Scripture: 1st Reading: Gen3,9-15,20; Resp. Psalm: Ps87,1-2,3,5-7; Gospel: Jn19,25-34
The Son and the Mother. Two hearts full of love for humanity. The Son, true God and true man. The Mother, true daughter and noble flower of Judah, the highest, most privileged of all creatures, but still a creature fashioned by the hands of the Son. A mystery beyond all telling: God in His infinite love, made Himself available by condescending to our state, though without sin.
Of all creatures that existed, God chose only one for the fulfillment of His plans to save mankind. He chose none but Mary of Nazareth. He chose her to be the Mother of His Son, who was to be conceived in a form never heard of before: without the assistance of man, without human procreative means. The conception was not going to be in a natural way. It was going to be supernatural. The law of nature was going to be set aside by the lawgiver Himself.
The Virgin conceived and became a mother, the mother of Jesus Christ, the Second Person of the Blessed Trinity. She is therefore the Mother of God, since the Father and the Son share the same Godhead. As Mother of God, she took care of the Son as the greatest privilege God could ever have given her. She nourished Him with maternal love, taught Him, protected Him from harm and saw Him grow.
She was present and believed in His mission. She cooperated and collaborated with Him in His work of salvation. She knew that the sin brought about by Eve would be cancelled through her Son. By that singular act, she would become the mother of the new creatures that would be redeemed by her Son. Eve consented to evil at the garden and brought death and peril to man. The new Eve, the Mother of God, consented to good at the Garden of Calvary and humanity was brought back to a new union with God.
In spite of His sufferings on the Cross, our Lord knew there was still an unfinished business He needed to complete before He died. He saw there a co-sufferer, His blessed Mother, agonizing, in terrible pain and anguish. He entrusted her to John, the beloved disciple, and to the Church. The Church became her children with that gesture of love from the Saviour. With that gesture, He manifested His will to share His Mother with us. She would no longer be only His Mother but Mother of all the living.
Mary of Nazareth, the Virgin lily of Judah saw and experienced everything. She understands all that mortal creatures are passing through. She loves with a mother's love. This is why she has consistently appeared at various times in history to warn us and show direction to go. She leads us by the example of her life of total "yes" to God. She teaches us what following God entails. She continues to care for us with a maternal love.
The memorial we celebrate today is the first time we would celebrate it on the universal level for the whole Church. But it is an old memorial. It started right there at the foot of the Cross over two thousand years ago when the dying Lord entrusted the Church to His Blessed Mother. The Church rejoices with our Pope Francis on this joyful occasion. The Church calls on her Lord to remember always the flock He had brought together and whose price He paid for by His blood.
Today we renew our filial devotion to our Blessed Mother. We ask her not to forget our suffering humanity. We ask her to protect us from the evil one. We ask her to intercede for us just as she did at the wedding Feast at Cana in Galilee when the wine ran out. We ask her to stand by us in moments of temptation, suffering and grief. We ask her to protect all Christians from the attack of the enemies of the faith. Through her intercession, may the faith continue to be planted in souls and may God bring about the triumph of His kingdom.
Kindly pray for the repose of the soul of my father, Pa Joseph Igbekele and the souls of all the faithful departed. May God grant them eternal rest.
Let us pray: "O God, who chose the Blessed Virgin Mary, foremost among the poor and humble, to be the Mother of the Saviour, grant, we pray, that, following her example, we may offer you the homage of sincere faith and place in you all our hope of salvation." Amen.
May the Living Word of God find a true dwelling place within our hearts and souls today and always.