June 10, 2019
by Mark Latta
Creighton University's School of Dentistry
click here for photo and information about the writer

Memorial of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of the Church
Lectionary: 572A

Genesis 3:9-15, 20
Psalms 87:1-2, 3 and 5, 6-7
John 19:25-34

Praying Ordinary Time

Pope Francis' Prayer to Mary, Mother of the Church and Mother of our Faith

Explaining this feast

Weekly Guide for Daily Prayer

Praying in Times of Crisis

Today’s Gospel reading has Jesus teaching us a powerful message in his words and gives us profound hope in part of the symbolism in the manner of his death.

At the end of his life, Jesus even in the agony of his crucifixion, shows the tender love he has for his mother—a mother who sometimes misunderstood him. His words “Woman behold, your son” and to his beloved disciple “ Behold your mother” are an example to us to love our families and that in that love we have responsibilities for them. While Jesus was clear on our priorities: 1) God first, 2) our families 3) our service to the His kingdom. Serving Christ first however doesn't mean that we are free to neglect our other priorities --  it means only that we must organize our priorities in the proper relation to each other. We should have faith that God will give us wisdom to work this out. Sometimes our families misunderstand or disapprove of decisions we make. In those moments we are called to walk towards them in love, not away.

The details of the manner of the death of Jesus carry tremendous symbolism. The piercing of his side was not so common with crucifixion and we can scarcely be wrong in assuming that the blood and water are symbolical. Blood represents the work of redemption which has been achieved by His painful suffering and death. Water symbolizes our rebirth with its cleansing from sin, which was the result of His death, and is the means by which we appropriate it. The blood and water that flowed out, signified these two great benefits which all believers receive through Christ. We are justified and sanctified; blood for atonement, water for purification.
Thank you Jesus for your sacrifice for me!

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