (in 300 words)

Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of the Church (Monday after Pentecost)

1st Reading (Gen 3,9-15.20): After Adam had eaten of the tree, the Lord God called to him and asked him, «Where are you?». He answered, «I heard you in the garden; but I was afraid, because I was naked, so I hid myself». Then he asked, «Who told you that you were naked? You have eaten, then, from the tree of which I had forbidden you to eat!». The man replied, «The woman whom you put here with me, she gave me fruit from the tree, and so I ate it». The Lord God then asked the woman, «Why did you do such a thing?». The woman answered, «The serpent tricked me into it, so I ate it». Then the Lord God said to the serpent: «Because you have done this, you shall be banned from all the animals and from all the wild creatures; on your belly shall you crawl, and dirt shall you eat all the days of your life. I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers; he will strike at your head, while you strike at his heel». The man called his wife Eve, because she became the mother of all the living.
Responsorial Psalm: 86
R/. Glorious things are told of you, o city of God.
His foundation upon the holy mountains the Lord loves: The gates of Zion, more than any dwelling of Jacob.

Glorious things are said of you, o city of God! And of Zion they shall say: «One and all were born in her; and he who has established her is the Most High Lord».

They shall note, when the peoples are enrolled: «This man was born there». And all shall sing, in their festive dance: «My home is within you».
Versicle before the Gospel (): Alleluia. O happy Virgin, you gave birth to the Lord; o blessed mother of the Church, you warm our hearts with the Spirit of your Son Jesus Christ. Alleluia.
Gospel text (Jn 19,25-27): Standing by the cross of Jesus were his mother and his mother's sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary of Magdala. 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.

«Woman, behold, your son»

Fr. Alexis MANIRAGABA (Ruhengeri, Rwanda)

Today, we remember Mary, Mother of the Church. In this sense, we contemplate the spiritual motherhood of Mary in connection with the Church which is - in itself - Mother of the People of God, because "no one can have God as Father if he does not have the Church as Mother" (St. Cyprian) . Mary is the Mother of the Son of God and at the same time Mother of those who love her Son and the "beloveds" of her Son, in conformity with that «Woman, behold, your son; disciple: Behold, your mother» (Jn 19:26-27), as Jesus said. By giving his body to men and returning his spirit to his Father, Jesus Christ even gave his friends to his Mother.

And the greatest love is that with which Jesus loves the Church (cf Eph 5:25), and to which his friends belong. Therefore, children adopted by God can’t have Jesus as brother if they do not have Mary as Mother because, while Mary loves her Son, she loves the Church of which She is an eminent member. This does not mean that Mary is superior to the Church, but that She is "mother of the members of Christ" (Saint Augustine).

The Second Vatican Council adds that Mary is "truly a mother of the members of Christ for having cooperated with her love so that the faithful, who are members of that Head (Jesus), would be born in the Church." Furthermore, by remaining in the midst of the Apostles in the Upper Room (cf. Acts 1:14), Mary - Mother of the Church - recalls the presence, the gift and the action of the Holy Spirit in the missionary Church. By imploring the Holy Spirit in the heart of the Church, Mary prays with the Church and prays for the Church, because "already assumed in the glory of heaven, she accompanies and protects the Church with her maternal love" (Preface of the Mass) “Mary, Mother of the Church”).

Maria takes care of her children. We can, therefore, entrust him to the whole life of the Church, as Pope St. Paul VI did: "O Virgin Mary, august Mother of the Church, we entrust to you the whole Church and the ecumenical council!"

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