10Jun 10 June 2019. Mary, Mother of the Church

1st Reading: Genesis 3:9-15, 20

Enmity between the serpent and the woman

The Lord God called to the man, and said to him, “Where are you?”He said, “I heard the sound of you in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked; and I hid myself.” He said, “Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten from the tree of which I commanded you not to eat?” The man said, “The woman whom you gave to be with me, she gave me fruit from the tree, and I ate.”

Then the Lord God said to the woman, “What is this that you have done?” The woman said, “The serpent tricked me, and I ate.” The Lord God said to the serpent, “Because you have done this, cursed are you among all animals and among all wild creatures; upon your belly you shall go, and dust you shall 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 your head, and you will strike his heel.”

The man named his wife Eve, because she was the mother of all living.

or: 1st Reading: Acts 1:12-14.

Our Lady with the apostles and other disciples in prayer, before Pentecost

Then they returned to Jerusalem from the mount called Olivet, which is near Jerusalem, a sabbath day’s journey away. When they had entered the city, they went to the room upstairs where they were staying, Peter, and John, and James, and Andrew, Philip and Thomas, Bartholomew and Matthew, James son of Alphaeus, and Simon the Zealot, and Judas son of James. All these were constantly devoting themselves to prayer, together with certain women, including Mary the mother of Jesus, as well as his brothers.

Responsorial: Psalm 87

Response: Glorious things are told of you, O city of God

The Lord loves his foundation upon the holy mountains
The gates of Zion more than any dwelling of Jacob.
Glorious things are said of you, O city of God! (R./)

Of Zion they shall say:
One and all were born in her;
And he who has established her
is the Most High Lord. (R./)

They shall note, when the peoples are enrolled:
Yes, this man was born there.
And all shall sing, in their festive dance:
My home is within you. (R./)

Gospel: John 19:25-34

From the cross, Jesus gives his mother to be mother of all his disciples

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.
After this, aware that everything was now finished,
in order that the Scripture might be fulfilled,
Jesus said, “I thirst.”
There was a vessel filled with common wine.
So they put a sponge soaked in wine on a sprig of hyssop
and put it up to his mouth.
When Jesus had taken the wine, he said,
“It is finished.”
And bowing his head, he handed over the spirit.

Now since it was preparation day,
in order that the bodies might not remain on the cross on the sabbath,
for the sabbath day of that week was a solemn one,
the Jews asked Pilate that their legs be broken
and they be taken down.
So the soldiers came and broke the legs of the first
and then of the other one who was crucified with Jesus.
But when they came to Jesus and saw that he was already dead,
they did not break his legs,
but one soldier thrust his lance into his side,
and immediately Blood and water flowed out.



Mary, Mother of the Church

The title “Mother of the Church” (Mater Ecclesiae) was applied to the mother of Jesus by Pope Paul VI in November 1964 at the close of the Second Vatican Council. The title was first used in the 4th century by Saint Ambrose of Milan and more recently the title was favoured by Pope John Paul II and then incorporated into the Catechism of the Catholic Church.

It is closely linked to Mary’s being at the heart of that prayerful group of apostles and disciples in the upper room, awaiting the gift of the Holy Spirit (Acts 1:14). Specifically, her maternal role towards Christ’s faithful is founded on the words spoken by Jesus from the cross to the Beloved Disciple, who represents all future disciples: Behold your mother [John 19:27]. As John Paul II wrote: “In her new motherhood in the Spirit, Mary embraces each and every one in the Church, and embraces each and every one through the Church.” In March 2018, Pope Francis inserted into the Roman Calendar the Memorial of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of the Church, to be celebrated each year on the Monday after Pentecost.

“The Church is feminine,” Pope Francis said, “she is a mother.” When this trait is lacking, he added, the Church is just like a charitable organization or a football team. A too masculine Church can become “a church of old bachelors, incapable of love, incapable of fruitfulness.” Francis assigned the feast to the Monday immediately following Pentecost, “to encourage the growth of the maternal sense of the Church in the pastors, religious and faithful, as well as a growth of genuine Marian piety.”

Fr. John Nepil wrote that: Mary and the Church “exist in such a relationship that one cannot be fully understood without the other. We see clearly enough what happens when they are separated: if too much elevated, Mary loses her humanity and begins to appear as quasi-divine; alternatively, the Church, without her, can appear as an exclusively male-run institution. This is far from the vision of the early Church, where Mary and the Church were viewed together as the New Eve.”

At Pentecost, Mary’s maternal presence was at the heart of the Church at its birthing, so that one may rightly honour her as mother of the Church.


Saint Ephrem, deacon and doctor of the church (306, 373

[Also known as Ephraem or Ephraim], he became a deacon and a prolific Syriac-language hymnographer and theologian of the 4th century. He is especially beloved in the Syriac Orthodox Church, and was declared a Doctor of the Church in Catholicism in 1920. Ephrem wrote a wide variety of poems and sermons, as well as prose biblical exegesis, for the edification of the church in troubled times.

Scroll Up