Mary, Mother of the Church. Did you know that this year there was a new memorial added to the Church’s calendar (celebrated this past Monday)? It was the Memorial of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of the Church – – a very fitting celebration to recall what transpired on Pentecost. You see, Mary had a special mission in the Upper Room as she prayed with the Apostles in anticipation of the coming of the Holy Spirit, as her Son had promised. Pentecost is the birth of the Church – the Mystical Body of Christ. It is only fitting that the Mother of the one being born be present at the birth. Thus, Mary the mother of Christ, the Head of the Church, held a special place of importance in the Upper Room because she is also the Mother of the Church. This new celebration, the day after Pentecost, stresses for us the unity and reality of the Church as the True Body of Christ.
The Second Vatican Council said that Jesus “communicating His Spirit, Christ made His brothers, called together from all nations, mystically the components of His own Body” (Dogmatic Constitution. Lumen Gentium, 7). Too often, we Catholics do not understand that we belong to Jesus, the Head, and to His Body, the Church, and that this belonging is meant to be a lived, relational, transforming reality as Pope Francis often preaches. Bishop Ireneaeus of Lyons said: “We need to take refuge with the Church, for the Church has been planted in the world as a paradise.”
Do we see the Church as a living body, as our unity with each other, as a place of refuge/regeneration? Do we see it as a paradise?
The Church can be this for each one of us. But this will only occur when we understand what Pope Francis has preached about during his weekly Wednesday message to all the faithful. In the Church there exists true communion and unity: we are all in a relation to each other and we all come together to form one living body, deeply connected to Christ. Let us remember: being part of the Church means being united to Christ and receiving from Him the divine life that makes us live as Christians. This means remaining united to the Pope and the Bishops who are instruments of unity and communion, and also means overcoming personal interests and divisions in order to understand each other better, to harmonize the variety and richness of each member – – in a word, to love God and the people who are next to us more, in the family, in the parish, in our associations.
Let us remain united to Jesus, let us trust in Him, direct our life according to His Gospel, nourish ourselves with daily prayer, listen to the Word of God, participate in the Sacraments, and be fed through Holy Communion by and of Him who is the Head of our body, the Church, the One who has never left us and never will.
July 25 Special Speaker dealing with Forgiveness will be at Saint Maurice: Forgiveness is something that is hard to understand, to offer to others and most especially to give to ourselves. I am happy to say that our parish family will be able to have a truly remarkable opportunity to better understand forgiveness. On July 25, Saint Maurice will be hosting internationally known speaker Captain Guy Gruters. This will be a talk you definitely do not want to miss.