Today as we return to Ordinary Time and celebrate the feast of Mary, Mother of the Church, Fr Paul reads from the Gospel of John (19: 25-27) in which we again hear Jesus, from the cross, entrusting the care of his mother saying to her “Woman, here is your son,” and to the disciple, “Here is your mother.”

Fr Paul says this Gospel passage is familiar to us because twice over the last week we have heard reference to it as we celebrated Our Lady help of Christians and also when we heard the Gospel about the beloved disciple.

The Blessed Virgin Mary has been given the title of ‘Mother of the Church’ since she gave birth to Christ, the Head of the Church, and she became the Mother of the redeemed people before her Son had given up the spirit on the Cross.

Pope Paul VI solemnly confirmed the title in an address to the Fathers of the Second Vatican Council on 21 November 1964 and decreed that the whole Christian people should, by the use of this beautiful title, give still greater honour to the Mother of God.

Quoting the Pope, Fr Paul reads, ‘The joyous veneration given to the Mother of God by the contemporary Church, in light of reflection on the mystery of Christ and on his nature, cannot ignore the figure of a woman (cf. Gal 4:4), the Virgin Mary, who is both the Mother of Christ and Mother of the Church’ (Decree of the Sacred Congregation for Divine Worship).

So today we pray Mary, Mother of the Church, pray for us!