Memorial of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of the Church
Last month Jean Vanier died at the age of 90. He is best known for founding L’Arche International, which now numbers over 150 communities across 38 countries serving the mentally and physically disabled. According to the organization, L’Arche communities have 10,000 members worldwide, including core members and assistants.
“Observers describe his theology as one of simple, concrete, tender acts: bathing a fellow human being, dining together, offering a reassuring touch,” to quote an obituary in the Washington Post this past May 7.
Today we celebrate the Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of the Church. The gospel reminds us of Mary’s presence at the cross of her crucified son; the optional first reading from Acts tells us of the apostles gathering in the “upper room” and how they “devoted themselves with one accord to prayer, together with some women, with Mary the mother of Jesus, and his brothers” (1:14).
Remember that it was Mary—and Joseph—who bathed a baby Jesus, led him by hand as a young child, provided the warmth of dining together, and only God knows how often she offered to her son a reassuring touch.
Fr. Eymard wrote during his retreat in Rome in 1865 of the impact of the Blessed Virgin Mary in his life: “I meditated on the Blessed Virgin’s love for me since my childhood. I blessed Our Lady of Laus, and the day I took her for my Mother, my dear mother died. And since then, so many graces! At her feet in the Chapel of Saint-Robert, I asked her that I might one day become a priest. She alone led me by the hand to the priesthood, and then to the Blessed Sacrament.”
Let us remember today in gratitude the women—and men—who have nurtured and reassured us along our spiritual journey.
Let Us Pray:
Blessed are you, Mary
exalted Daughter of Sion,
you are highly favored and full of grace,
for the Spirit of God descended upon you.
We magnify the Lord and rejoice with you
for the gift of the Word made flesh,
our bread of life and cup of joy.
Our Lady of the Blessed Sacrament,
our model of prayer in the cenacle,
pray for us that we become what we receive,
the body of Christ, your Son. Amen.
Daily Eucharistic Reflection – Center for Eucharistic Evangelizing (eucharisticevangelizing.com)