Mary’s Role in the Church
“Blessed is the womb that bore you and the breast that nursed you!”
When a woman in the crowed cried out this blessing in praise of Jesus’ mother, Our Lord responded, “Blessed rather who hear the word of God and obey it!” (Luke 11:28). While not denying the significance of her motherhood, Jesus was drawing attention to what is most commendable about Mary: her faith.
Like Mary’s cousin Elizabeth, we acclaimed Mary for believing “that there will be a fulfilment of what was spoken to her by Our Lord” ((Luke 1:45) Mary said yes to a pregnancy that seemed impossible. She waited patiently to God to shed light on unsolved mysteries and advised others to “do whatever He tells you.” She travelled with her son and stood with Jesus at the cross in what must have been the darkest of all possible nights of faith. From beginning to end, Mary believed.
Looking at Mary, the first and best of Jesus’ disciples, we learned how to believe.
But Mary never preached, she was just intimately involved with us because she was essentially a mother…mother of the Redeemer and therefore of the Church, the body of Christ which we are members.
“Here is your mother”
(John 19:27). With these words from the cross, Jesus established a new family and affirmed Mary’s maternal role in it. More than a friend, more than an advocate and an intercessor, more than a role model, Mary the exemplary disciple has become our spiritual mother.
What a gift we have in Mary’s maternal presence and protection! As we discover it we may find ourselves echoing Elizabeth’s words of surprise when Mary came to visit: “Why has this happened to me that the Lord comes to me? (Luke 1:43)
To Our Blessed Mother
We fly to your protection, most holy Mother of God;
Please listen to our petitions and needs,
And deliver us from all dangers,
Ever glorious and blessed Virgin Mary.
Mary, our model and mother,
By your obedience and patience
You have taught us how to be true children of God.
Please help us by your powerful assistance
To overcome all our weaknesses,
and to fulfil perfectly our tasks in life.
By your compassionate aid may we ever stand
In spirit with you beneath the cross of Christ
So that we may also rejoice with you
in your divine Son’s triumphant victory over sin and death.
In your maternal kindness help us
to be faithful to prayers in the company of God’s Church
as you were one with the Apostles in the upper room
as you waited for the promised Spirit of Pentecost.
With your gracious assistance
may we be near you in the glory of Christ’s kingdom
come to sing with you and all the faithful the eternal praise of God.
V. O Mary, conceived without sin,
R. Pray for us who have recourse to you.
You are all fair, O Virgin Mary,
You never knew the stain of sin;
You are the glory of Jerusalem,
You, the joy of Israel,
You, the great honor of our people,
You, the advocate of sinners.
O Mary, Virgin most prudent,
O Mary, Mother most merciful,
Pray for us,
Intercede for us with our Lord,