In 2018 Pope Francis honoured the Blessed Virgin Mary as Mother of the Church and proclaimed the Church should celebrate this memorial on the day after Pentecost – appropriately enough because Mary was filled with the Holy Spirit at the conception of the Christ and the Spirit also descended upon her at Pentecost.
In John’s Crucifixion scene, Jesus gave her to the disciple He loved as “His Mother.” This disciple represented all of us – for we are the Lord’s beloved. So the Spirit-filled woman who gave birth to the Messiah, witnessed His death, cared for the beloved disciples and received the evangelising power of God is rightfully called “Mother of the Church.”
Later in the week on Thursday is the Feast of Our Lord, the Eternal Priest. Christ is a Priest indeed! However, He is a Priest not for Himself but for us, since in the name of the whole human race, He brings our prayers and religious dispositions to His Father. He is also a victim, but a victim for us, since He substitutes Himself for sinners.
In Philippians 2:5, Paul sets Jesus before us as the example of the type of attitude we should have: “In your minds you must be the same as Christ Jesus”. This infers that all Christians should try to possess, as far as is humanly possible, the same dispositions as those which Christ had when He offered Himself in sacrifice.
In our relationships with one another, do we aim for the same mindset as Christ Jesus? How often do we act out of selfishness or pride rather than with humility and considering the other person as more important than ourselves?
Moreover, to strive for a Christ-like mindset demands that we must assume in some way the condition of a victim, that freely and of our own accord we do penance and make some reparation for our sins.