Daily Gospel Reflection – Memorial of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of the Church
Bishop Robert Barron
May 29, 2023
Memorial of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of the Church
Standing by the cross of Jesus were his mother and his mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Cleopas, 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.
*United States Conference of Catholic
Bishop Robert Barron
Friends, today we celebrate the Memorial of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of the Church.
We hear in today’s Gospel that, as he was dying on the cross, Jesus looked to his mother and the disciple whom he loved, and he said to Mary, “Woman, behold, your son,” and then to John, “Behold, your mother.” We are told that “from that hour the disciple took her into his home.”
If Mary is the one through whom Christ was born, and if the Church is indeed Christ’s Mystical Body, then she must be, in a very real sense, the Mother of the Church. She is the one through whom Jesus continues to be born in the hearts of those who believe. This is not to confuse her with the Savior, but it is to insist on her mission as mediator and intercessor. At the close of the great “Hail Mary” prayer, we Catholics ask Mary to pray for us “now and at the hour of our death,” signaling that throughout one’s life Mary is the privileged channel through which the grace of Christ flows into the Mystical Body.
God delights in drawing secondary causes into the dense complexity of his providential plan, granting to them the honor of cooperating with him and his designs. The handmaid of the Lord, who is the Mother of the Church, is the humblest of these humble instruments—and therefore the most effective.