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By Fr. Paul Schenck

1/2/2014 (3 months ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Now, the Upper Room symbolizes the Church: it is the mystical place where Jesus celebrated the Passover, instituted the priesthood and first offered the Eucharist. Now it is the place where they would receive the Baptism of the Holy Spirit.

How do we get from Mary, Mother of Jesus, to Mary Mother of the Church, to Mary, Mother of God? Blessed John Paul II says the teaching of "the divine motherhood of Mary.is like a seal upon the dogma of the Incarnation, in which the Word truly assumes human nature into the unity of his person." In other words, by affirming Mary as Mother of God, we affirm that Jesus was Emmanuel, God with us, God born as a fellow human being! How this dignifies humanity! This is just what Christmas, and Christianity, and the Church, is all about.

Article Highlights

By Fr. Paul Schenck

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

1/2/2014 (3 months ago)

Published in U.S.

Keywords: Mary, Marian, Mother of God, Totus Tuus, Theotokos, rosary, immaculate conception, Fr Paul Schenck



SPRING GROVE, PA (Catholic Online) -  The wonder of Mary is found in the two aspects of her being - that of the Daughter of Israel, a young, Jewish mother of her time, and The Mother of God, who is the eternal Advocate, Helper, Benefactress, and Mediatrix, [960] who shares God's eternal plan of salvation with the whole world; Jew and Gentile. She is indeed, Mary, Mother of Christ, Mother of the Church. [966] The Catechism continues -

Called in the Gospels "the mother of Jesus," Mary is acclaimed by Elizabeth, at the prompting of the Spirit and even before the birth of her son, as "the mother of my Lord." In fact, the One whom she conceived as man by the Holy Spirit, who truly became her Son according to the flesh, was none other than the Father's eternal Son, the second person of the Holy Trinity. Hence the Church confesses that Mary is truly "Mother of God" [CCC 495]

This leads us to ask an important question: Although the Church today recognizes Mary as unique among all the other disciples - did the first Christians recognize her as the Mother of God?
In The Acts of the Apostles, as the disciples in Jerusalem awaited the outpouring of the Holy Spirit on Pentecost, it says that the Apostles (1:12-14) -

.returned to Jerusalem from the mount called Olivet, which is near Jerusalem, a Sabbath day's journey away; and when they had entered, they went up to the upper room, where they were staying, Peter and John and James and Andrew, Philip and Thomas, Bartholomew and Matthew, James the son of Alphaeus and Simon the Zealot and Judas the son of James. All these with one accord devoted themselves to prayer, together with the women and Mary the mother of Jesus.

This passage opens with Peter, the Prince and spokesman of the Apostles, and closes with the women and Mary, forming two bookends with the other disciples in between.

Now, the Upper Room symbolizes the Church: it is the mystical place where Jesus celebrated the Passover, instituted the priesthood and first offered the Eucharist. Now it is the place where they would receive the Baptism of the Holy Spirit.

It is in this context that Luke, a scientist, physician and historian finds it necessary, even essential, to mention the presence of Mary by her title, Mother of Jesus. Why does Luke find it so important to mention Mary? Jesus has died and risen. He is no longer of this world. If Mary were only the mother of his earthly body, his flesh - then she would now be indistinguishable from the other women. But she is singled out by name, Miriam, Mary, and her title - Mother of Jesus. Why? Because Mary plays a vital role in, and is essential to, the life of the Church which is the Body of Christ.

Speaking of the risen Jesus, St. Paul says that He is the head of the body, the church. (Col 1:18)  When our twins were born, one was breach and other was not. Because one was delivered foot first and the other head first did not make them different from each other. ("This is my daughter Miriam, head first. This is her sister Marta, foot first.") Why were they not different? Because head and body are one, make up one person. So, Jesus the Head, and Church the Body, are one. If Mary is the Mother of Jesus, then she is the Mother of the Church.

But how do we get from Mary, Mother of Jesus, to Mary Mother of the Church, to Mary, Mother of God? Blessed John Paul II says the teaching of the divine motherhood of Mary.is like a seal upon the dogma of the Incarnation, in which the Word truly assumes human nature into the unity of his person. In other words, by affirming Mary as Mother of God, we affirm that Jesus was Emmanuel, God with us, God born as a fellow human being! How this dignifies humanity! This is just what Christmas, and Christianity, and the Church, is all about.

This is the essence of the Gospel.

Mary, Mother of God, Pray for us.  +
----- Fr. Paul Schenck, a Priest of the Diocese of Harrisburg, PA., is the founding Director of the National Pro-Life Center (NPLC) on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC. The Center gives the Justices of the Supreme Court, their high level staff, members of the federal judiciary, members of the US Senate and other public policy makers the information, education and inspiration they need to better form their consciences so they will make better decisions. He is a Champion of the Pro-Life movement.

---


Pope Francis calls for your 'Prayer and Action'


© 2014 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for March 2014
Respect for Women:
That all cultures may respect the rights and dignity of women.
Vocations: That many young people may accept the Lordís invitation to consecrate their lives to proclaiming the Gospel.



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