MEMORIAL OF THE BLESSED VIRGIN MARY, MOTHER OF THE CHURCH “WOMAN, BEHOLD YOUR SON”. JN 19:26
Humbly submit your will to God (thy Will be done) and consecrate yourself to the Sacred Heart of Jesus through Mary and Joseph.
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. GN 3:9-15, 20
Today, the Church chooses the reading of the first “Good News” the Protoevangelium to celebrate Mary, as the Mother of the Church. The Catechism of the Catholic Church states, “410 After his fall, man was not abandoned by God. On the contrary, God calls him and in a mysterious way heralds the coming victory over evil and his restoration from his fall. This passage in Genesis is called the Protoevangelium (“first gospel”): the first announcement of the Messiah and Redeemer, of a battle between the serpent and the Woman, and of the final victory of a descendant of hers.”
The Catechism goes on to say, “411 The Christian tradition sees in this passage an announcement of the “New Adam” who, because he “became obedient unto death, even death on a cross”, makes amends superabundantly for the disobedience, of Adam.305 Furthermore many Fathers and Doctors of the Church have seen the woman announced in the Protoevangelium as Mary, the mother of Christ, the “new Eve”. Mary benefited first of all and uniquely from Christ’s victory over sin: she was preserved from all stain of original sin and by a special grace of God committed no sin of any kind during her whole earthly life.306
We often say that Jesus is the “New Adam” and Mary is the “New Eve” or Second Eve. The “Good News” is that after Adam and Eve doubted God and allowed the Devil to trick them, God did not give up on humanity, but created a plan of salvation to show how much He loves us. He went right to work to chase after us by creating a covenant with one nation, the Israelites, in which He would bring forth His only Son, Jesus, to die for us and bring forth a Church, Ecclesia, a calling out of the mud and muck of the world and into heaven where we can put God inside of us in the Holy Eucharist. A Church with a community of baptized believers who are called to set the world on fire by dying to self (kill our ego), pick up our crosses (pain and suffering), and joyfully sacrifice. Through this example that Christ gave us in the flesh, when we fill ourselves up with His life (grace) and we are called to love (will the good of the other and do something about it), He transforms us and others see Him in us.
Today’s first reading teaches us about a Father that is madly in love with His children and that He simply wants us to call Him daddy and come running back to His open arms of love, mercy, forgiveness, justice, and His glory for all of eternity. Mary is the chosen instrument, conceived without Original Sin (Immaculate Conception), to bring God’s only Son into the world to redeem us, show us how to get back to the Father, and to share with us how much the Father loves us.
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. JN 19:25-34
The Gospel today then stems from the First reading with a focus on some of the Last Words Jesus spoke on earth. “Woman, behold your Son”. Notice He does not say Mary but Woman signifying the “New Eve” in Genesis. This Woman is further revealed in the book of Revelation with multiple references to Mary and the Church. Jesus asks Mary to be the Spiritual Mother of the Church that He has brought forth with the Apostles, the sacraments, and the Ultimate Sacrifice. Mary had a very difficult life. She just witnessed many of her 7 Sorrows in her Son’s Passion for humanity. Now, God asks her to stay a little longer to do His Work. Mary does not immediately assume into heaven to be with Her Son in all of His Glory with the Father, but she stays and guides the early Church. She fulfills her mission of being the Spiritual Mother of the Church with the Apostles until in that upper room Jesus breathes His Holy Spirit on them. Mary today stands firm at the right hand of Jesus and intercedes for us as our Spiritual Mother leading and guiding the catholic church with the Holy Spirit until Christ returns.
The practical implementation of all of this in our daily spiritual lives is we get to partake in this New Creation and Mary is the Spiritual Mother God chose through His plan, His Will to intercede for us. We have a Holy human being to intercede for us to the Almighty God. Our Original Sin is washed away at Baptism and we partake in the New Creation, even better than what Adam and Eve started with. God brings even greater life and glory out of evil things. We partake in this New Creation each time we receive the Eucharist and go to confession filling ourselves with God Himself. This is the Good News that we are commissioned to go forth and tell the world as we ask the Holy Spirit to guide us and Mary to intercede for us!!!!
Today’s challenge: Devote yourself to Mary by including her in part of your prayer time. Marian Devotions: Holy Rosary, The “Little Office” of the Blessed Virgin Mary, The LItany of Loreto, the Angelus, the Scapular, Consecration to Jesus through Mary by St. Louis de Montfort, 5 First Saturdays Devotion, Devotion to the Immaculate Heart of Mary, Miraculous Metal, and Devotion to the 7 Sorrows
Be a servant, become a saint!