Mary, Mother of God and our Mother

By Fr. Roy Cimagala

MAY 29 is dedicated liturgically to the Memorial of Mary, Mother of the Church. This Marian title was defined sometime ago due to the fact that if Mary is the Mother of Christ who is God, then she can rightly be called as Mother of God. This was defined in 431 AD in the Council of Ephesus.

And since Christ is the pattern and savior of humanity, then she who is the Mother of Christ can also be rightly called as our Mother, the Mother of the People of God which is what the Church is. Thus, she can be referred to also as the Mother of the Church. This was defined in the Second Vatican Council.

This truth of faith about Our Lady can somehow be gleaned from that part of the gospel when Christ, before he died on the cross, entrusted his mother to the apostle, John. “Woman, behold, your son,” he said to his mother. And to St. John, he said: “Behold, your mother.” (Jn 19,26-27)

Like St. John who took Mary to his home, we too should take Our Lady, Our Mother, to the home of our heart. It is important that we develop a strong, deep and intimate relation and devotion to Mary our Mother for, as one saint put it, she is the “shortest, surest and safest way to God.” With her we are assured of being with God.

We have to be wary of giving this very crucial truth of our faith just a lick-and-a-promise attitude. Given the way things are rapidly developing these days when are constantly being pushed and pulled every which way, we need to deliberately pause and give time to develop this relation and devotion to Our Lady.

We need to reach that point where we can truly say that we feel something special about Our Lady in an abiding way, and that we are quite aware of what she is telling and directing us.

When the world and the Church are undergoing many challenges, when we notice that the things that God created are being wantonly redefined according to human ideologies, we need to be truly close to Our Lady so we can remain faithful to Christ, our “way, truth and life.”

Mary has always been deeply concerned for the life the Church. Since the time of Christ and the apostles, to the different stages of human and Church history when several Marian apparitions and interventions took place, like the apparitions in Guadalupe, Lourdes, Fatima, etc., she has been around to help us.

We, who are the People of God, the Family of God, the Church, should always have recourse to Our Lady. Thanks to God, in our country, we can still observe a great Marian popular piety, with every Marian feast vastly celebrated in many places. But just like anything else, these popular celebrations should trigger in us another conversion, a step further in deepening our Christian life, etc.

We should never be contented with just materially and physically joining the Marian festivities which are actually meant to nourish our faith and spiritual life. With each Marian celebration, there should also be some growth and progress in our devotion to her.

When we pray the Rosary or make a Marian pilgrimage, we should be able to feel that we are getting close to Mary and through her, to our Lord, Jesus Christ!