Yesterday we celebrated Pentecost, the day on which the Church was born, and so it is fitting that on the day after Pentecost Pope Francis has placed the obligatory memorial of “Mary, Mother of the Church.” It is not at all a new title, what is new is merely the placing of the obligatory memorial in the universal calendar of the Church. If we understand the Church as the body of Christ, and she is His mother, then she must also be the mother of the Church.
But, you may ask, why do we need something like this? Doesn’t simply play into the hands of the ignorant who accuse us of worshiping Mary?
The decree establishing the celebration give a two-fold purpose: growth in Marian devotion but also growth in “the maternal sense of the Church inpasors, religious, and the faithful.” Imagine for a moment a world in which all people hear the word Church and think of a mother with her arms open wide anxious to embrace her children. The child runs to the mother and she wraps her arms around him/her..Imagine the Church as the place where one can always feel safe and unconditionally loved, the place one turns to for nourishment. The list goes on.
Today each of should take a few moments and ask, “What can I do to advance this maternal sense of the Church.”