Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Mary and the Church

A Whitsun Week meditation

“These all continued with one accord in prayer and supplication, with the women, and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with his brethren.” – Acts 1:14

Just as we see the Blessed Virgin Mary in the beginning of his Gospel, we see her at the beginning of Saint Luke’s book about the Church of the Apostles. This tells us about the great parallel between what happened during the Annunciation and what happened on the Day of Pentecost. In his Gospel, Luke had already told the Lover [or friend] of God (i.e. Theophilus- that is, the reader who loves God) what the angel had said to Mary: “And the angel answered and said unto her, The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God.” -Luke 1: 35. The risen Lord Jesus tells the disciples something very similar: “But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me…”
– Acts 1:8

We must understand this in light of many important Biblical themes, not the least of which is Saint Paul’s words that we are the Body of Christ, and each one of us members of it. The Blessed Virgin Mother is the only person to share the miracle of the Incarnation with the Lord Himself. The Church, we see from Luke’s writing, is the extension of the Incarnation. Without the Holy Spirit the Church could exist as a club, an association, even as a religion. But only with the Holy Spirit bringing Christ into our midst, so that we see Him again after His Ascension, can the Church be the Body of Christ. In His Church the Lord is pleased to be visible even now, in this physical world. In its fallen state, with its sordid history, the world is not bereft of the holy Presence.

No comments: