“May Mary, the Mother of the Church – our Beloved Mother and the Perfect Disciple – Who followed Her Son wholly, in obedience to the Will of the Father, intercede and inspire us, to use our freedom with responsibility!”
(Based on the Feast of Mary, Mother of the Church – 2 Pet 1:2-7 and Mk 12:1-12 – Monday of the 1st Week)
A lady once remarked to her spiritual guide, “I am very afraid to pray, ‘Thy Will be done'”
“And why is that so?”, asked the guide.
“I am afraid…” continued the lady, “… that God will bring some calamity to my only child or send me a heavy trial in life”
The spiritual guide, having patiently listened to her, replied:
“Suppose if your beloved child comes to you and says, ‘Mummy, here after, I want to always do whatever you say and live as you will…’
Would you say to yourself… Ah! Here is my chance!
I will make my child to do all the harsh things.
I will make use of his willingness to obey me, by cutting off all his pleasures
I will make sure he has a tough time because anyway he will do whatever I say”
“Oh no!” answered back the mother, ” I will give him the best possible things that I can.
I will make sure that he is protected from every danger.
I will do anything to ensure him true happiness!”
“And do you think…,” continued the spiritual guide, “Do you think that God is less loving than you?”
The will of every human parent is to ensure the best for their children, isn’t it?
How much more loving and caring is the Will of the Father!
“God’s Will” is best understood in the set-up of a family…
In a human family…
… Every member wishes that the other is taken care
… Every member seeks for the good of the other
How much more is the love and concern in the Family of God…
… to all those who seek to do the Will of the Father!
The Church is this Communion of those who “bind upon themselves to do the Will of the Father”
Today we celebrate the Feast of Mary, the Mother of the Church.
Mother Mary is the model for all in the Church to “always say YES to God’s Will!”
This feast which has been promulgated in the Year 2018…
… is celebrated every year on the Monday after Pentecost.
We have concluded a journey of fourteen weeks (nearly hundred days) of walking intimately with the Lord in His Passion, Death, Resurrection and the outpouring of the Holy Spirit…
… starting with the Ash Wednesday in the season of Lent
… through the Maundy Thursday, Good Friday and Easter Sunday
… the Ascension and the Feast of the Holy Spirit – the Pentecost.
This liturgical journey, this year in particular will be remembered, as most of us remained in lockdown…
… and had these celebrations without being able to “physically go to a common place of worship”
As we resume the Ordinary times of the Liturgical year, we are presented today…
… with the beautiful example of Mary, the Mother of the Church, Who is the role model for all of us to “use freedom with responsibility”
… and with a message to make an examination of the “quality of our life of faith”, through the Parable of the Tenants.
One of the primary reasons for the celebration of the Feast of Mary, Mother of the Church is “to foster Marian piety and the Maternal sense of the Church.”
Pope Francis says that, “this celebration will help us to remember that growth in the Christian life must be anchored…
… to the Mystery of the Cross
… to the oblation of Christ in the Eucharistic Banquet
… and to the Mother of the Redeemer and Mother of the Redeemed!”
The Marian title of “Mother of the Church,” was given to the Blessed Mother by Pope Paul VI at the Second Vatican Council.
Jesus said, “Whoever does the Will of My Father in Heaven, is my…. Mother!” (Mt 12: 50)
When we scan through the pages of the New Testament, we find, that perhaps no other person fulfilled the Will of the Father as perfectly as Mary
Mary, the Mother of the Church, always said “YES to God’s Will”
Mary was Blessed not just because she gave a physical birth to Jesus…
… but also because She listened and lived the Will of the Father!
She is blessed…
… because She listened to God’s Word and accepted it wholeheartedly.
… because She chose to put Her faith in God, though the path ahead was dim
… because She was obedient to God’s Will, though She did not understand many things”
As St. Irenaeus says: “Being obedient, She became the cause of salvation for Herself and for the whole human race.”
The knot of Eve’s disobedience was untied by Mary’s obedience
What Eve bound through her disbelief, Mary loosened by Her faith”
Mary used the freedom bestowed on her, with a great sense of responsibility.
We are reminded that it is “freedom with responsibility” that ensures valid enjoyment and proper satisfaction.
The Gospel of the Day is a powerful reminder by Jesus, through the Parable of the Tenants…
… that we are to be caretakers of the many duties entrusted to us, by the Almighty
The tenants were entrusted with the vineyard by the Master, and were expected to provide the produce in due time.
However, the tenants, who were trusted immensely probably lost their focus and diminished in their commitment to their Master
Their personal interests gained greater prominence over their entrusted duties.
This led to them to a total denial of all the emissaries and servants of the Master, who were sent to collect the produce.
This denial was extended even to the Master’s own Son!
This denial of the Son led to the letting loose of the anger and fury of the Just Master!
A squandering away of the responsible freedom, led to the downfall of the tenants!
A denial and rejection of the Master’s own Son, with a cruel intent, caused their destruction!
Are we also, as Christians, as tenants of the Heavenly Master failing in our responsibilities and duties?
The Lord has entrusted us with many responsibilities…
To promote and grow in our faith…
… by a faithful prayer-life, co-operation with the graces of God, keeping away from a life of sin etc.
To be faithful to the vocation and works we are called to do…
… by constantly renewing our resolve in the works we do, remaining focussed on our calling etc.
To encourage others to increase in faith and in love of life…
… by being interested in their well-being, supporting them, teaching them etc.
St Peter beautifully reminds us: “Make every effort to supplement your faith with virtue…
… and virtue with knowledge
… and knowledge with self-control
… and self-control with steadfastness
… and steadfastness with godliness
… and godliness with brotherly affection
… and brotherly affection with love!” (2 Pet 1:5-7)
Mother Mary is the model for all of us to discharge all our duties with a great sense of responsibility.
She is the first Evangelizer and the first Disciple of Her own Son and Lord, Jesus the Christ!
She is not just the biological Mother of Jesus…
… but, by doing the Will of the Father perfectly, She is also His Spiritual Mother!
Thus Mary is the Mother of the Church!
As St Maximilian Kolbe says, “If anyone does not wish to have Mary Immaculate for his Mother, he will not have Christ for his Brother!”
Yes, doing the Will of the Father and using our freedom with responsibility…
… is the DNA that joins all the members of the Family of God
We may perhaps, have our fears in doing His Will….
But let us realize, that the Will of Father is wrapped with much love and affection…
… there is a tenderness in His Will, that ensures each of us, His children are protected!
Jesus is our Supreme Model and Leader in listening and living the Will of the Father
Mother Mary is our Beloved Mother and Perfect Disciple, Who followed Her Son wholly, in obedience to the Will of the Father!
Many saints and holy people also show us, by their sanctified lives that it is worth, meaningful and salvific to do the Will of the Father!
All of them beckon us:
“Come be part of the Family of God…
Listen always to what God wants of you in your life
Ask Him, at all times, what you should be doing in life
Put your trust in His Power and Providence, when you do His Will!”
Are we willing to be members of this Family of God?
… Then we need to be ready to do the Will of the Father!
As we begin the new month of June, let us ask our Blessed Mother Mary, the Mother of the Church to intercede and pray for all of us…
… to be faithful and witnessing members of the Church.
Happy Feast Day of Mary, the Mother of the Church…
… to all Her Little Children of God!
God Bless! Live Jesus!