MOTHER OF THE CHURCH
While today’s celebration of Pentecost marks the birthday of the Church and the formal beginning of the missionary thrust of the community of believers, Pope Francis asks that we give attention to the one whose “Yes” brought Jesus into the world and made the Church possible: Mary, the mother of Jesus and mother of the Church.
Her role in being with the disciples as they awaited the gift of the Holy Spirit promised by Jesus at his Ascension, was exactly the role mothers have in family life. A mother draws the family together, helps to heal whatever is hurting family members or the family itself, is a reservoir of memories from which the family can learn, grow and feel proud of their heritage, is prepared to wait for the slowest or least able member to catch up, and is at the heart of any family celebration.
The inaugural feast of Mary, Mother of the Church, is tomorrow, 21 May, and will always be on the Monday following Pentecost. Mary gathered with the disciples, still hurting from their abandonment of Jesus and uncertain of their trust of one another. She is the reconciling mother, drawing the factions to make peace; she reminds them of their companionship with Jesus, his words and actions that put forgiveness and mercy at the centre of his mission; she waits and prays with them, holding them as the Spirit breathes the breath of life and the People of God, the Church, is born.
We are blessed to be within this circle of love. As we each renew our commitment to keep our local Church vibrant and relevant, through our Offertory Giving programme, may Mary our Mother encourage us to give our own “Yes” with the same confidence that she gave hers.