Monday of week 7 in Ordinary Time, May 21, 2018
Pope Francis has made Monday after Pentecost an annual feast day for the whole world, honoring Mary
as “Mother of the Church.”
The decree said the pope approved the celebration because he thought it might "encourage growth in understanding the Church as mother, as well as growth in genuine Marian devotion."
Theologically, to recognize Mary as our mother is to understand ourselves as sons and daughters of the Father “in the Son.” The decree quotes St. Augustine (354-430 A.D.), who said, “Mary is the mother of the members of Christ, because with love she cooperated in the rebirth of the faithful into the Church.” St. Leo the Great, pope from 440-461, said “the birth of the Head is also the birth of the body, therefore Mary is at once Mother of Christ, the Son of God, and mother of the members of his Mystical Body, which is the Church.”
Francis ended his exhortation to holiness (Rejoice and Be Glad, 176) with a focus on how we relate to Mary as our mother personally and affectively:
She teaches us the way of holiness and she walks ever at our side. When we fall, she does not let us stay down… she takes us into her arms without judging us. Talking with her consoles, frees and sanctifies us. Our Mother does not need a lot of words. We don’t have to spell out what is happening in our lives. It is enough to whisper again and again, “Hail Mary…”
ACTION: Display a picture of Mary.
PRAYER: “Hail Mary.”