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+ May our holy father Francis pray to the Lord that we may have the grace to observe the Gospel with greater devotion.  Amen.

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Behold Our Mother

Homily for Mass of the Virgin Mary on Saturday in Eastertide

May 4, 2019


“Woman behold you son. Son, behold your mother.”


Today’s Gospel helps us remember that, in addition to calling Jesus Lord, we are also called upon to hold Mary, His mother, as our own.


As Jesus was dying on the cross, He gave His mother to the disciple whom He loved, to care for her “unto His own home” (v. 27)


It might be said that the disciple here is a figure of the Church, the Bride of Christ, the one whom Jesus loved (v. 19), who is given Mary to call our mother too, lest anyone say, “Mary is merely a great woman and my Lord’s mother, but she cannot also be my mother.”


But indeed, Mary is our mother, our mother who is the greatest of all the earthly creatures, whose memory the Church rightly honors and venerates alone above all the saints and angels in Christian history.


Just as St. Paul in his First Letter to the Corinthians contrasts death of man through Adam (1 Corinthians 15:21) with the hope of our resurrection through Christ, Mary is a contrast of Eve.


In Genesis Eve is referred to as “the mother of all the living” (Genesis 4:20). At the cross, Jesus gives His mother over to the disciple whom He loved. He gives her to us so that just as she was mother to the Victor of death, we might share in His Resurrection as brothers and sisters.


We call on Mary as we might when we call upon any saint. We don’t call on Mary as if she were God. Sometimes, when we don’t mean to, some of our Christian and non-Christian brothers and sisters may think we are doing so. But what makes Mary different is her proximity and closeness to the Heart of Jesus that far exceeds any of the blessed saints and martyrs.


She is “blessed among all women” (Luke 1:42).


She was chosen and freely accepted the gift and pain of being the virgin mother of God.


She is the mother of the Resurrection, the new Eve, chosen by the hand of God to begin His earthly pilgrimage.


Today, we remember Our Lady and rejoice in her saying, “Yes” to God. We are called upon to do the same with God in our own lives.


Let us keep our hearts and minds always open to the opportunities God lays before us.


And let us ask for the intercession of the Virgin Mary who so perfectly loved and was loved so dearly by God and who was entrusted to bear His most precious gift to the whole of creation.


As we prepare to receive Jesus in the Most Holy Sacrament, let us pray to receive a heart like that of Mary--that we may bear Christ always in our bodies and that all whom we may meet may know us to be children of God.


Amen.

Gospel: John 19: 25b-27

Brother James Nathaniel can be contacted at jamesnathanielssf@gmail.com.